Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegation of a "potential" link between the Indian government and the murder of a Khalistani terrorist was based on “shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners,” as per US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen.
On September 18, PM Trudeau made explosive allegations about the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, in British Columbia on June 18.
What is Five Eyes?
As per Privacyinternational.org, Five Eyes is a secret agreement between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA.
This secret agreement allows the intelligence agencies of these five nations to spy on the world.
When was it formed?
This secretive alliance was formed in 1946 between the five Anglophone nations and their security agencies—America's NSA, Australia's ASD, the UK's GCHQ, Canada's CSEC and New Zealand's GCSB.
The alliance also reportedly comprises a series of bilateral agreements on surveillance and intelligence-sharing.
What happens under this agreement?
The report revealed, “Pursuant to these arrangements, each of the Five Eyes states conducts interception, collection, acquisition, analysis and decryption activities, sharing all intelligence information obtained with the others by default.”
Five Eyes has integrated bases, integrated programmes, integrated staff and integrated analysis.
Why is Five Eyes in the news?
A CTV report quoted US envoy to Canada, David Cohen, as saying, “There was shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners that helped lead Canada to make the statements that the Prime Minister made.”
The report added, “In the days since, as diplomatic tensions continue to ratchet up - from Canada reassessing its staffing in India, to India suspending visa services for Canadians - there have been swirling questions about what intelligence is at the centre of this story, who was aware of it, and when.”
However, the report revealed that Mr Cohen didn't confirm whether the intelligence information was both human and surveillance-based or whether it included signals intelligence of Indian diplomats.
But it quoted Mr Cohen as saying, “There was shared intelligence among Five Eyes partners that helped lead Canada to make the statements that the Prime Minister made.”
Amidst the ongoing diplomatic row between New Delhi and Ottawa, India has rejected Justin Trudeau's allegations as "absurd" and "motivated."
In a tit-for-tat move to Canada's expulsion of an Indian official over the case, India has also expelled a senior Canadian diplomat.