US envoy meets Chidambaram on 26/11 evidence

January 3rd, 2009 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) US ambassador David Mulford met Home Minister P. Chidambaram Saturday, his second meeting in as many weeks, to discuss the prevailing security situation and the body of evidence collected by Indian intelligence agencies following the terror attacks in Mumbai. The meeting, which took place at the home ministry, lasted for nearly 45 minutes.

According to ministry officials, the crime branch of Mumbai Police along with intelligence agencies have compiled evidence about the role of Pakistan-based elements in the Nov 26 terror strikes even though Islamabad continues to be in denial mode.

This evidence includes the confession of lone captured terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, a logbook recovered from the vessel in which the 10 terrorists came from Karachi to Mumbai, records of satellite phones used by the attackers and the transcript of conversations between the attackers and their handlers in Pakistan, a home ministry official said.

The dossier also includes corroborative evidence tracking the journey of the attackers from Karachi to Mumbai.

The officials, however, refused to confirm if Chidambaram was leaving for the US soon along with the dossier of evidence.

“At this point, we can’t say anything of his (Chidambaram) trip,” said a senior ministry official.

Officers from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who have been assisting Indian investigators in the probe, have already questioned Kasab, a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group, to ascertain his role and those of his handlers in Pakistan.

The FBI agents have helped in determining the coordinates of the Voice over Internet Protocol calls that were made to the terrorists during the attack.

Mulford has already praised the Indian government for setting up the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is tasked to probe and prevent terrorist attacks.

The US envoy described the NIA as a right step as it will have concurrent jurisdiction and empowers the central government to probe terror attacks in any part of the country.

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