The Public Report on Terrorism Threat to Canada 2018 has described Sikh (Khalistani) Terrorism as a “concern”. This the first time under the Trudeau government that the Khalistani groups have been included in the report.
The “2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada” outlines some of the terrorist threat methods and capabilities that were globally observed throughout 2018. #OurNatlSec https://t.co/7I23e3SUKf pic.twitter.com/J5qIlmeoRM
— Public Safety Canada (@Safety_Canada) December 12, 2018
The report is published by Public Safety Canada, an agency created in 2003 to ensure coordination across all the departments and agencies responsible for national security.
The Ministerial Forward to the report says that the National Terrorism Threat Level which is a broad indicator of the terrorist threat to Canada has not changed since 2014 and remains at medium.
Despite attacks by Khalistani extremism being limited, the report considers it a matter of concern. “Furthermore, Shia and Sikh (Khalistani) extremism also remain of concern because while their attacks in Canada have been extremely limited, some Canadians continue to support these extremist groups, including through financing. At the time of publication, Canada’s National Terrorism Threat Level remains at medium, as set in early October 2014 – meaning a violent act of terrorism could occur”, reads the Executive Summary of the Report.
The report claims that, while violent activities in support of Khalistan have fallen since their peak during 1982-1993, support for the extreme ideologies remains. The 1985 Air India bombing by Khalistani terrorists, which killed 331 people, remains the deadliest terrorist plot ever launched in Canada as per the report.
The two Khalistani Groups that have been identified in the report as being associated with terrorism are Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF). The report describes BKI as a terrorist entity that aims to establish a fundamentalist independent Sikh state called ‘Khalistan’ (Land of the Pure) in what is presently the Indian state of Punjab. According to the report, the BKI is involved in armed attacks, assassinations and bombings and has members outside of India in Pakistan, North America, Europe and Scandinavia.
The ISYF is an international branch of the All India Sikh Students’ Federation (AISSF). The organisation also aims to promote Sikh philosophy and establish an independent Sikh nation of Khalistan. The report says that the organisation has been involved in terrorist attacks and bombings primarily against “Indian political figures”. ISYF, as claimed by the report, collaborates with a number of Sikh associations with a number of Sikh terrorist organisations including BKI.