It has been revealed that American spy agencies were heavily involved in supplying Canadian authorities with information regarding the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada, sparking worldwide intrigue and raising eyebrows.
While the United States offered valuable context that aided Canada in suspecting India’s involvement, it was ultimately Canada that uncovered what has been described as the “smoking gun” – intercepted communications of Indian diplomats in Canada suggesting a direct link to the plot, according to Western-allied officials.
The tragic incident unfolded when Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen advocating for independence for a Sikh-majority region of India, was fatally shot by two men in the Vancouver area on June 18.
Before his assassination, Canadian officials had cautioned Nijjar about the dangers he faced, but they did not disclose that he was the target of an alleged Indian government plot.
Duty to Warn: US Officials Respond After Sikh Leader’s Killing
American intelligence agencies were not aware of the plot or India’s alleged involvement until after Nijjar’s assassination had taken place, allied officials have revealed.
Following the killing, US officials informed their Canadian counterparts that they had not possessed any advance information about the plot, emphasizing that they would have promptly shared such intelligence under the duty to warn doctrine had they been aware of it.
The disclosure of US intelligence involvement has introduced Washington into the diplomatic standoff between Canada and India, when the US is striving to strengthen its partnership with India as a counterbalance to China’s growing influence in Asia.
The accusation of India’s involvement in the assassination has already led to the expulsion of intelligence officers and visa suspensions between Ottawa and New Delhi, causing a significant rift.
The killing and the alleged role of the Indian government have raised eyebrows in Washington. While targeted killings are not uncommon in international espionage, particularly in unstable regions, it is unusual for a democratic nation to be implicated in a lethal covert operation within another democratic country.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian officials have refrained from divulging specific intelligence details that led to their suspicions about India’s involvement.
Canadian authorities emphasize the need to safeguard the ongoing Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation into the assassination.
Allied officials have likewise been tight-lipped about the nature of the intelligence the United States shares.
Source: The Seattle Times