(CNSNews.com) - The FBI Monday refused to confirm a news report that said the bureau has asked Congress for more money in order to station more agents in Canada in the wake of the September terrorist attacks. FBI agents have been operating in Canada since World War Two.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) report said the FBI needs more personnel in Canada in order to deal with the increased amount of intelligence on terrorism now being shared between the two countries.
But an FBI spokesman in Washington refused comment Monday, referring all inquires to the United States Embassy in Ottawa. The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa would not comment directly on the CBC report.
However, embassy spokesman Buck Shinkman did characterize the sharing of information between American and Canadian law enforcement officials as "extraordinary."
"It's been enhanced since September 11," Shinkman said. "There is also a global effort by the U.S. law enforcement community to upgrade several of their activities and that could include stationing more agents abroad."
Canada and the United States signed a deal last month to share fingerprint data gathered by the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Toronto police have also received FBI intelligence on suspected terrorists living in that city.
Before the FBI can hire the extra agents, Congress must approve the funding. The Canadian government must also approve any beefed up presence of FBI agents in that country.
Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and Canadian government ministers agreed on measures to tighten border security, including the deployment of 600 U.S. National Guard troops at border crossings and the sharing of computerized fingerprints.