Authorities fed an alleged Canadian naval spy fabricated information as part of a classic "sour milk" counter-intelligence ploy to taint the credibility of secrets the man is suspected of passing to Russia, Postmedia has learned.
"This was done by the book - sour the milk so that you con-fuse the other side," Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former spy service counter-intelligence officer with sources close to the Halifax case, revealed in an interview Friday.
Once naval officials suspected there was a spy in their midst, deliberately flawed information was baited and designed to eventually be discovered by its foreign recipients, casting doubt on the usefulness of any other classified data related to the case.
Juneau-Katsuya said the deception is believed to have worked, and now "they don't know what is true and what is not [and] will have to be suspicious of pretty much everything [given to] them."
While military and RCMP investigators are still gathering details, Juneau-Katsuya said he believes Russia may have been after North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] secrets.
"When you talk about Halifax, you talk about the Atlantic and the Arctic. And when you talk about the Atlantic and Arctic, you talk NATO. And when you talk NATO, you talk Russia," he said.