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Key findings of the bombing of Air India Flight 182 Commission of Inquiry‏

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Jan 7, 2005
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    Opening Remarks
    The Honourable John C. Major, C.C., Q.C
    On the release of the Report of the
    Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182

    The bombing of Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985 was an act of terrorism. Three hundred and twentynine
    persons – passengers and crew – died in the North Atlantic off the coast of Ireland. The majority of
    the passengers were Canadian; one quarter of the victims (82) were under the age of thirteen. Their families
    still grieve for them here in Canada.

    The bomb that blew up Air India Flight 182 was manufactured in Canada as part of a plot that was
    developed in Canada. The bomb was hidden in luggage that was placed on a Canadian plane in
    Vancouver and later transferred to Air India 182 in Toronto which stopped in Montreal to pick up
    additional passengers before it commenced its fatal flight. Another bomb was placed on a Canadian plane
    in Vancouver, in luggage destined for an Air India flight, and exploded in Narita, Japan, killing two
    baggage handlers.

    I stress that this is a Canadian atrocity. For too long the greatest loss of Canadian lives at the hands of
    terrorists has been somehow relegated outside the Canadian consciousness.

    For this reason, in December 2007, we released our first report – “The Families Remember” – to chronicle
    the human toll inflicted by terrorists. The moving testimonials described the unfulfilled potential, the
    broken dreams, and the loss of great leaders, high achievers, and role models – young and old. All were
    loved and their families were left to struggle with unimaginable suffering. Their stories are Canadian or
    have a strong Canadian connection.

    But the story of Air India Flight 182 goes beyond the loss of life, as terrible as that is. This was the largest
    mass murder in Canadian history. A cascading series of errors contributed to the failure of our police and
    security forces to prevent this atrocity. The level of error, incompetence, and inattention which took place
    before the flight was sadly mirrored in many ways for many years, in how authorities, Governments, and
    institutions dealt with the aftermath of the murder of so many innocents: in the investigation, the legal
    proceedings, and in providing information, support and comfort to the families.

    Our task was not easy. Our work commenced more than twenty years after the Air India plane, Kanishka,
    was destroyed. Memories fade, files and other information disappear, and the fear of criticism often
    coloured how government agencies responded to our Inquiry.

    I am proud that this Commission of Inquiry was conducted publicly. There were no secret hearings in
    which any evidence was taken. The public has a right to know what happened and why it was allowed to
    happen and, if errors were made on the part of our law enforcement and security agencies, what they were
    and which agencies were responsible.

    In our report, no blame is placed on any individuals, but we do note that various institutions and
    organizations did not fulfill their responsibilities. While our terms of reference were broad and all
    encompassing, it was not our task to review the work of our legal system. It was never part of our mandate
    to identify the perpetrators of this crime.

    There were seven Terms of Reference in the Commission’s mandate:

    Threat Assessment
    – Were there deficiencies in how Canada’s government agencies assessed the threat

    posed by Sikh terrorism before and after June 1985?

    Interagency Cooperation

    – What was the nature and level of cooperation between the RCMP, CSIS,

    Transport Canada and other government agencies and what changes are required to prevent a recurrence of
    the Air India tragedy?

    These two issues are dealt with in detail in Volume Two.
    The Relationship between Security Intelligence and Evidence

    – Volume Three of this Report

    substantively examines this critical relationship and how it impacts on criminal trials

    Terrorist Financing

    – Is the current Canadian legal framework adequate to deal with these individuals and

    organizations, including charitable organizations who supply funds to terrorist organizations. All of
    Volume Five examines this issue.

    Witness Protection

    – Do current practice and legislation provide sufficient protection to persons who agree

    to be witnesses at terrorism trials? This issue, along with protection of sources during investigations is dealt
    with in Volume Three.

    Prosecution of Terrorism Cases

    – Are there unique challenges associated with the prosecution of terrorism

    cases, and are there changes in legislation and practice required? This too is dealt with in detail in Volume
    - and finally –

    Aviation Security

    – The Terms of Reference required us to look at the practices and legislation dealing

    with the screening of passengers and their luggage. But early on we determined that this in itself would be
    inadequate because aviation security goes well beyond this. So in Volume Four we have taken a broader
    approach to our review of aviation security in Canada – from 1985 to the present.

