Trudeau says forged documents sent to Muslim charities could be investigated

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is “very concerned” by reports of falsified documents targeting the Muslim Association of Canada.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was open to an independent inquiry into the matter falsification of government documents This falsely suggested that the RCMP and Canada Revenue Agency were paying informants inside the Muslim Association of Canada to build terrorist financing cases against grassroots charities.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that the documents were forged, the MAC remains suspicious that they did not originate within the government and called for an independent investigation. Mr Trudeau was asked by reporters if he would heed the call.

“We are obviously very concerned about these reports of Islamophobic forged documents,” Mr Trudeau said. “We are following up to understand the situation. If necessary, we will investigate.”

MAC operates mosques and community centers across the country. The Globe and Mail reported Thursday that for more than a year, the group has been receiving documents from anonymous senders saying law enforcement and tax authorities are trying to entrap it by making it look like it’s sending money to extremist groups.

One A global investigation found the documents – Hundreds of pages sent in 11 packages from April 2021 to late November of this year – not real. These included fake RCMP search warrants, falsified records of SWIFT transfers to informants, and printouts of what appeared to be internal government emails between RCMP officers and CRA investigators. The CRA, RCMP and the Bank of Canada have all said the documents are fake, and the authors of some of the alleged emails have sworn in affidavits that they did not write the documents.

An international civil liberties monitoring group stepped in on Thursday, saying the government’s possible “disturbing allegations” against the MAC required further investigation by an independent party.

“Whether this is a hoax or not, the unfortunate reality is that we know that Muslim Canadians and Muslim organizations have been the target of surveillance and convictions under the guise of systemic Islamophobia and racism-driven counter-terrorism. It is important that the government takes this seriously problems and act quickly,” TICLMG national coordinator Tim McSorley said in a statement.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, who oversees the RCMP, said the federal police force had assured him they would find out what happened. A police investigation would not satisfy calls by the MAC and others for an independent inquiry.

“We’ve been in contact with law enforcement and I know they’re investigating to find out,” Mr Mendicino told reporters.

He said the RCMP’s investigation must be done with great care, and he promised the government would be transparent once the investigation is complete.

“With the history of community-to-community interaction Royal Canadian Mounted Police As with other institutions, it’s important to ensure transparency about what’s happening here. Obviously, if someone breaks the law in a way that targets this organization…should be investigated and appropriate consequences taken accordingly. “

He also noted that the Liberals have introduced Bill C-20, which would create a public complaints commission to conduct an independent civil review of the RCMP.

Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra, whose constituency includes the MAC’s Mississauga area, called the allegations that the group had been targeted “extremely disturbing and serious.”

“I’ll let the RCMP investigate,” he said. “The way our system works is that politicians should not be instructing the authorities – the police and law enforcement – to influence their investigations.”

Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Secretary Ahmed Hussen declined to comment. He said he remained silent because the matter was before the courts. (The alleged targeting of the MAC has not been brought to court, although the charity is suing to stop unrelated Audited by the CRA. )

A joint statement from four Canadian Muslim organizations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Canada, Human Concerns International, Justice All Canada and, said the contents of the documents were “consistent with the experiences of Canadian Muslims over the years.”

Since the 9/11 attacks, Canada’s national security agencies have stepped up “surveillance and intimidation” of Muslims, undermining confidence in law enforcement, the statement said.

“It is the government’s responsibility to thoroughly and transparently investigate these leaked documents,” the statement said. “The investigation must be independent, the results must be made public, and those responsible must be held accountable.”

In a separate statement, the Council of Imams of Canada also urged the prime minister to order an “independent and transparent investigation to determine whether the documents or their contents are authentic and to hold accountable those involved in this immoral practice.”

False records sent to MAC, obtained by The Globe, make it appear that the charity is full of informants who provide details of its operations to the RCMP and CRA. An alleged Mountie “informant list” identified six informants who allegedly worked with the National Security Joint Operations Center, as well as 18 “secondary asset” informants.

Perhaps the most explosive documents sent to the MAC were purported records of cash payments and SWIFT wire transfers to RCMP and CRA informants who allegedly provided investigators with information about the organization.

The alleged transfers showed 13 payments deposited into offshore bank accounts, allegedly for the benefit of three informants. All but one listed the Canadian bank as the sender. The equivalent of more than $320,000 was deposited into accounts in the British territory of Guernsey, documents show.

But the Bank of Canada said in a statement to the Globe earlier this week that the SWIFT transfer documents bearing his name were forged.

“We can confirm that documents purporting to be records of SWIFT transfers are not genuine,” the bank said.

Fake records sent to the MAC paint the CRA as being under pressure from its leadership to accuse Muslim charities of wrongdoing. The documents make it seem like investigators are willing to buckle down or break the rules for it.

An email dated March 2022, purportedly sent by Investigator Wayne Welch of the CRA Mississauga Criminal Investigations Unit, mentions “the Director’s eagerness to break ground and find corroborating evidence on the MAC.” It continues Says: “We need to be more creative, if not downright sleazy, to bring in these bad actors.”

One email claims CRA leadership tried to use sex as bait. “Everyone agrees that scandal is the best leverage here. Please let our girls play. He’s married. Let’s see if he bites,” the email read. It’s unclear who MAC’s supposed target is.

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