Doug Bedell — June 17, 2010, 7:25 pm

Canadian Security Agencies Hit For An Air India Crash With 329 Victims

We don’t normally call attention to something that happened 25 years ago, but the ┬áCanadian public inquiry report on the bombing of Air India flight 182 in 1985 deserves the attention of security officers everywhere. The plane’s explosion off the Irish coast ┬ákilled 329 people, making it “the largest case of mass murder in Canadian history and one of the world’s deadliest terrorist strikes.”

A five-volume report on the incident has just been issued. It blames “turf wars” between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service for a failure to obtain and act on information that might have prevented the attack. The responsible parties were identified as Sikh militants based in British Columbia who sought to avenge a 1984 raid by Indian forces on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Sikhs’ holiest site, where 800 Sikhs died.

A troubling aspect of the report for the present is a finding that relational weaknesses in Canada’s security systems still need to be fixed. We’d recommend learning about those interagency problems by reading at least a summary of the report.

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