Latest world news Canadian Prime Minister's response to the espionage issue involving schoolgirls

According to recent reports, a Canadian intelligence agent aided several British schoolgirls in joining the Islamic State in Syria.

According to recent claims, a Canadian intelligence official assisted in the smuggling of British schoolgirls into Syria in 2015, at least one of whom wed an ISIS fighter. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that his government will "follow up" on these reports.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) must follow Canadian law and "strong guidelines" of behavior. He also committed to behavior akin to sure that "appropriate supervision is done as necessary."

To keep Canada and Canadians safe "in a very dangerous environment," he continued, intelligence agencies must be "flexible and inventive in their tactics."

The prime minister's reaction follows claims made in a recent book by award-winning investigative journalist Richard Kerbaj, "The Secret History of the Five Eyes," that a Canadian spy smuggled Shamima Begum and a few of her pals into Syria in 2015.

Begum, then 15 years old, Kadiza Sultana, then 16 years old, and Amira Abase, then 15 years old, all allegedly joined the terrorist group known as the Islamic State after entering the nation and getting married to IS militants.

Sultana and Abase are thought to have passed away since then, and Begum made headlines when she tried to enter the UK to reclaim her British citizenship after it was taken away by a UK Supreme Court decision in 2019.

According to Kerbaj, a guy named Mohammed al-Rashed, who had served as a Canadian intelligence informant and allegedly smuggled scores of other British citizens to fight for IS, trafficked the three schoolgirls into Syria from Turkey in March 2015.

In the book, it is claimed that as the Metropolitan police conducted a fruitless search for the girls, Rashed informed his Canadian handlers that Begum had left the UK for Syria four days earlier to join the terrorist group. This connection was not acknowledged by either the British or Canadian governments.

Using the phrase "taking refuge in the one thing that protects all intelligence agencies... against potential embarrassment: secrecy," Kerbaj alleges that CSIS covered up its involvement in the Begum case for seven years.

In order to avoid commenting on operational issues, UK and Canadian intelligence agencies have so far refrained from responding to Kerbaj's allegations.

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