New Delhi: Spy agencies in the United States had given information to Canada following the killing of Canadian Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, “that helped Canada conclude that India had been involved,” but Canada developed the “most definitive intelligence” that led to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleging India’s hand behind the murder, the New York Times has reported, on the basis of quotes from unnamed Western allied officials.
Nijjar was shot dead in Vancouver in Canada on June 18. Canada’s allegation that India is behind the murder has led to a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
This report comes after United States Ambassador to Canada, David Cohen, said in an interview to CTV News, a Canadian news channel, that it is the “shared intelligence among Five Eye partners” that prompted Trudeau to go public with his explosive allegations.
The NYT report quotes officials who said that while US intelligence agencies offered their Canadian counterparts “context that helped Canada conclude that India had been involved…what appears to be the “smoking gun,” intercepted communications of Indian diplomats in Canada indicating involvement in the plot, was gathered by Canadian officials.”
The officials told NYT that the US did not learn about India’s alleged involvement in the plot until after Nijjar was killed. Nor did they know of the plot to kill him. They also said that had they known of the risk, they would have immediately informed Ottawa.
Canadian officials, notably, had warned Nijjar of the risk to his life.
Cohen had said there was “a lot of communication” between Ottawa and Washington in relation to Trudeau’s allegations.
The NYT report notes: “The United States routinely, and automatically, shares huge amounts of intercepted communications with its closest intelligence partners, including Canada. But the contextual information about the killing was shared deliberately as part of a package of various intelligence streams.”