RCMP Security Service

The RCMP Security Service is the former branch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police which had responsibilities of domestic intelligence and security for Canada. It was replaced by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) on the recommendation of the McDonald Commission, which was called in the wake of major scandals in the 1970s.

In 1950, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Special Branch was formally established to conduct its counterintelligence operations.[1] Prior to that, the branch was a component of the RCMP's Criminal Investigation Branch, where political security operations and criminal investigations were not distinct before 1936. The Mounties carried out extensive security service work since the force was reconstituted in 1920, when it merged with the Dominion Police and became the federal police agency solely responsible for national security. Between the wars, this work was overwhelmingly directed at the Communist Party and labour and the left more generally.[2]

In 1962, the branch was renamed the Directorate of Security and Intelligence, and in 1970 it became the RCMP Security Service.[1] In the 1960s, it targeted Quebec nationalists, particularly the militant Front de libération du Québec.

As a result of illegal tactics used by the Security Service and consequent scandals surrounding the RCMP, intelligence work was transferred to a new agency, CSIS, in 1984. The RCMP has again become involved in intelligence work, however, particularly related to terrorism following the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985 and the 9/11 attacks.[3]

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  1. ^ a b "RCMP: A Brief History". CBC. 22 June 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
  2. ^ Steven Roy Hewitt (1997). "Old Myths Die Hard: The Transformation of the Mounted Police in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 1914–1939" (PDF). PhD thesis. University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2007-01-13. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Brown, Jim (19 September 2006). "Arar case raises ghost of past RCMP follies on security front". Canadian Press. Retrieved 2007-01-13.