WASHINGTON — The U.S. has thwarted a plot to kill Sikh separatist leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil, a U.S. official familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
U.S. authorities have raised concerns with New Delhi that the Indian government may have had knowledge of the plot, according to the official who was not authorized to comment on the sensitive matter.
The official declined to comment on when or how U.S. officials became aware of the plot as well as how the alleged assassination attempt was derailed. The FBI is investigating the matter, the official said.
Spokespeople for the FBI and Justice Department declined to comment Wednesday.
The revelation follows the September disclosure by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of what he said were credible allegations that the Indian government may have had links to the assassination in that country of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India rejected the accusation as absurd, but Canada expelled a top Indian diplomat while it investigated.
The thwarted assassination plot was first reported by the Financial Times, which said the U.S. informed some allies of the alleged plot.
The official who spoke to AP added that concerns over the plot have been raised by U.S. authorities at the highest levels of the Indian government, and officials in New Delhi indicated they were treating the matter seriously.
“We are treating this issue with utmost seriousness, and…