    The issues are complex. The amount of information that has been amassed over 25 years is voluminous.

    Our responsibility has been to review, analyse, and digest it all in accordance with our Terms of Reference
    for the benefit of all Canadians. The result is a report that spans five Volumes.

    What we found was often surprising and disturbing. Overall, the Government of Canada and its agencies
    in 1985 were not prepared for a terrorist act like the bombing of Air India Flight 182. Although the threat
    of sabotage was well-known by the early 1980s, Canadian agencies still focused on hijacking and operated
    as if it was the primary threat. Communications within and between security, law enforcement and
    transport agencies were often flawed or non-existent. Agencies relied on different concepts of risk and what
    constituted a threat to security. A lack of awareness of the threat of Sikh terrorism at the agency level led to
    inadequate procedures and practices, and employees were often poorly trained. This reflected a culture of

    There was a great deal of information available to CSIS and the RCMP before the bombing of Air India
    Flight 182 that should have called for enhanced security procedures and vigilance. In addition to the
    information that Mr. Bartleman testified that he had seen, this included highly classified CSE information
    of clear potential relevance that was not provided to CSIS, and a Telex in early June 1985 from Air India
    warning of the potential for bombs being hidden in luggage. CSIS did not see this information either,
    because the Telex was not passed on to anyone by the RCMP. I should point out, as I do in the report, that
    erroneous information on this point was provided by the RCMP to Bob Rae whose investigation led to the
    creation of this Commission of Inquiry. This alone is disturbing, but there were other instances we
    discovered where government agencies were not always forthcoming to this Commission.

    Many specific examples of aviation security lapses are detailed in the report. But the example of Brian
    Simpson was particularly striking. As a summer employee he boarded Flight 182 at Pearson Airport in
    Toronto without detection on the afternoon of June 22, 1985. He had complete access to the aircraft from
    the Cockpit to the equipment at the rear. The attempts by Government counsel to discredit this witness
    were ineffectual; as were their similar efforts with Mr. Bartleman and Staff Sergeant Solvason. Mr.
    Simpson’s evidence revealed numerous weaknesses in security.
    During the investigation that followed the bombing, and is continuing to this day, CSIS and the RCMP
    were unable to cooperate effectively, or sometimes at all. This was particularly apparent when it came to
    human sources. There were individuals in the Sikh community who claimed to have knowledge about the
    bombing and its perpetrators. The Agencies failed to obtain that information, to preserve it for use as
    evidence, or to offer adequate protection to those individuals. Instead, they engaged in “turf-wars”, failed
    to share information, and adopted a misguided approach to the sources. In the end, of the three individuals
    who were to be the key witnesses in the Air India trial, one was murdered before the trial began, one
    feigned memory loss because she was too frightened to testify, and one was forced to enter the Witness
    Protection Program two years earlier than planned, due to the RCMP’s inadvertent disclosure of her
    identity. Another source ended up never providing the information he was thought to have, and that
    information remains unknown.

    Almost immediately after the bombing, the government of the day, and subsequent governments, chose to
    speak with “one voice”. This approach continued up to and through our hearings and continues still. This
    made our assignment more difficult and often frustrated our attempts to find out what really went wrong.

    The Final Submissions of Government counsel tended to paint a picture of harmony and understanding,
    where little existed. At the same time, and somewhat inconsistently, the Government argued, “That was
    then, this is now” basically suggesting that whatever weaknesses or deficiencies existed in 1985 have been
    fully recognized, analysed, and rectified in the present day. This Commission rejects that position. There
    remains a failure to recognize what went wrong, why, and what should be done today. In addition, there is
    a need for reform of our institutions which must not have to wait for the urgency that would arise from
    another terrorist attack.

    We make numerous recommendations to better manage the intelligence / evidence relationship. Primary
    amongst these is our recommendation that the role of the National Security Advisor in the Privy Council
    Office be enhanced. This is a crucial and fundamental requirement to achieve better co-ordination across
    the many agencies that have national security responsibilities.

