Indo-US intelligence sharing improved after 26/11: Roemer

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NEW DELHI - Undeterred by a diplomatic row between India and US over the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) reported reluctance to share information on David C Headley, the Pakistani American accused of helping the Lashkar-e-Toiba with its plans to launch terror strikes on Mumbai in November 2008, US Ambassador to India, Timothy J Roemer, said sharing of information between the two countries on this issue has improved.

“I think certainly cooperation between counter terrorism between the US and India was good before 26/11. The US shared information with India prior to Mumbai. It has got improved and got even better in the months and years since that. We are not only working together and sharing intelligence today, we are seeing results, results means saving lives and preventing attacks,” Roemer said.

Media reports from the US last week said that Headley’s American wife had given the FBI in New York a tip-off about his Lashkar links in 2005 while his second wife, a Moroccan, had told the US embassy in Islamabad, less than a year before 26/11, about her husband’s plans for a terror strike, but was told to get lost.

While the US claims that specific information has been shared with India, intelligence and investigating agencies here have denied receiving any information from the FBI.

“Cooperation was good before 26/11, its better, and now, we are working on a historic counter terrorism agreement between the two countries, where we are working on border security, police training for maritime security. To sum up how unusual, how historic this partnership is that US provided David Hadley to the intelligence people of India so that they could ask him pre-26/11 and post-26/11 activities,” said Roemer.

India and United States hade signed a counter terrorism and cooperation initiative in July this year.

The India-US Counter Terrorism Cooperation Initiative inter alia provides for strengthening capabilities to effectively combat terrorism; promotion of exchanges regarding modernization of techniques; sharing of best practices on issues of mutual interest and development of investigative skills.

It further provides for the promotion of cooperation between forensic science laboratories; establishment of procedures to provide mutual investigative assistance; enhancing capabilities to act against money laundering, counterfeit currency and financing of terrorism; exchanging best practices on mass transit and rail security and increasing exchanges between Coast Guards and Navy on maritime security.

Exchanging experience and expertise on port and border security; enhancing liaison and training between specialist counter terrorism units, including the National Security Guard with their US counter parts are other features of the initiative. (ANI)

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