US embassy cable - 85OTTAWA4824

AIRLINE BOMBINGS

Identifier: 85OTTAWA4824
Wikileaks: View 85OTTAWA4824 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ottawa
Created: 1985-06-24 18:38:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PTER EI IN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 241838Z JUN 85
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3173
INFO AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY DUBLIN
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
C O N F I D E N T I A L OTTAWA 04824 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL: OADR 
TAGS: PTER, EI, IN 
SUBJECT:  AIRLINE BOMBINGS 
 
1.  (CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT) 
 
2.  AMBASSADOR ROBINSON OPENED HIS CALL TODAY ON DR. FRED 
DOUCET, SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR FOR THE CANADIAN PRIME 
MINISTER, WITH AN EXPRESSION OF U.S. SYMPATHY AND CONCERN 
OVER THE TRAGIC AIRLINE INCIDENTS THIS PAST WEEKEND. 
(THE AMBASSADOR HAD BEEN SCHEDULED TO MAKE REPRESENTATIONS 
ON OTHER SUBJECTS TO THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER.) 
REPORTS ON THE EXPLOSION OF THE AIR INDIA BOEING 747 
OFF THE COAST OF IRELAND, THE GREATEST LOSS OF CANADIAN 
LIVES IN COMMERCIAL FLYING HISTORY, AND THE EXPLOSION 
OF A BOMB HIDDEN IN THE LUGGAGE OF A CP AIR FLIGHT TO 
TOKYO, DOMINATE TODAY'S CANADIAN PRESS. 
 
- 
3.  DR. DOUCET EXPRESSED APPRECIATION FOR THE AMBASSADOR' 
STATEMENT OF CONCERN IN BEHALF OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. 
HE MADE THREE POINTS IN RESPONSE.  FIRST, HE SAID THAT 
"THE TARGETS FOR THE BOMBINGS WERE NOT CLEAR AND CLEAN," 
GIVEN THE VARIED BACKGROUND OF THE PASSENGERS.  THE GOC 
CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY SIKH TERRORISTS, IF THEY ARE IN 
FACT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INCIDENTS, WOULD HAVE CHOSEN 
THIS UNTARGETTED MEANS TO MAKE A POLITICAL POINT. 
SECOND, DOUCET SAID THAT "SOMETHING MUST HAVE BEEN 
ORCHESTRATED" SINCE IT SEEMS UNLIKELY THAT TWO SUCH 
INCIDENTS COULD TAKE PLACE BY COINCIDENCE WITHIN TWELVE 
HOURS.  THIRD, HE SAID THAT ALL AVAILABLE EVIDENCE 
DOES POINT TO USE OF A BOMB ON AIR INDIA 182. 
 
- 
4.  WHEN ASKED BY THE ECONOMIC MINISTER-COUNSELOR WHAT TH 
GOC PLANS TO DO IN FOLLOWING UP ON THESE APPARENT 
TERRORIST ACTS, DR. DOUCET SAID THAT THE PRIME MINISTER 
WOULD PROBABLY CONVENE A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE 
CANADIAN CABINET FOR LATER TODAY.  (THE PRIME MINISTER 
IS NOW AT HIS SUMMER RESIDENCE ABOUT 20 MINUTES OUTSIDE 
OTTAWA.)  ACCORDING TO DOUCET, PRIME MINISTER MULRONEY 
WILL PROBABLY USE THAT CABINET MEETING TO REVIEW THE 
EVENTS OF THE WEEKEND AND OPTIONS FOR ACTION.  HE SAID 
THAT MULRONEY MIGHT ISSUE A STRONG STATEMENT, INDICATING 
THAT, AS DOUCET PUT IT, "CANADA WILL NOT TAKE THIS 
KIND OF ATTACK SITTING DOWN" AND THAT THE GOC WILL TAKE 
STERN ACTION.  WHAT ACTION, DOUCET DID NOT AND COULD NOT 
INDICATE.  HE ALSO SAID THAT THE PRIME MINISTER WOULD 
SEEK TO REASSURE THE CANADIAN PUBLIC THAT THE GOC HAS 
TIGHTENED AIRPORT SECURITY AND THAT CANADIANS SHOULD 
MAINTAIN THEIR TRAVEL PLANS. 
 
- 
5.  DR. DOUCET CALLED THE ECONOMIC MINISTER-COUNSELOR 
SUBSEQUENTLY EARLY AFTERNOON, JUNE 24, TO CONFIRM THAT 
THE PRIME MINISTER WILL INDEED MEET WITH KEY MINISTERS 
TODAY AT 3 P.M. AND MAKE A PUBLIC STATEMENT AT 4 P.M. 
HE ADDED THAT PRECISE INFORMATION ON THE CAUSE OF THE 
APPARENT EXPLOSION ABOARD AIR INDIA 182 REMAINS SKETCHY, 
BUT THAT THERE IS INCREASING EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST A 
CONNECTION BETWEEN THE FATE OF THAT AIRLINE AND THE 
BOMB EXPLODED AT TOKYO'S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. 
 
ROBINSON 

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