Sunday, June 20, 2010



( In 2006, the Canadian Government had appointed a Commission of Inquiry headed by former Supreme Court justice John Major to enquire into the crash of an aircraft of Air India named Kanishka on June 23,1985. The crash was caused by an explosive device suspected to have been planted in a piece of unaccompanied baggage by Sikh extremists belonging to the Babbar Khalsa headed by the late Talwinder Singh Parmar of Vancouver, Canada. The report of the Commission was released on June 17, 2010. The Commission has found that a "cascading series of errors" by the Government of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service allowed the terrorist attack to take place.This is the ninth instalment of relevant extracts from the report.)

Prior to the bombing, the Government as a whole had the following information
relevant to the risk that Sikh extremists could successfully carry out the bombing
of an Air India plane:

It was aware that Sikh extremists were serious about a terrorist
attack during June 1985 against a symbol of the Government
of India. It knew the identity of the extremists likely to be
involved in such an attack.

It was aware that Air India’s fl ights were likely to be a target
of Sikh extremists and that a likely means for such a terrorist
attack was a time-delayed explosive concealed in checked

It was aware that the most serious threat to civil aviation was
no longer hijacking, but sabotage.

It knew that Transport Canada’s regulatory regime was
inadequate to deal with this sort of threat and that the specifi c
security measures currently instituted by Air India were
inadequate and were based on unreliable technology and
untrained screeners.

It was aware of rules and procedures that could have been
prescribed by Regulation, and that would have been more
eff ective in responding to security risks posed by interlined
baggage and by baggage checked-in by passengers who did
not show up for their fl ights.

It was also aware of more eff ective procedures, such as
passenger-baggage reconciliation, and practices for screening
baggage and identifying potential risks.

Nevertheless, because the Government did not address what was, by its own
evaluation, a security regime wholly inadequate to identify and respond to
known serious threats, it failed to prevent the bombing of Air India Flight 182.
( To be continued)