Canada is apparently a hive of foreign spies and Ottawa is "crawling with them," according to an Ottawa Citizen article about a new book, titled Nest of Spies. The book was written by an investigative journalist and a former intelligence officer with the RCMP Security Service and Canadian Security Intelligence Service. If the article is any indication, this book is just laden with intrigue and scandal. For example, it claims that 1970s/1980s Russian hockey star Vladislav Tretiak was also a spy "talent scout," recruiting new secret agents for the Soviet Union. From the Ottawa Citizen:
Led by the Chinese but including intelligence officers from at least 20 nations including allies, the book says, the infiltrators are stealing an estimated $20 billion to $30 billion annually worth of cutting-edge research in products and technologies, other scientific, business and military know-how and political secrets.
Others, it says, are infiltrating ethnic communities, suppressing criticism of homeland governments, recruiting industrial spies, stoking political violence among the diaspora and operating front companies and political lobbies aimed at manipulating government policies.
Proportionately, it estimates more spies operate here than in the U.S…
"The great Tretiak was quite a celebrity in his day, and not only among hockey fans. CSIS was also an avid Tretiak-watcher. A number of good sources inside the organization have told us that Tretiak was 'ticketed' at the time. That means that he was believed to be a 'co- opted' individual, somebody who has been recruited as an informer and was being paid or recompensed in some way. There were hundreds of these back then, especially among Soviet citizens like himself who had received job offers from outside the homeland." But, the book continues, "there was also a hypothesis that he was more than a simple informer." In Friday's interview, Juneau- Katsuya said one of three CSIS sources believes Tretiak worked as a "talent-spotter" for the Russian foreign intelligence service, the SVR, successor to the KGB.
"The spies who love us" (Ottawa Citizen, thanks Chris Arkenberg!)
Buy "Nest of Spies: The Startling Truth About Foreign Agents at Work Within Canada's Borders" (Amazon)