US didn’t share Headley’s name till a year after 26/11: Chidambaram

November 1st, 2010 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) The US had not mentioned Pakistani American terror suspect David Headley in its intelligence sharing with India until a year after the 2008 Mumbai attack, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Monday, adding that the two governments were working on a new terror cooperation initiative.

The home minister, however, said intelligence cooperation between the two countries had been “extremely good” in recent times.

“The Headley issue has been blown out of proportion. The US did share us with the information. Intelligence was shared prior to the 26/11 (Mumbai attack). Intelligence was shared after the 26/11… But no name was mentioned (in that intelligence),” Chidambaram told reporters here.

Chidambaram said the US had been continuously sharing intelligence inputs with India even though the name of Headley was not given until October 2009.

“The intelligence sharing is extremely good. The name of Headley waw shared in October 2009 (almost a year after the 26/11 attack),” the home minister said.

He said the two governments were working on a terror cooperation initiative. “I am told the two governments are working on a new terror cooperation initiative.

“The ministry of home affairs (of India) supports cooperation in counter-terrorism measures.”

There has been controversy in the media in recent times about intelligence-sharing between the two countries.

The controversy followed reports that US intelligence agencies had not shared with their Indian counterparts any details of Headley’s militant links after receiving complaints by the wives of the Pakistani-American terrorist that he had links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit. Headley, who is now in a US jail, has confessed to his links to the Nov 26, 2008 attack in Mumbai.

Chidambaram said the US authorities were reviewing what “they knew about David Headley and when they knew about David Headley vis-a-vis 26/11″.

“Let’s wait for the review to be completed,” he said, expressing confidence that the review report would be shared with India.

The home minister said Headley’s extradition to India was still “an option and we will continue to pursue the option”.

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