The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force in 1982. It was the so-called War on Drugs which allowed the police -- both local and RCMP -- to gain public support for violating the Charter Rights of certain people. The RCMP had long been responsible for gathering information on people and using this information to barter with other organizations within Canada and internationally. In 1984 CSIS was established but the RCMP maintained its own secret police. Over the years the RCMP built up a booming business, copyrighting emblems, insignias etc and contracting to perform services such as information gathering, finding people, stinging people and extracting confessions by using means which went beyond what police services who contracted with them would accept. The drug war helped fill jails and provided excuses for building more jails. But the War on Terror? This has opened up a whole new frontier.
Shadow of CSIS will follow Khadr: Retired agent offers glimpse of man's fate. Deserves presumption of innocence: Easter
Although Abdurahman Khadr hopes to slip quietly into a life of high school courses and part-time work, it'll likely be with an entourage of security agents in tow.
"He's going to be watched, that's for sure, 100%. The current law under the Anti-Terrorism Act totally justifies it," said Michele Juneau-Katsuya, a former Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent recently retired after 21 years.
The former Guantanamo Bay detainee implored the public earlier this week to not judge him since he did not face any charges while in American custody for the past two years. But at the same press conference, Khadr later admitted that in the summer of 1998 he attended a notorious training camp in Afghanistan, which Osama bin Laden is rumoured to have visited.
The Al Qaeda-linked Khalden camp, where Khadr said he learned to use assault weapons when he was 15, also hosted Zacarias Moussaoui, who is awaiting a trial for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S., and Ahmed Ressam, the Canadian resident who admitted to a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport.
Juneau-Katsuya said that charged or not, authorities likely won't ignore his family's alleged Al Qaeda connections.
"He's got a stigma and he should work hard at getting rid of it, but meanwhile not take offence that society is suspicious of him and that he'll have a babysitter from CSIS for a long period of time watching whatever he is doing," Juneau-Katsuya said yesterday.
CSIS spokesperson Nicole Currier said she could not confirm whether Khadr "will be of interest to us or is."
U.S. authorities are still searching for Khadr's father, Ahmed Said Khadr, known to intelligence officials as "Al Kanadi" - the Canadian. They've been quoted as saying the father is an important associate of Osama bin Laden and is in hiding with his oldest son, Abdullah.
Speaking to reporters after a federal cabinet meeting, Canada's top law enforcement officer downplayed suggestions that Khadr's presence in Canada threatens national security.
Solicitor General Wayne Easter refused to say whether the 20-year-old might face charges under Canadian laws that outlaw terrorist activity, and specifically said he deserved the "presumption of innocence."
Khadr arrived in Toronto Sunday, accompanied by a Canadian official from the embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
Staying in his grandmother's Scarborough home, Khadr spent most of yesterday catching up on sleep before visiting his Toronto lawyer, Rocco Galati.
"I think he's just trying to now get used to the cold again," Galati said yesterday.
His first priority, Galati said, is to help Khadr's mother and sister obtain passports so they can return to Canada from Pakistan.
A spokesperson with the Department of Foreign Affairs says the mother and sister have been placed on a passport control list because they had repeatedly lost their passports and asked to have them replaced, beginning in 1999.
TORONTO - Ending a long odyssey that took him from a Cuban prison camp to Afghanistan and the Balkans, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Abdul Rahman Khadr unexpectedly returned to Canada Sunday, flying into Toronto's Pearson Airport from London.
Mr. Khadr looked to be in good physical health, but said he had been treated poorly at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"I'm happy to be back. For every reason," he said upon arrival, where he was met by his grandmother and lawyer Rocco Galati. Wearing running shoes and jeans and toting a blue backpack, the young man, who turns 21 next month, looked more like a typical Canadian teenager than the "enemy combatant" he was labelled as by the U.S. government.
Mr. Khadr refused to talk about his time in Cuba, but maintained his innocence.
"Why was I captured? Because I was Arab. That was the only reason I was captured in Kabul. There was nothing against me. There is nothing against me until this day," he said. "Anywhere - Afghanistan - anywhere. And that's why I've been released after two years of my life being wasted."
Mr. Galati said later that his client is exhausted but immensely relieved to be home.
After being deposited in Afghanistan without a passport, Mr. Khadr said he travelled through Pakistan, Iran and Turkey to Bosnia. On Saturday, he walked into the Canadian embassy in Sarajevo, and was given a special permit to return home.
"He's trying to rest, it's been a long ordeal," said Mr. Galati, who praised the efforts of Canadian officials in Sarajevo, and contrasted their conduct with that of officials at home in Canada, which he called "dismal." Mr. Khadr was accompanied on his trip to Toronto by a consular official, arriving about 1 a.m. Sunday.
Mr. Khadr's family members have said he was simply walking around in Kabul, or was in an apartment there, when he was arrested in the fall of 2001.
It wasn't until his younger brother Omar, then 15, was arrested in Afghanistan after taking part in a gun battle with U.S. soldiers the next summer that Abdul Rahman was transferred from Afghanistan to Cuba early this year.
In addition to Abdul Rahman and Omar, there are two other Khadr brothers. The Canadian government has described the eldest, Abdullah, as "a suspected commander of an al-Qaeda training camp." Reports have indicated the youngest brother, Abdul Karim may have been shot dead or wounded last month by Pakistani soldiers.
Their Egyptian-born father, Ahmed Said Khadr, remains at large, though he is being hunted as being linked to al-Qaeda.
