Codes can be broken and conversations intercepted, but only people can provide the necessary complete context behind them.
We may never know what inspired Mubin Shaikh to become a CSIS informant. Whether it was genuine disillusionment and disgust with the Islamist cause, or simple resentment towards certain people within it, or even naked greed, the end result is the same: hundreds of people are alive today who wouldn't have been without the information he was providing to CSIS.
And he is now dead man walking:
A man who led a campaign to bring Islamic law to Ontario last year has been identified as the police informant who infiltrated an alleged terrorist cell in Toronto.
While the RCMP warned journalists they were prohibited by law from identifying Mubin Shaikh, the self-professed "fundamentalist" Muslim confirmed his involvement in the investigation to the CBC.
In an interview broadcast yesterday, Mr. Shaikh described how he was recruited by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service into providing information on extremist activities.
Since police charged a dozen adults and five juveniles under the Anti-terrorism Act last month, media reports have indicated that agents working for CSIS and the RCMP had infiltrated the alleged terror group.
Aly Hindy, imam of the Salaheddin Islamic Centre in Scarborough, said he had heard the rumours about Mr. Shaikh, whom he said once attended a meeting of Toronto imams, although he was not an imam himself. "He was like very talkative, you know. He's a young guy."
The intelligence war against Islamism now has its Igor Gouzenko.
Let us hope that it does not also have its Cambridge circle.
Source: National Post