    We also recommend the creation of a Director of Terrorism Prosecutions, appointed by the Attorney
    General of Canada. Because of the difficulties that arose with destruction of potential evidence (for
    example, the Parmar tapes), we make recommendations on modernizing the collection and retention of
    evidence in CSIS. We also make recommendations dealing with disclosure of intelligence and various
    privileges, including police informer privilege. We recommend that the Canada Evidence Act be amended
    so that the trial court in a terrorism prosecution will be responsible for making decisions on National
    Security Confidentiality, rather than continuing the present two court system with responsibility divided
    between the Federal Court of Canada and the Superior Court in the Province conducting the trial. As well,
    we endorse the use of security cleared Special Advocates to challenge government claims of National
    Security privilege, and the passage of legislation to clarify the scope of this privilege.

    Because of the special circumstances of witnesses in terrorism cases, we recommend a new position – the
    National Security Witness Protection Coordinator to manage the protection of those who are willing to risk
    their well-being to assist in the prosecution of terrorists.

    We also make recommendations on the management of complex terrorism prosecutions and, after much
    consideration, reject the notion of moving to a three-judge system. We believe that such a system would be
    no more effective than the current system.

    In the area of aviation security, we make additional recommendations. We conclude that security
    measures have to be applied in mutually reinforcing layers in order to address all vulnerabilities in the
    system. We call for government and other responsible parties to close the remaining gaps in the civil
    aviation security system, especially with respect to air cargo and airport security inside the terminal, airside
    in general aviation areas, and on the perimeter. We note the recent announcement by the Government of
    Canada to allocate resources for new air cargo security measures. However, a comprehensive approach is
    still essential.

    We stress the need for a national risk management protocol that includes all of the major players in the
    security system – intelligence, law enforcement, transport, air carriers and contracted services. Through
    public education, Transport Canada and other responsible agencies should “foster a culture of security
    awareness and consistent vigilance.” This includes proper training of front line workers as well as other
    airport personnel.

    In addition to our specific recommendations, we make four observations which bear mention.

    First, we believe that the RCMP is not properly structured to deal with terrorism prosecutions. There is a
    need for greater specialization and a more concentrated focus on the means for investigating and
    supporting the prosecution of national security offences. Perhaps the time has arrived to re-assess the role
    of the RCMP in providing contractual policing services in many of the Provinces
    Second, Canada has a great deal to learn about terrorism – why it exists and how it operates. To this end,
    we are proposing the development of an academic centre to study terrorism and counterterrorism – similar
    to the Security and Defence Forum sponsored by the Department of National Defence.

    To commemorate the victims of the Air India bombing, we propose that the Government name this “The
    Kanishka Centre”.

    Third, this Commission believes that there would be great merit in a demonstration of solicitude by the
    present Government for the families of the victims of the bombing.

    To this end, we propose the creation of
    an independent body to “recommend an appropriate

    ex gratia payment and to oversee its distribution.”

    The families, in some ways, have often been treated as adversaries, as if they had somehow brought this
    calamity upon themselves. This goes against the Canadian sense of fairness and propriety. Our report sets
    out the inherent injustice of what has transpired in terms of the treatment of the families of the victims to
    date at the hands of previous Governments. The time to right that historical wrong is now.

    Finally, a Commission ends once its report has been submitted. But, there is too much at stake, there are
    still too many risks, to allow our Report and our recommendations to be read, discussed, and then
    forgotten without any follow-up action being taken. We strongly urge the Government to establish some
    sort of an oversight mechanism to report on how our recommendations are being addressed: those that
    have been implemented; those that have been rejected; and those that require further study.

    The Government needs to take responsibility to avoid further failures and to prevent a return to a culture of
    complacency. The finest tribute that could be paid to the victims of the bombing of Air India Flight 182
    would be the creation of a rigorous aviation security system. This will require cooperation and resources –
    but, most importantly, leadership from the highest levels of government. Canada owes this legacy to the
    victims and their families.

