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FT reports US prevented assassination attempt on Sikh separatist Pannun within American borders

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US authorities foiled a plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist on American territory and issued a warning to the Indian government over concerns that it was involved in the plot, reported The Financial Times (FT). The target of the plot was designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the founder of the banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).


People familiar with the matter, who sought anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the intelligence that prompted the warning, did not explain whether the protest caused the plotters to abandon their plan or whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) interfered and disrupted an effort that was already in the works.


Following the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh separatist assassinated in Vancouver in June, the US alerted several allies about the plot. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had stated in September that there were “credible allegations” linking New Delhi to Nijjar’s death.


One source acquainted with the case told FT that the US protest was issued following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high-profile official visit to Washington in June.


Separate from the diplomatic warning, US federal prosecutors have filed a secret indictment in a New York district court against at least one alleged perpetrator of the ploy, sources familiar with the matter told FT.


According to the report, the US Justice Department is now considering whether to unseal the indictment and make the charges public or to wait until Canada completes its inquiry into Nijjar’s death. Further complicating the case, one person charged in the indictment is believed to have left the US, people familiar with the proceedings said.


While the US Justice Department and FBI declined to comment on the matter, the National Security Council said the US does “not comment on ongoing law enforcement matters or private diplomatic discussions with our partners,” However, it added that upholding the safety and security of US citizens is paramount.


After Trudeau made public details of the Vancouver killing, Washington shared details of the Pannun case with a wider group of allies, raising concerns among allies about a possible pattern of behaviour.


Canada’s assertions concerning New Delhi’s alleged participation in Nijjar’s death have been dismissed as “absurd” by India.


FT sent questions concerning the matter to India’s external affairs ministry, which declined to comment.

(The following story may or may not have been edited by NEUSCORP.COM and was generated automatically from a Syndicated Feed. NEUSCORP.COM also bears no responsibility or liability for the content.)

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