Canadian security thought Air India 'crying wolf'
May 9, 2007 - 12:44:47 PM
Toronto, May 9 - Canadian security officials were warned by Air India about bomb threats, but they played it down by saying the airline was simply 'crying wolf' to get extra security at no additional cost, says a document presented at the Air India inquiry.
The inquiry commission Tuesday heard that a warning had been sent by Air India on a possible hijacking - a warning the Canadian authorities did not take seriously.
A telex sent June 1, 1985 by Air India to airport officials in Toronto - outlining a detailed threat of sabotage by Sikh extremists - was not even sent to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service - threat assessment desk in Ottawa, Toronto Star reported.
The telex said: 'Assessment of threat received from intelligence agencies reveal the likelihood of sabotage attempts being undertaken by Sikh extremists by placing time/delay devices etc in the aircrafts or registered baggage.
'It is also learnt that Sikh extremists are planning to set up suicide squads who may attempt to blow up an aircraft by smuggling explosives in the registered or carry-on baggage or any other means.'
Had it been him, said John Henry, formerly with the CSIS's threat assessment desk, he would have immediately passed it along to the agency's Sikh desk where it would have been thoroughly assessed. 'I don't believe they saw it,' Henry said.
Air India flight 182 exploded while at an altitude of 31,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, south of Ireland. All on board were killed, of whom 82 were children.
Up until Sep 11, 2001, the Kanishka bombing was the single deadliest terrorist attack involving aircraft. It is also the largest mass murder in Canadian history.
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