The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation closed its file on Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel in 2001 after deciding he was not a security threat, documents released under U.S. Freedom of Information laws have revealed.
“In view of the fact that there is no indication that the subject is, or ever has been, involved in any acts of violence, acts of terrorism or any other criminal activity within the United States, recommend this case be closed administratively,” an FBI report concluded on April 9, 2001.
The agency’s conclusion is in stark contrast to that of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which believes Mr. Zundel’s status as an inspirational guru to the extreme right renders him a danger to national security.
Also unlike the FBI, which saw Mr. Zundel as nothing more than a Holocaust revisionist, CSIS believes him to be a white supremacist.
Mr. Zundel arrived in Canada in 1958, but was never granted citizenship. He has been in a Toronto jail for 18 months awaiting deportation to Germany under a rarely used security certificate.
Defence lawyers Peter Lindsay and Chi-Kun Shi received the FOI material from Mr. Zundel’s U.S. defence team two days ago — the day after a Federal Court of Canada proceeding involving Mr. Zundel’s pending deportation ended.
Yesterday, they forwarded the documents to the presiding judge, Mr. Justice Pierre Blais, in the hope he will consider them as evidence.
Judge Blais is expected to rule in the next few weeks on whether the issuance of a special security certificate against Mr. Zundel was “reasonable.” Should he rule that it is, the notorious publisher of Holocaust revisionist material has no right of appeal.
Mr. Zundel’s lawyers have repeatedly accused the federal government of misusing special legislation aimed at terrorists to expel a man who has no criminal record, yet whose activities have made him an embarrassing thorn in their side.
Mr. Lindsay expressed frustration in an interview yesterday that the FOI material arrived too late to become part of the deportation proceeding. “I would have put this in as evidence and relied on it,” Mr. Lindsay said.
The FBI opened its file on Mr. Zundel when he moved to Tennessee with his wife. He was picked up and deported to Canada on Feb. 19, 2003, after missing an appointment with a U.S. immigration officer. As soon as Mr. Zundel was delivered to Canada, he was jailed and the deportation process began.
The April 9, 2001, report noted the FBI’s source did not believe Mr. Zundel had direct connections to white supremacists.
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