Shinde raises issue with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
India has sought access from the U.S. to 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict David Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Rana — both of whom were found guilty of supporting Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and sentenced by a Chicago court.
While there was no official word from either side on the issues discussed in particular those with reference to Headley and Rana, officials said it was prominently raised by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde during his meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder here.
“Mr. Shinde and Mr. Holder agreed that the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Department of Justice should work together institutionally, so as to ensure the best possible outcomes within the laws of the two countries, to address pending issues relating to extradition, execution of Letters Rogatory and Red Corner Notices, as well as other areas of cooperation in law enforcement, counter terrorism and judicial processes,” an official Indian statement said.
Pakistani-American Headley and Pakistani-Canadian Rana were sentenced to 35 years and 14 years respectively by the court for their roles in the Mumbai attack and an abortive attack on a Danish newspaper.
Headley, 52, and Rana, 52, were arrested in 2009. Headley was a small-time narcotics dealer turned U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency informer who went rogue.
Though India got access to Headley, who carried out a recce of the 26/11 targets for the LeT, the U.S. has not given any opportunity to question Rana, Headley’s U.S.-based wife Shazia, his girlfriend Portia Peter and another female friend.
Indian investigators believe that if they could further quiz Headley and others, many hidden information could come to light.
The Home Minister also met FBI Director Muller during which the two sides reviewed areas of cooperation and issues of mutual interest.
The FBI and Indian agencies have remained in close contact, and it was agreed that the process of inter-agency cooperation would be developed further.