Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The spies who love us

Canada is the world's No. 1 destination for foreign agents, who steal military and political secrets and up to $30 billion worth of research each year, according to a new book.

Hockey legend Vladislav Tretiak, shown with Gov. Gen. Michaƫlle Jean after receiving a Meritorious Service Medal in 2006, was suspected of being a 'talent-spotter' for the Russian foreign intelligence service, the SVR, successor to the KGB, claim sources in the book Nest of Spies.

OTTAWA — Canada's spy-catchers suspect Soviet hockey legend Vladislav Tretiak was a "talent scout" who helped recruit sympathizers here to work for the Russian foreign intelligence service, according to a new book by a former Canadian spy.

It's one of several intrigues revealed in Nest of Spies, which portrays Canada as the world's No. 1 destination for legions of foreign government agents. Ottawa is crawling with them.

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.


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