Canada will introduce new anti-terror laws that will make it a crime to promote terrorism against Canadians online or elsewhere, a senior government official said Friday.
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The laws will also allow anyone suspected of being involved in a terror plot to be detained without charge for up to seven days, and empower Canada's spy agency to thwart attacks directly in a significant expansion of their mandate.
The official provided details to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak ahead of Friday's announcement.
Work on the law began in October after a gunman killed a soldier at Canada's national war memorial and then stormed Parliament. The attack in Ottawa came two days after a man, said to be inspired by the Islamic State group, ran over two soldiers in a parking lot in Quebec, killing one and injuring the other before being shot to death.
Under current law it is a crime to make a specific threat. The new law will also make it a crime to call for a terror attack against Canadians generally.
"Under the proposed new measure posting or advocating that someone carry out an act in Canada or against Canadians in general would now be captured under the law," the official said.
Under the current law those suspected of being involved in a terror plot can be detained for up to three days. The new law extends that to seven days provided police get a judge's permission.
The new law will also allow the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the country's spy service, to directly approach terror suspects in order to disrupt their plans. CSIS is currently permitted only to collect intelligence and pass the information on to police.
The spy agency will now be able to cancel plane or other travel reservations made by Canadians suspected of being involved in terrorism. The new activities by CSIS will require approval by a judge. Police already have many of these powers that the CSIS will acquire but the government wanted the spy agency to be able to act right away if they see a threat.
The new laws have to be passed in Parliament but Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has a majority of the seats so passage is all but ensured.