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National Security Criminal Investigations Program

Threats to national security can come in any form: chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear; an explosive device; a computer virus; or a simple bank transaction that funds terrorism. Canada is not immune. If you suspect, or have encountered terrorist planning or support activities, please call 1-800-420-5805.

What is the RCMP's role in national security?

As Canada's national law enforcement service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), has a wide range of national security-related mandates and responsibilities. These include: national security criminal investigations, protective policing, border integrity, critical infrastructure protection, marine security, air carrier protection, critical incident management and a host of related support services. The RCMP also provides contract policing services in many cities, provinces and territories across Canada.

The RCMP's national security activities are founded on its capability and capacity to conduct criminal investigations into national security-related, primarily terrorist and criminal activity. Through a centralized control structure, the RCMP's National Security Criminal Investigations (NSCI) Program receives oversight, guidance and direction from National Headquarters.

National Security Criminal Investigations Program

The NSCI Program aims to reduce the threat of terrorist criminal activity in Canada and abroad by preventing, detecting, investigating, and gathering evidence to support the prosecution of those involved in national security-related criminal acts.

The Assistant Commissioner of the NSCI Program is responsible for the overall operation, administration and coordination of all the components of the NSCI Program. Two key components of this Program are the Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSETs) and National Security Enforcement Sections (NSESs), which are located in Divisions across the country.


Strategically based in locations across the country, INSET teams collect, share and analyze information and intelligence that concern threats to national security and criminal extremism/ terrorism. INSETs are integrated teams made up of representatives of the RCMP, federal partners and agencies and provincial and municipal police services, whereas NSESs are solely comprised of RCMP employees.

Their duties include counter-terrorism in partnership with both domestic and foreign agencies to enhance prevention measures against the threat of terrorism. INSETs/NSESs are centrally controlled by National Headquarters and undertake national security criminal investigations into terrorist activities as needed in the antiterrorism provisions of the Criminal Code as well as any occurence arising out of a threat to the security of Canada, under the Security Offenses Act.

Types of offences include criminal acts arising from:

  • Activities within or relating to Canada directed toward or in support of the threat or use of acts of serious violence against persons or property for the purpose of achieving a political, or religious or ideological objective within Canada or a foreign state
  • Espionage or sabotage that is against Canada or is detrimental to the interests of Canada
  • Foreign influenced activities within or relating to Canada that are detrimental to the interests of Canada and are clandestine or deceptive or involve a threat to any person
  • An occurence where the victim is an Internationally Protected Person
  • The unlawful release of sensitive or classified information dealing with National Security
  • Terrorist financing investigations

Co-operation is key

The RCMP is committed to working in partnership with both domestic and foreign agencies to enhance prevention measures against the threat of terrorism in North America and elsewhere.

An example of this commitment is the RCMP's participation in Canada-US and interdepartmental national security committees and working groups aimed at enhancing transport security, border integrity, intelligence and information sharing, and counter-radicalization preventive measures.