July 18, 2006

Anti-terror information sharing improved: FBI

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada has enhanced its anti-terrorism
laws but more could be done to help thwart the "ongoing threat"
posed by home-grown and foreign terror networks, FBI Director
Robert Mueller said on Tuesday.

Mueller, who was in Canada for a police training
conference, said people who support terrorism should face
extended jail time, and countries that do not provide for long
jail sentences face the risk of becoming havens for terror

Canada has been accused by some U.S. lawmakers as being a
haven for potential terrorists because of weak immigration laws
after the June arrest of 17 Toronto-area men, in what police
said was an al Qaeda-inspired plot to attack Canadian targets.

Mueller declined to comment on the criticism, but during a
press conference with Toronto's police chief he said that,
despite different judicial systems, the countries had improved
their ability to share information about cross-border activity
by militant groups.

If one examines the arrests of suspected terrorists in
Britain, Canada and the United States in the last three years,
"you'll see that almost every substantial one had ties between
our various countries," Mueller said, citing communications,
Internet or travel ties.

That makes it "essential" that law enforcement agencies are
able to swiftly exchange information across borders as well, he

The annual FBI National Academy Associates conference is
being held in Toronto until Wednesday. The police training
event, which gathers graduates from the FBI academy, is taking
place outside the United States for the first time.