    The issues that we addressed are issues that also confront us today, albeit in a different context, as much as
    they did 25 years ago. Our allies are faced with essentially the same challenges. I hope that this report will
    not only assist our Government but others as well.


    June 17, 2010

    Key Findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the

    Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182


    Government agencies were in possession of significant pieces of information that, taken

    together, would have led a competent analyst to conclude that Flight 182 was at high risk of

    being bombed by known Sikh terrorists in June 1985.

    James Bartleman’s evidence that, shortly before the bombing, he saw a specific threat to Air

    India Flight 182, is credible. The Commission accepts the possibility that such a document would

    have been ignored and then subsequently have gone missing.

    Additional, highly classified, threat information was in the possession of the Communications

    Security Establishment (CSE). This information, which was received by the Commission after the

    close of the hearings, was consistent with other information about the threat of sabotage and
    hijacking by Sikh extremists in June 1985, and indicated that Indian airports were undertaking
    security audits in response to the threat.

    Even without the evidence of James Bartleman and the CSE information, the Commission finds

    that the amount of information collectively held by the Government made the failure to

    implement appropriate anti

    sabotage measures inexcusable.

    The view of Canadian officials prior to the bombing that governmentowned Air India was

    “crying wolf” in order to obtain additional security for free was misguided.

    The institutional arrangements and practices of informationgathering agencies were wholly

    deficient in terms of internal and external sharing of information, as well as analysis.

    Government agencies failed to appreciate the nature and the seriousness of the threat of Sikh


    The fivemonth delay in CSIS’ application to intercept Parmar’s communications, which was a

    result of a warrant conversion process that prioritized existing warrants over new applications,

    was entirely disproportionate to the level of the threat.

    CSIS surveillance was ineffective. Surveillants were unable to distinguish one traditionally

    attired Sikh from another. When a CSIS surveillance team observed experiments involving a test

    explosion conducted by Sikh extremists in the woods in Duncan B.C. in June 1985 (the Duncan
    Blast), the loud sound heard was misinterpreted as a gunshot. No photograph was taken of the
    unknown third person present (Mr. X.) because surveillants had not brought a camera.

    CSIS failed to include important information, such as the Duncan Blast, in the threat

    assessments it provided to the RCMP and Transport Canada.

    The RCMP wasted resources creating a threat assessment structure parallel to CSIS’. The RCMP

    structure was itself ineffective

    it failed to identify, report, and share threat information.

    The RCMP failed to transmit the June 1st Telex, warning about the possibility of bombing with


    delayed devices in June 1985, to either CSIS or to Transport Canada.

    Excessive secrecy in information sharing prevented any one agency from obtaining all necessary

    information to assess the threat. Excessive secrecy also prevented those on the frontlines from

    obtaining information necessary to put in place security measures responsive to the threat.

    Effective protective measures were not implemented in response to the threat to Air India Flight


    The concept of “specific threat” was misunderstood and misapplied. When a callin bomb

    threat was deemed to be “specific,” it would trigger an elaborate airport emergency protocol

    which, had it been employed on June 22, 1985, would likely have identified the bomb. This
    protocol had no application outside of the call

    in threat situation. When intelligence was

    received through other channels, a lack of extreme specificity was at times wrongly used to deny

    additional protective resources.

    Today, the concept of specific threat has become an excuse to explain why more was not done

    to prevent the bombing on June 22, 1985.

    Security measures in response to possible threats to aviation were poorly thought out and

    mechanically applied. They were not tailored to meet the particular nature of the threat.

    Despite the knowledge of the threat of sabotage, Transport Canada and RCMP Protective

    Policing displayed a lack of flexibility by continuing to rely on anti

    hijacking security measures,

    which did not address the threat of bombing.

    There was a lack of cooperation and communication within the RCMP and between RCMP,

    Transport Canada and airlines in relation to airport security.

    Although Air India was operating under an elevated threat level, CP Air (the airline upon which

    the bomb was loaded in Vancouver) was not informed of this fact and was operating under

    normal security protocols.

