The propaganda wing of ISIL, known for its gory videos and exploitation of social media, has recruited several Canadians into its ranks, a former senior counter-terrorism official told a security conference Wednesday.
Andy Ellis, who recently retired from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, where he was Assistant Director of Operations, said not all of the roughly 100 Canadians who have converged in the region are active in combat operations.
“Many of the Canadians, for example, found their way into the propaganda wing of Daesh,” the 30-year-veteran of CSIS said, using another name from ISIL, in a speech at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto.
“I would argue that would be equally as dangerous, maybe more, than someone who is joining the military wing. A lot of these young Western adherents to Daesh are put on the frontlines and die very quickly. Someone who is working in the propaganda wing can hurt us over and over and over again.”