The rise of extremism in Canada, and the need to protect Alberta’s vital infrastructure, has led to the formation of a multi-agency anti-terrorism team specifically for the province.
Announced Wednesday, the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team — INSET — will consist of more than 30 specially trained members of the RCMP, Edmonton and Calgary police services, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The unit will be based out of RCMP K-Division headquarters in Edmonton.
RCMP assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud told a news conference that the unit, the fifth in Canada, will almost double the resources devoted to terrorism investigation and prevention in the province.
With its increasingly controversial oil sand projects, and continuing concerns over pipeline projects, Alberta is becoming a tempting target for violent “right and left-wing extremism”, Michaud said.
INSET initially concentrated on threats from foreign sources, but INSET has broadened its focus to include domestic terrorism, especially “radicalized” youth who may travel outside of Canada for terrorism training, Michaud said.
INSET will keep tabs on any individual or group that poses a threat to national security, whether religious, political or ideologically based.
Michaud said there “must be violence attached” to a group of individual’s activities to gain the attention of INSET, but the team will still keep tabs on non-violent groups like Greenpeace through “normal police work”.
Info on INSET
- Other INSET teams are located in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
- INSET was formed following the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S.
- No new funds will be allocated for INSET.