    In retrospect, the behaviour of those who booked and paid for the tickets and checkedin the

    bags should have raised red flags, but a customer service mentality governed at the time, and

    airline staff were not instructed to watch for indicia of harmful intentions.

    In allowing the unaccompanied bag to be loaded on to its Torontodestined flight, CP Air failed

    to follow its own baggage security procedures.

    Transport Canada failed to pass then existing draft regulations, which would have enhanced the

    security of Canadian airports, and failed until after the bombing to implement known antisabotage


    One antisabotage measure known at the time was passengerbaggage reconciliation (a process

    of matching passengers with their baggage in order to prevent unauthorized bags from being

    placed on board aircraft, treating the passenger and their baggage as a single entity). Had

    baggage reconciliation been used, the bombing of Air India Flight 182 would have

    been prevented.

    Canadian airports were plagued by a lax security culture. Restricted areas were not adequately

    protected, and private security guards and janitorial staff were not required to undergo criminal

    record checks. Persons with known associations to Sikh extremist groups had access to highly
    sensitive areas at Vancouver International Airport.

    Privatization and cutbacks had a negative impact on airport security. Air India was left to

    implement security measures with little to no supervision by Government. Personnel in charge

    of screening the luggage, who were employees of a private security company, were underpaid
    and inadequately trained.

    At Pearson airport, RCMP and Transport employees were aware of ongoing problems with the


    ray machine and had demonstrated the PD4 sniffer to be ineffective. On the day of the

    bombing, the remaining bags were scanned only with the PD4 sniffer when the X

    ray machine

    failed. The security employees contracted by Air India had no prior experience or formal training

    in the operation of the PD4. No one informed the supervisors that the device may have reacted
    to some of the bags it scanned.

    Air India ought to have known that the security measures it was using were inadequate to

    prevent a bomb being placed on its aircraft.

    On June 22, 1985, the security level in force at Pearson and Mirabel airports called for the use of

    an RCMP explosives detection dog (EDD). That weekend, however, all RCMP EDD teams were in

    Vancouver for training, leaving the Toronto airport without any coverage.

    On the day of the bombing, Mr. Brian Simpson, an Air Canada summer employee at the time,

    was able to board the Air India aircraft stationed outside the international departures area of

    Pearson, walk around for 10 minutes or so, and leave, without challenge.

    In Montreal, after three suspicious bags were identified and left unattended, the flight was

    cleared for departure by Air India before the arrival of the explosives detection dog. Security

    employee Daniel Lalonde overheard the Air India security officer mention cost

    related reasons

    for this decision.



    CSIS often failed to disclose promptly to the RCMP information relevant to the criminal

    investigation, particularly information from human sources, or it disclosed information without

    sufficient detail or in a manner that prevented the RCMP from using the information.

    CSIS was mesmerized by the mantra that “CSIS doesn’t collect evidence,” and used it to justify

    the destruction of raw material and information. CSIS erased the tapes that caught coded

    conversations possibly related to the planning of the bombing, and CSIS investigators destroyed
    their notes that recorded the information CSIS sources provided in relation to the Air India
    bombing. Both of these actions compromised the prosecution’s evidentiary position at trial.

    CSIS delayed disclosure of necessary information for the prosecution of Interjit Singh Reyat by

    adopting a legalistic and technical approach in responding to requests from prosecutor James


    The RCMP never made a written request that the Parmar tapes be preserved, though it was

    aware of their existence, and also never made a verbal request specific to the Parmar tapes until

    months into the investigation, when the early tapes were already erased. CSIS only ceased
    ongoing erasure in 1986, following a request by the Department of Justice in connection with
    the civil litigation.

    It is impossible to determine what information, if any, was lost due to the tape erasures and it is

    impossible to tell whether all tapes were listened to before being erased.

    The RCMP often prematurely discounted or failed to follow up on intelligence leads that did not

    conform to its primary theory of the case. For example, one suspect was ruled out based on

    observations, made two years after the bombing, that his hair did not look like the hair of one of
    the individuals who had checked in the luggage, as depicted in an imprecise composite drawing.

