A newspaper report out of India claims a Surrey man is running a terror camp in Mission.
While Canadian terrorism expert Phil Gurski said nothing is impossible, he added: “I think there’s more questions than answers right now.”
According to the Times of India, intelligence agencies in India have “sent an alert to Canada’s Justin Trudeau government, saying that pro-Khalistan terrorists are running a camp near Mission city in British Columbia to carry out strikes in Punjab.”
The article goes on to name the Surrey man who has “taken over as the operational head of Khalistan Terror Force…and formed a module comprising Sikh youths to carry out the attacks.”
But Gurski, president of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting, said that “Indians are obsessed with the possibility of further Sikh extremism in Canada.”
On Monday afternoon, Mounties acknowledged that they were aware of the “recent media report originating outside of Canada,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Rob Vermeulen said.
“The RCMP monitors all potential threats but we are not in a position to speak to specific allegations, threats or ongoing investigations,” he said.
But Vermeulen said the RCMP encourages “the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to their local police agency for assessment and follow-up.”
Terrorism expert Gurski said that while the “nature and size of Sikh extremism” isn’t what it was three decades ago, he said it would be naive to think it’s entirely disappeared.
Asked about the possibility of a terror camp operating in Canada, Gurski said: “Is it impossible? No. Is it probable? That’s hard to judge.”
Asked if the RCMP should investigate the allegations, Gurski said the vast majority of resources are rightly focused on Islamist extremism, which is a very real threat.
Should resources be shifted to look at Sikh extremism based on this report?
“I have nothing to suggest it’s a huge problem,” Gurski said. “But has it disappeared? Not likely.”
But Gurski said the Times of India article is a “very serious allegation by an unknown person.”
Another critical question is how the information came to be known in India, he said.
“Where is the information coming from? Are they running operations here? Shouldn’t they be doing that in their home country?” Gurski said.
The Times of India story claims the Surrey man is a “proclaimed terrorist in Punjab” who is wanted for a 2007 cinema bombing that killed six people.