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Overseas Filipino workers need stronger protections from sexual harassment, officials say

ByJanice K. Merrill

Aug 31, 2022

LONDON: The lawyer representing the family of Shamima Begum, the British girl whose British citizenship was revoked after traveling to Syria to join Daesh, says Canadian intelligence services will support an investigation into the services’ role security in facilitating his trip in 2015.

Tasnime Akunjee told The Observer that Canadian Security Intelligence Service agents were seriously concerned by allegations, made in a new book, that an ISIS human trafficker, Mohammed Al-Rashed, who helped Begum and two other teenage girls from London to reach Syria, had ties to CSIS.

The book, ‘Secret History of the Five Eyes’, written by journalist Richard Kerbaj, also claims London’s Metropolitan Police knew the trafficker who smuggled the trio into Syria was a double agent linked to a smuggling agency. western intelligence.

“I have spoken to people within CSIS who are extremely concerned and shocked by his role in trafficking Shamima Begum, and would strongly support an investigation into his involvement,” Akunjee said, adding that he fears children from becoming victims of trafficking in such a situation. so as to become intelligence assets.

“It should also be noted that at the time of its trafficking to Syria, [the] CSIS had no legal authority to recruit and resource anyone engaged in supporting terrorism,” he added.

The revelations prompted calls for an investigation into Begum’s trip to Syria and the role of intelligence agencies in it, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being asked to respond to the book’s claims, saying the agencies must be “flexible and creative” in performing their duties, but always respecting the law.

Kerbaj’s book claims that the Canadian government admitted involvement in the episode and asked British authorities, as members of the Five Eyes intelligence pact which also includes the United States, Australia and New Zealand. , to help cover up the story.

It also says CSIS officials met with former Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism chief Richard Walton shortly after Begum left the UK in 2015.

Begum is currently in a prison camp for Daesh members in northeast Syria. One of her companions, Kadiza Sultana, who was 16 when she left the UK, is believed to have died, while the other, Amira Abase, who was 15, is missing.