British Counter-intelligence Against The Indian Revolutionary Movement During World War I - Counter-intelligence - in The United States

In The United States

Main article: Ghadar Conspiracy See also: Guy Gaunt and Sir William Wiseman, 10th Baronet

In the United States, the conspiracy was successfully infiltrated by British intelligence through both Irish as well as Indian channels. The activities of Ghadar on the Pacific coast were noted by W. C. Hopkinson, who had grown up in India and spoke fluent Hindi. Initially W.C.H. had been despatched from Calcutta to keep the Indian Police informed about the doings of Taraknath Das. The Home department of the British Indian government had begun the task of actively tracking Indian seditionists on the East Coast as early as 1910. Francis Cunliffe Owen, the officer heading the Home Office agency in New York, had become thoroughly acquainted with George Freeman alias Fitzgerald and Myron Phelps, the famous New York advpcate, as members of the Clan-na-Gael. Owens' efforts were successful in thwarting the SS Moraitis plan. The Ghadar Party was incidentally established after Irish Republicans, sensing infiltration, encouraged formation of an exclusively Indian society. Following this, a number of approaches were adopted, including infiltration through a "Native" Indian intelligence officer by the name of Bela Singh who successfully set up a network of agents passing on information to British intelligence, as well as the use of the famous American Pinkerton's detective agency. W. C. Hopkinson himself was assassinated in a court in Victoria by a Ghadarite called Mewa Singh in October 1914.

Later, on instructions from British secret service, Robert Nathan transferred his work to the Pacific coast North America where the Ghadar Party worked closely with the German consulate at San Francisco to obtain arms and men for what came to be known as the Ghadar Conspiracy. Working with Thomas J Tunney, the head of New York Bomb Squad, Nathan's works successfully brought the Ghadarites and staff at the German consulate to trial following the Annie Larsen arms plot. He organised the Hindu-German conspiracy trial, which at the time was the longest in merican legal history. He was responsible for the arrest of Chandrakanta Chakraverty and his subsequent interrogation, along with that Ernst Sekunna. Through March 1917, Nathan worked closely with William Wiseman, and negotiated with the US State Department the details of the case against the Indian conspirators. He strongly supported granting the garuantee to the United States of not being held responsible for violation of neutrality. An Irish double agent by the name of Charles Lamb is said to have passed on the majority of the information that compromised the Annie Larsen and ultimately helped the construction of the prosecution. An Indian operative, codenamed "C" and described most likely to have been the adventurous Chandra Kanta Chakravarty (later the chief prosecution witness in the trial), also passed on the details of the conspiracy to British and American intelligence.

The Czech revolutionary network in Europe also had a role in the uncovering of Bagha Jatin's plans. The network was in touch with the members in the United States, and may have also been aware of and involved in the uncovering of the earlier plots. The American network, headed by E.V. Voska, was a counter-espionage network of nearly 80 members who, as Habsburg subjects, were presumed to be German supporters but were involved in spying on German and Austrian diplomats. Voska had begun working with Guy Gaunt, who headed Courtenay Bennett's intelligence network, at the outbreak of the war and on learning of the plot from the Czech European network, passed on the information to Gaunt and to Tomáš Masaryk who further passed on the information the American authorities.

Read more about this topic:  British Counter-intelligence Against The Indian Revolutionary Movement During World War I, Counter-intelligence

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