THE STORY OF THE AIR BOMBING
Investigative reporter Salim Jiwa’s second book on the Air India bombing, Margin of Terror, incisively exposes the truth behind Canada’s tragic failure to defuse a terrorist plot and the country’s failure to find final answers to what happened. Why did we fail to prevent it? Why were the RCMP and CSIS so impotent in finding out what happened? Why did government prosecutors hang the outcome of the most important case in our country’s history on a handful of discredited witnesses? What was behind India’s wilful inability to assist with this investigation? What were Indian government spies doing in Canada? Why were Canadian terror
suspects allowed to roam freely inside India? Margin of Terror attempts to answer these haunting questions. It is a historic book that records Jiwa’s work on militancy starting in 1981 and the explosions in two different parts of the world in June 1985 that killed 331 people. The disaster rocked the foundations of Canadian complacency in dealing with budding terror. The book was written with Jiwa’s long-time colleague Don Hauka. It is published by Key Porter Books in Toronto.
Salim Jiwa’s first book, Death Of Air India Flight 182, was written just eight months after the disaster. The core facts of the case presented in it remain intact even today. Now you can read it online for free. The internet edition is revised in some segments. Click Here
Click Here to email the author.
Terror Timetable: How the plot unfolded in history’s worst aircraft bombing
June 16, 1985: A caller using the telephone number of the Ross Street Sikh Temple in Vancouver booked a single ticket for A. Singh to depart Vancouver via CP Flight 003 to Tokyo for June 22, 1985. The departing passenger was to connect with Air India Flight 301 in Tokyo. This ticket was never picked up because a new decision was made to target two aircraft instead of just one.
June 19, 1985: A telephone caller spent a considerable time with a CP Air booking agent looking for suitable connecting flights to New Delhi for two people traveling in different directions from Vancouver. One passenger was to travel to New Delhi via Air India Flight 182 from Toronto and another via Air India Flight 301 in Tokyo.
June 20, 1985: A man wearing a saffron turban arrived at the downtown ticket office of CP Air carrying a wad of cash. He paid for two tickets. One ticket was for passenger M. Singh flying from Vancouver to Toronto on June 22, 1985 via CP Air Flight 060 and connecting with Air India Flight 182 in Toronto. The other passenger, L. Singh, was to fly to Tokyo on the same day via CP Flight 003 and connecting with Air India Flight 301. He paid $3005 cash for the two consecutively numbered tickets.
June 22, 1985: A clean-shaven, well-dressed man lined up at counter 26 at Vancouver International Airport at around 8 a.m. and insisted the clerk direct-connect his bag with Air India Flight 182 in Toronto. The clerk said she could not do that because he was wait-listed on Air India. The passenger argued and clerk Jeannie Adams relented. While his bag was boarded on the flight leaving from Vancouver, M. Singh did not board the aircraft.
June 22, 1985: At around 11 a.m. another Sikh lined up at the same counter to check in his bag for CP Flight 003 to Tokyo. L. Singh’s bag took off but the passenger did not board his flight.
June 23, 1985: At exactly 6.13 (a.m.) GMT, a bag off-loaded from CP Flight 003 at Tokyo’s Narita Airport exploded as it was being taken to waiting Air India Flight 301. Two Japanese baggage handlers died and four were wounded.
June 23, 1985: At 7.13 (a.m.) GMT, Air India Flight 182, cruising at an altitude of 31,000 feet lost radar contact with air traffic controllers at Shanwick, Ireland. The flight disintegrated at altitude and the wreckage was scattered along a nine-mile swath of the ocean at 6,000 feet. The voice recorder showed there had been a loud bang aboard the aircraft. It also picked up the hissing sound of the fuselage opening up and a scream. The data recorders showed everything was normal on the aircraft until the explosion. The data recorder also showed a momentary control input by the pilot as he desperately tried to re-configure the aircraft. All 329 aboard were killed, including 60 children aged below 10. Also killed were 22 Americans, 160 Canadians and more than 100 Indian nationals along with others.
Buy Margin of Terror
Airplane Bomb Experiment
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Read the Aviation Safety Network Report on the Crash of Air India Flight 182
Canadian Security Intelligence Service terrorism resource page and public commentaries by experts.
U.S. Department of State designation of foreign terrorist groups.
International convention for the suppression of the financing of terrorism.