    The RCMP also prematurely dismissed information on the basis of preliminary assessments of

    credibility. When Person 1, prior to the bombing, provided information about a plot to bomb an

    Air India plane, his information was discounted as it was believed he was providing the
    information for his own personal interests. This suspicion persisted after the bombing and it
    took months – and critical media reports – before the RCMP reluctantly followed up on Person
    1’s information, which was ultimately verified by a polygraph examination.

    The RCMP failed to appreciate the continuing threat of Sikh extremism or the fear sources had

    of their cooperation with the police being discovered. As a result, the RCMP often alienated

    sources, including sources who had previously been willing to speak to CSIS, because of the
    manner in which it treated them.

    The RCMP failed to appropriately protect sources and witnesses.

    The RCMP, at times, failed to take threats against Tara Singh Hayer seriously.

    The RCMP eventually installed a video surveillance system in Mr. Hayer’s home, after his name

    appeared on a “hit list.” However the system was deficient and was not functioning properly on

    the day of his murder. The RCMP failed to inform Mr. Hayer’s family that no image had been
    captured on the video cassette.

    The RCMP devoted diminishing resources to the Air India investigation over time, and at one

    point only one member was assigned to the case.

    The RCMP investigation was plagued by internal strife within the E Division team and between E

    Division and Headquarters. Creative approaches to the investigation were often discouraged.

    Little progress was made until the 1995 decision to review and revive the investigation, in part
    because of a concern about the political fallout of a public admission that the investigation was
    at an impasse.


    Immediately after the bombing, the Government issued public statements denying any


    Early on, officials from Foreign Affairs made sincere efforts to provide assistance to the families,

    in Canada and in Ireland, with limited resources and without the benefit of formal guidelines,

    given the unprecedented nature of the disaster.

    During initial inquiries in Ireland and India, instructions were issued to avoid acknowledgement

    that the crash was caused by a bomb.

    Efforts were made to limit funds expended to respond to the concerns of the families. The civil

    suit they launched was settled early on by hard bargaining, before disclosure was made of much

    of the information now learned in this Inquiry.

    The families were not kept informed about the investigation by the Government, and often

    learned about new developments through the media. The RCMP only began to liaise with the

    families directly after 1995. CSIS refused to participate.

    Over the past 25 years, the RCMP has at times inappropriately invoked concerns about its

    ongoing investigation in order to limit the information provided to the families or to external


    Government agencies consistently opposed external review and attempted, at times

    successfully, to avoid or delay such reviews. Concerns about possible prejudice to the

    Government’s position in the civil litigation with the families was cited as one of the reasons for
    this opposition.

    When a review did proceed in the early 1990s, the agencies coordinated their responses in an

    attempt to avoid contradiction and present a picture of greater cooperation than in fact existed.

    The RCMP briefing provided in this review was less than accurate in its description of the
    ongoing relationship with CSIS.

    The briefings provided by the agencies for the Rae review contained several significant

    inaccuracies which were not revealed until this Inquiry, including a statement by the RCMP that

    it had passed on the June 1

    st Telex to CSIS; a statement by RCMP and Transport that the

    presence of a dogmaster was part of the security measures in place at Toronto airport on the

    day of the bombing; and a statement by CSIS that it had advised the RCMP the day after the
    crash about the CSIS intercept on Parmar’s communications.

    The Government overredacted the documents initially provided for public release in this


    The RCMP inappropriately relied on the fact of its ongoing investigation to deny the Commission

    important information when it failed, without reasonable justification, to advise the Commission

    forthwith that an individual who might potentially have had relevant information had requested
    to speak to the Commission. The RCMP then continued to withhold this information, without
    justification, even after the usefulness of the individual to the criminal investigation had been

    The Government had only one set of counsel represent all potentially affected departments and

    agencies before this Inquiry. This Government decision to “speak with one voice,” despite

    known differences in viewpoint, meant that the Commission was not always presented with a
    clear statement of the agencies’ positions about contentious issues.


    There is a lack of institutionalized coordination and direction in national security matters.

    Canadian agencies have developed a culture of managing information in a manner designed to

    protect their individual institutional interests.

