Soft Target (book)
|Author||Zuhair Kashmeri & Brian McAndrew|
|Genre||Investigative Journalism, Espionage, Canadian Sikhs, Canadian History|
|Publisher||James Lorimer & Company|
|1989 and reprint in 2005|
|Media type||Print Paperback & Cloth|
|ISBN||1-55028-221-2 (Paperback 1989) & 1-55028-904-7 (2005)|
|Followed by||Reprint in 2005|
Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada is an investigative journalism work in the form of a book written by two Canadian reporters Zuhair Kashmeri (from Globe and Mail) & Brian McAndrew (from Toronto Star). The authors define Soft Target as "an espionage term used for any country, institution or group of people very easy to penetrate and manipulate for subversive purposes" and argue that the Canadian Sikh community was a "Soft Target" of a covert operation by the Indian government during the 1980s. The book also makes a bold claim that Indian intelligence agencies not only penetrated the Sikh community in order to discredit them world wide and halt the momentum of the demand of an independent Sikhs state, but also manipulated the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).
The 1989 edition is partitioned into 10 chapters. The authors claim that though the book is written in the form of a spy-thriller, and that all of the facts and documentation are real.
The book was republished in the acquittal year of the two accused in the case due to absence of evidence although a third accomplice, Inderjit Singh Reyat pleaded guilty of another related charge of detonating explosives in a forest.
Reyat is seen in the book being fed a story by Indian government agents. That story almost exactly matches the story he told in his plea.
I.J. Singh from the editorial advisory board of The Sikh Review, Calcutta and The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Punjabi University, Patiala reviews the book as "A gripping tale, cleverly told with clarity and brevity...delves into areas where solid proof is often elusive and evidence rarely follows a straight path".
The book quotes an investigator from the Canadian Security Investigation Service as saying, “If you really want to clear the incidents quickly, take vans down to the Indian High Commission and the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver, load up everybody and take them down for questioning. We know it and they know it that they are involved.” The book claims that within hours after the flight was blown up, the Indian Consul General in Toronto, Surinder Malik (no relation to Ripudaman Singh Malik), called in a detailed description of the bombing and the names of those he said were involved, information that the Canadian government didn’t discover until weeks later. Mr. Malik said to look on the passenger manifest for the name “L. Singh.” This would turn out to be Lal Singh, who told the press that he was offered “two million dollars and settlement in a nice country” by the Indian regime to give false testimony in the case.
In response to the damming allegations and revelations made in the book, the book was banned in India.
References to the book
- International Bibliography of Sikh Studies By Rajwant Singh Chilana pp 455
- Assessing Canadian Intelligence Literature: 1980-2000 GEOFFREY R WELLER - 2001 - International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence
- Zuhair, Kashmeri; McAndrew, Brian (1989). Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada. James Lorimer & Company. ISBN 1-55028-221-2.
- "2 although acquitted of the Air India Bombings (CBC News Canada)". 2005-03-17. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
- Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 TERRORISM, INTELLIGENCE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT–CANADA’S RESPONSE TO SIKH TERRORISM http://www.majorcomm.ca/documents/dossier2_ENG.pdf DOSSIER 2)
- Telegraph India http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100718/jsp/7days/story_12697165.jsp)