United Nations, International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings
U.N. Doc. A/52/653 (25 November 1997); entered into force 23 May 2001, signed 12 Jan 1998 but not yet ratified by Canada. See articles 1 and 2 for definition of place, nature, and type of offences at Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1973, entered into force 20 February 1977. Canada a party signing and ratifying, 26 Jun 1974 and 4 Aug 1976 respectively. See article 2 in the text for a definition of crimes.
International Convention against the Taking of Hostages
adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 17 December 1979, entered into force 3 June 1983, signed and ratified by Canada 18 Feb 1980 and 4 Dec 1985 respectively.
International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism
adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 December 1999 (not yet in force); signed 10 Feb 2000 by Canada but not yet ratified.
Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft
done at The Hague on 16 December 1970
Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation
done at Montreal on 23 September 1971
Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation
done at Montreal on 24 February 1988
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents
adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1973
Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
adopted at Vienna on 3 March 1980
Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation
done at Rome on 10 March 1988http://www.undcp.org/terrorism_convention_maritime_navigation.html
Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms located on the Continental Shelf
done at Rome on 10 March 1988
Canadas Department of International Trade and Foreign Affairs has collected several older treaties at its site on terrorism at
and is updating the site at
Terrorism in Canada: Air India Flight 182 Disaster
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Terrorism in Canada: Air India Flight 182 Disaster
The Air India disaster occurred on July 22nd, 1985. It is believed to be the most serious terrorist act that has ever taken place in Canada, claiming the lives of over three hundred people, most of them Canadian. To the present day, the bombings remain a mystery, with only one person charged in connection with the crime. Almost 15 years after flight 182 plummeted into the Atlantic off the coast of Ireland it continues to be investigated by authorities throughout the world, including the RCMP and CSIS in Canada.
Sometime in mid-June of 1985, a man with a slight east-Asian accent called the Canadian Airlines international reservations desk in Vancouver, and after a number of inquiries, booked tickets for two flights departing from Vancouver on July 22nd. The first was booked to Narita, Japan in the name of L. Singh, the second, from Vancouver to Toronto, where the passenger M. Singh would transfer to Air India flight 182 to New Dehli, India.
A man described as "A bearded Indian male wearing a mustard colored turban ," (www.airindia.istar.ca) paid for both tickets in person, in cash, a few days later. For both lights, luggage was checked under the names of both passengers, but neither party boarded their respective flights.
Canadian Airlines flight 003 to Narita, Japan arrived at its destination without incident. However, at 7:13 London time, a suitcase exploded while being unloaded from the plane, killing two baggage handlers and injuring others. The luggage for M. Singh was transferred in Toronto to the Air India flight. At 8:13 London time, the pilot radioed that everything was normal as the plane started it's descent into London's Heathrow Airport. Moments later, the plane exploded, and crashed from an altitude of 31,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland. Following the crash, an unprecedented salvage operation took place, in which jet wreckage was recovered from ocean depths that had been previously unexplored. The investigation of the crash revealed the following:
¨ the black box recorded a thud, muffled bang and a faint shriek.
¨ the pilot tried to send a distress call while he desperately attempted to gain control of the aircraft.
¨ fan blades on the engines were not bent indicating the engines were not running when the plane hit the water.
¨ One hundred and thirty-one bodies were recovered from the crash site.
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Flight Disaster India Canada Terrorism Singh Vancouver Desk Toronto Altitude
Pathologists report some people survived the blast and the crash, only to drown once the plane was in the water.
¨ The remaining bodies still lay in their watery grave.
¨ Experts in the field of aviation from around the world have concluded the crash was caused by a bomb.
¨ Salvage operations of unprecedented proportions at depths not previously achieved were undertaken. Numerous pieces of evidence were returned to the surface.
¨ Experts from around the world concluded that a bomb caused the mid-air explosion and subsequent explosion. 329 people died in the crash (156 Canadians). (www.airindia.istar.ca)
The crash initiated an investigation by the RCMP and CSIS in Canada which is still ongoing. On March 11, 1999, the RCMP announced that it had spent $26 million on the Air India probe (Globe and Mail, Jan 26, 2000). The only person charged in connection with either explosion was Inderjit Singh Reyat. He was charge by the RCMP for his involvement in the deaths of the two baggage handlers in Narita, Japan, and found guilty on counts of Manslaughter, making an explosive substance with intent to cause an explosion, and possession of explosives. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and subject to a firearms prohibition (www.airindia.istar.ca).
Despite the lack of charges laid, the RCMP has stated that they are aware of 5 persons that they believe to be involved in the Air India bombing. In 1992, Talwinder Singh Alwar, a key suspect in the bombing was killed in India (Globe and Mail, Jan 26, 2000). No charges have been laid in connection with the crime due to lack of evidence.
In the most recent development, an anonymous CSIS agent who worked on the Air India case reported to the Globe and Mail that he had destroyed videotaped interviews that contained key information (Globe and Mail, Jan 26, 2000). He claimed that he did not turn over the evidence to the RCMP because he did not feel they could protect his sources- whose identities he continues to protect today. The informants were members of the Sikh community in Vancouver that stepped forward to provide vital information on suspects in the bombing and others involved in the conspiracy. "In retrospect, the destruction of up to 150 hours of taped interviews and cutting loose of the informants may have prolonged the investigation by years, the agent said," and adds that ""the continued service of the informants might have shortened the probe by years," (Globe and Mail, January, 26, 2000).
The Air India crash and Narita Airport explosion are still mainly mysteries. Any information that is known has been kept secret by the RCMP and CSIS, though the recent admission by the CSIS agent of destroying evidence has renewed calls for a public inquiry into the bombing (Globe and Mail, Jan 27, 2000). A reward of $1 million has been offered to any person that can provide information leading to a conviction in connection with the case.
The Globe and Mail, Metro Edition, January 26, 2000.
The Globe and Mail, Metro Edition, January 27, 2000.