Intelligence officials warned that police dispersal of protesters could prompt an attack
Newly disclosed documents show federal intelligence officials warned decision-makers that the police dispersal of so-called ``Freedom Convoy'' protesters in Ottawa last winter could prompt an opportunistic attack against a politician or symbol of government.
The February 24th threat highlight, marked Secret/Canadian Eyes Only, also advised that extremist ``influencers'' would leverage the outcome of the protests for continued recruitment and propaganda, regardless of whether COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were relaxed.
The assessment said ideologically motivated extremists would likely use police enforcement to encourage violent revenge or as further evidence of what they considered to be government tyranny.
The partially redacted memo, obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act, was among several Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre analyses produced before, during and after the protests that paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks beginning in late January.
The centre, overseen by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, brings together security and intelligence professionals to draft terrorism threat assessments.
The aim is to provide senior decision-makers with the latest information to assess the overall threat and risk level.