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WikiLeaks unearths case of al-Qaeda double agent who duped Canadians

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange addresses the media outside Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, in south-east London, on February 7, 2011.

Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images/Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Canadian intelligence agents were duped by an al-Qaeda-linked militant who claimed to be working for them as an intelligence asset, but who likely never switched sides, according to emerging media reports based on a new WikiLeaks dump of secret U.S. documents.

Classified military documents from U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba that were leaked to WikiLeaks last year are now being released to a few selected major media organizations.

On Sunday night, The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, NPR Radio and other organizations began reporting details of some of these files. More disclosures are anticipated to be released in coming days.

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The New York Times says one leaked file documents the noteworthy case of a supposed double agent, whom the newspaper did not name.

"One report reveals that American officials discovered a detainee had been recruited by British and Canadian intelligence to work as an agent because of his 'connections to members of various al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups,' " the newspaper reported late Sunday.

"But the report suggests that he had never shifted his militant loyalties. It says that the Central Intelligence Agency, after repeated interrogations of the detainee, concluded that he had 'withheld important information' from the British and Canadians, and assessed him 'to be a threat' to American and allied personnel in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has since been sent back to his country."

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service was formed as a stay-at-home spy service 25 years ago, but is increasingly sending employees and running agents abroad. It could deeply embarrass CSIS if an operative it had held to be turned into an intelligence asset was revealed to have remained as a terrorist.

With a report from the New York Times

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About the Author
National security reporter

Focusing on Canadian matters during the past decade, Colin Freeze has reported extensively on the interplay between government, police, spy services, and the judiciary. Colin has twice been to Afghanistan to be embedded with the Canadian military. More

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