    The current practice of attempting to limit the information CSIS provides to the RCMP in order

    to prevent its disclosure in potential criminal proceedings is misguided, as disclosure obligations

    at trial are engaged by potential relevance, not by which agency has seen the information. The
    result of such efforts to deny intelligence to the police is an impoverished response to terrorist

    The processes and procedures by which decisions are made as to what information should be

    passed exchanged between the intelligence and law enforcement communities are seriously

    flawed and require substantial revision.

    There is no “silver bullet” solution to reconciling the needs of intelligence and law enforcement.

    Neither interest is absolute and neither one can trump the claims of the other in all situations.

    Reform must be directed at improving decision making by ensuring that the decision maker is
    capable of taking into account both sets of interests as well as the broad national interest. The
    recommendations are structured to meet that objective.


    Many of the same deficiencies in aviation security that were identified in 1985 continue to be

    raised as urgent concerns today.

    Aviation security is a core governmental function related to national security.

    In aviation security, there is a tendency to focus on “fighting the last war” instead of taking

    necessary, proactive measures.

    A holistic approach to aviation security is required because terrorists continuously probe

    aviation security regimes, looking for weaknesses. This approach involves multiple, mutually

    reinforcing layers of security measures.

    A culture of security awareness accepted by all stakeholders is essential to guard against


    Air terminals can themselves be targetrich environments for terrorists.

    While fortresslike security is applied to the more publicly visible side of civil aviation, the side

    that is more hidden from public scrutiny remains exposed.


    Air cargo is neither routinely searched prior to loading, nor subjected to adequate screening

    measures. Its vulnerability, which has been understood by the Government for decades, makes

    it a serious potential target for sabotage. Canada does not meet its international treaty
    obligation to prevent unauthorized explosives and other dangerous devices or substances from
    being placed on board civil aviation aircraft “by any means whatsoever”. The Government’s
    failure to take swift action to close this gap is inexcusable.

    Access to airside and restricted areas of airports is poorly controlled and the system for

    screening non

    passengers who access restricted areas of airports can be easily circumvented.

    Lax perimeter security also allows vehicles and their occupants to enter airside portions of the

    airport with minimal, if any, screening. As a result, aircraft and passengers are vulnerable to

    CATSA has encountered significant difficulties in recruiting and retaining screening personnel.

    Behavioural analysis (direct observation of passengers prior to boarding aircraft) is already being

    conducted in airports and on some flights by Aircraft Protection Officers (RCMP officers assigned

    to Canada’s air marshall program). However, there was a broad consensus among witnesses
    that if consideration is given to expanding its use, behavioural analysis should be thoroughly
    reviewed in order to determine whether its benefits outweigh the risks it poses to individual

    The value of Canada’s air marshall program is impossible to quantify, but it may provide another

    layer of protection, particularly in relation to high

    risk flights.

    The “nofly list” program has not proven to be effective.

    There is no coordinated, systemwide risk management strategy among stakeholders in

    Canadian aviation security, which may allow significant risks in civil aviation to go unnoticed.


    Canada’s current antiterrorist financing model, which was created on the basis of its existing


    money laundering model, is not wellsuited to capture terrorist financing transactions.

    Canada must comply with a series of international obligations and requirements in terms of its


    terrorist financing programs and activities. For the most part, Canada is in compliance with

    those requirements but as is often the case in such matters, this is a continuing effort and there

    is still room for improvement.

    Up until at least very recently, the level of resources dedicated to antiterrorist financing

    measures was inadequate. Resource levels in all concerned agencies or departments should be

    monitored and modified as needed on a regular basis.

    The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and the Canada

    Revenue Agency (CRA) are not adequately integrated into the intelligence cycle to effectively

    detect terrorist financing or to provide the best financial intelligence to CSIS and the RCMP.

    As of the Commission hearings, the CRA had not revoked or deregistered any charitable

    registrations on grounds of terrorism financing.

    It is not clear that all relevant federal, provincial and municipal authorities have the same

    appreciation of the risks posed by terrorism financing. There is definite room for improvement

    in terms of intergovernmental cooperation and efforts to combat that phenomenon.

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