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Wednesday, 10-Mar-04 06:20:03 PST

Protest groups possible security threat: CSIS
Last Updated Fri, 06 Jun 2003 8:11:36

OTTAWA - Some Canadian animal rights, anti-globalization and white supremacist groups may pose a terrorist threat, revealed the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's latest annual report.

The report, released Thursday, also claims that Canada is a target for terrorist activity because it supports the U.S. anti-terrorism campaign.

Canada's spy agency listed religious extremism as its top terrorist concern, while aboriginals, separatists and environmentalists were not mentioned in the report.

Solicitor General Wayne Easter defended the inclusion of domestic lobbies in the report, adding that Canadians should not be complacent about terrorist threats.

"The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is aware of emerging terrorist threats and tactics that could have severe consequences for Canadians," Easter said.

NDP Leader Jack Layton said, "It looks as though CSIS is lumping together anyone who disagrees with the government."

Rob Sinclair, a campaigner with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said equating animal rights groups with white supremacists was offensive.

"It sounds like CSIS is once again completely out to lunch," Sinclair said.

Bill Moore-Kilgannon of the Council of Canadians was also critical of the report saying, "We're concerned about the implications for the average citizen who will go out to a protest march, whether or not they're going to be put on some blacklist."

Canadian Alliance MP Kevin Sorenson, who sat on the Commons security committee, said he doesn't have a problem with CSIS monitoring domestic organizations but he is bothered that the report omits to mention groups such as the Tamil Tigers.

Written by CBC News Online staff

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AUDIO: Chris Hall reports for CBC Radio
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