It is not quite like in the James Bond films, but this is not a task easy. In nine years, the spies of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) have faced nearly a hundred “security threats” while they were hunting terrorists or agents of foreign powers in the field.
Here are six categories of dangers that can be found in their reports that the Press obtained through the Access to Information Act.
This is a constant that returns year after year in the 97 “threat reports for security” written by CSIS agents between January 2006 and March 2015.
Clashes on the road It says that size are ambush for Canadian spies, who do not have flashing lights on their vehicles and must pose as ordinary road users. When mills for anti-terrorist operations or against-espionage, several agents recount having had trouble with other drivers who took them for speeders.
Citizens spit on their vehicle, launched their currency, threatened: an agent even received a punch.
CSIS spies are not peace officers, they have no power of arrest and must keep their identity secret when they take someone spinning. Their bosses are asking them to do everything to avoid conflicts. “The rage with which he was confronted part of city driving and the employee has handled the situation by leaving the place without a dialogue,” says a supervisor in addition to a report.
CSIS also tell employees have been subject to targeted attacks. Two officers explained that a gun shot or pellet gun had smashed the rear window of their car in December 2013. The location of the incident was censored in the documents handed to the Press, but both agents wrote their reports in French, suggesting that they were the Montreal office or that of Ottawa.
Another officer reported that his vehicle was attacked with iron bars blows in 2009. That’s not counting the many threats (one man interviewed at his home in June 2015 stated that the two officers killing them Poisoning would have a significant media impact) and bullying (several agents say they were surrounded, have made bar the way apostrophize or aggressively).
Other censored reports suggest that their authors had a good scare, for reasons that remain secret. “Fortunately I managed to get out of the building,” recalls an agent. “I was very lucky to [censored],” says another. “No suffered physical injury but [Event] produced a lasting impression on me,” wrote a spy in another report.
Numerous reports tell of how, without getting caught, agents found themselves in trouble simply because they were of visitors who attracted attention in some light districts where they were trying to quietly watch a suspect of terrorism.
“The members of the physical monitoring unit often have to work in sectors gangs or places where the crime rate is higher than normal. Gang members often approach the members to see if they are the police, “said a CSIS supervisor in a classified report” Secret “about an incident dating back to 2010.
Other supervisors speak of incidents in “a neighborhood frequented by people of questionable reputation and state of mind which often have a negative opinion of any kind of presence of the authorities”, or agents in a vulnerable position had to flee quickly because we made them understand very clearly that visitors were not welcome in the corner.
Canadian spies who were trying to be discreet on the street have also seen their stress skyrocket lorsqu’ont exploded near them shootings or violent fights that had nothing to do with their investigation.
When they watched some particularly dégourdies targets, CSIS agents tell have dealt several times with real maneuvers against-espionage.
In a report classified “Top Secret” and almost entirely censored, supervisor says an agent was warned to be more careful on the way home in the evening, after a threatening event.
Others say they were followed or monitored while trying to be discreet. People came for example to photograph the license plate of their car with a phone.
“After being on the lookout for most of my 22 years at CSIS, I have witnessed many bizarre events on the road,” said one officer in a report on an incident whose nature has not been shared with The Gazette.
Several threatening incidents seem indeed involve cranks or unstable people who have jeopardized an agent and his operation without knowing who they were dealing.
An officer has received the persistent attentions of a man in a sector “challenges” where she was incognito mission which proved very “uncomfortable,” she wrote in her report.
The vast majority of the 97 reports sent to La Presse are too censored to make it possible to understand the incident to which they refer. In each case, however, an officer checked the box on the form stating that it was “a threat to its security.”
“No one should be surprised to learn that intelligence personnel may be sometimes in unpredictable and even dangerous situations. CSIS personnel understand these risks and receives extensive training to deal with it, “said yesterday Tahera Mufti, spokesman of the organization, interviewed for this article.