Abdul Rahman Khadr's release from the high-security U.S. detention facility, where he was held on suspicion of links to al-Qaeda, was kept secret by the Prime Minister's Office and a handful of other top Canadian officials, even from his family, until well afterward.
His abrupt release in Afghanistan set off a diplomatic spat between Ottawa and Washington. Concerns about his treatment were heightened after Mr. Galati and Mr. Khadr's grandmother said he had been refused help by Canadian officials in Pakistan and Turkey.
Ottawa says that's not true. "The Canadian embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia, is the first and only occasion that Mr. Khadr approached a Canadian mission for consular assistance," Foreign Affairs spokesman Reynald Doiron said Sunday night.
Many details about Mr. Khadr's journey remained unclear last night, including when and how he was arrested, how he spent his time in Guantanamo Bay, the timing and nature of his release and why he ended up in Afghanistan instead of Canada.
A press conference is to be held Monday morning.
Mr. Khadr "needs, obviously, to try to get his life back together; he wants to go back to school," Mr. Galati said Sunday night. "He's also very cognizant that he still has a brother in Guantanamo Bay."
Mr. Khadr's younger brother Omar is one of approximately 660 al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay, coming from 44 different countries. But in a related development, a U.S. military official said yesterday that scores of these detainees are to be transferred out of U.S. custody over the next two months.
There was no indication of how many will go free or where they might go, and it was also unclear whether the planned transfer will include Omar Khadr, who has been accused of killing an American medic in Afghanistan.
The younger Mr. Khadr, who turned 17 in September, is now believed to be the only Canadian remaining at Guantanamo Bay.
The official who told The Associated Press of the transfer said that among the more than 100 men and boys slated to leave the high-security camp is a teenager accused of shooting to death a U.S. Special Forces soldier in Afghanistan. The youth pretended to be dead, then opened fire on his captors, the official said.
Omar Khadr is also alleged to have killed an American in the fighting that followed the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan two years ago. But U.S. authorities have said previously that he killed a U.S. military medic, rather than a Special Forces soldier, and that he did so with a hand grenade.
A spokesman for Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs said Sunday that there has been no word from Washington suggesting that Mr. Khadr is on the transfer list, and nobody at the Prime Minister's Office was available for comment.
Family members also said they had had heard nothing.
The first batch of detainees is to leave the camp at the end of this month, with a second group to be transferred some time in January. According to AP, the phrase used by the U.S. official was "transferred from U.S. custody," leaving open the possibility the released detainees could be detained or prosecuted in their home countries rather than set free.
Intelligence-gathering is the primary mission of the Guantanamo detention process, the Pentagon has said.
To date, a total of 88 prisoners have been released from the camp since the first suspects were taken there in January, 2002. None of the inmates have been formally charged, and none have had access to lawyers. U.S. authorities have provided no breakdown of the prisoners' ages or citizenship.
Captured in Afghanistan in July of 2002, following a gun battle that left him wounded, Omar Khadr has been at Guantanamo Bay for just over a year. In February, U.S. authorities allowed Canadian officials to visit him for the first time, heeding Ottawa's request that as a juvenile he should be treated differently from other detainees.
Published reports based on U.S. military accounts have said that the Khadr brothers, born and raised in Scarborough, grew up in a household dominated by a father with extremist Muslim views and that Omar was captured by U.S. Special Forces at an al-Qaeda training compound in eastern Afghanistan, where he was undergoing training in the use of small arms and explosives.
After allegedly hurling a hand grenade that killed a U.S. medic, he was treated at a military hospital in Kabul before being flown to Cuba.
TORONTO - A Canadian who disappeared after being released from Guantanamo Bay last month has returned home.
The weekend homecoming of Abdul Rahman Khadr, 20, comes amid much squabbling between his family and the Canadian government.
Khadr was arrested in Afghanistan in November 2001 as part of a roundup of suspected al-Qaeda members.
He was released last month after spending nine months in Guantanamo Bay.
FROM NOV. 27, 2003: Canadian officials 'lying': Khadr lawyer Rocco Galati
U.S. officials put him on a plane to Afghanistan, and his family lost contact with him soon after.
While his family waited for word, Khadr said he travelled to Pakistan, where he contacted Canadian officials with the intention of returning to Canada.
He said officials there shunned him because he didn't have proper documentation.
From there, Khadr said, he went to Iran and then to Bosnia, where Canadian officials were more receptive.
Khadr's family's lawyer, Rocco Galati, has been extremely critical of the Canadian government's behaviour in Khadr's case.
"The treatment of these boys (in Guantanamo) by the Canadian government has been a shameful breach of international treaties, in breach of domestic obligations of our government to its citizens. It's absolutely inexplicable," Galati told CBC Newsworld.
Galati says Germany, England and France have challenged the detention of their nationals to the U.S. Supreme Court while Canada has not done so.
But Ottawa has said Khadr didn't contact Canadian officials in Pakistan, and has speculated Khadr didn't want to return.
Khadr's brother, Omar, is still being held in Guantanamo Bay. Their father is suspected of being a senior al-Qaeda operative. His whereabouts are unknown.
Galati says the government isn't playing fair.
"My client committed the offence of being the son of his father. His father is on a list of 30,000 suspected high level officials of al-Qaeda. There aren't 30,000 officers in the U.S. armyAre they mad?"
Khadr denies having ties to al-Qaeda. "The only reason I was arrested is because I'm Arab," he said Sunday. "Now, two years of my life have been wasted."