A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) team arrived in India on Monday on a two-day visit with information on Pakistan-born suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana presently in US custody.
“Investigations are on in the matter. The FBI team is here and we have been assured of all cooperation from the US,” external affairs minister S M Krishna said on the sidelines of the India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference here.
India hopes the FBI team will have key information about the two terror suspects, whose roles are being probed in last year’s Mumbai terror attack, which left over 170 people dead. Headley and Rana had travelled to India extensively before the 26/11 attacks.
Indian intelligence agencies believe Headley was a missing link in the Mumbai attacks and had provided photographs, maps and other details to the 10 Lashkar terrorists who sailed into the city through Karachi.
The FBI had on October 3 arrested Headley, a Pakistani born national but settled in the US, for alleged links with an international terror network. Rana, a Canadian citizen and Headley’s accomplice, was arrested on October 18. Rana was living legally in Chicago, where he operated an immigration centre.
The two, according to the FBI charges, were scheming a terror attack on a Danish newspaper that had published blasphemous cartoons of Prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb as a turban.
According to investigators, they were working on behalf of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit and were planning new terror attacks in India.
The decision of the FBI to come to India follows intensive discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama in Washington last month.
CIA chief Leon Panetta had disclosed the links of Headley-Rana to elements in Pakistan’s ISI when he met National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan in New Delhi in November.