Tamil Nadu police did not inform it in advance of terror threat

At a time when India and the United States were sharing intelligence on terror following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Tamil Nadu government and the police failed to inform the American Consulate in Chennai of a specific terrorist threat.

The Consulate described the “lack of communication” about the specific terrorist threat on December 6, 2008 as “disturbing” and decided to take up the issue with the Tamil Nadu government authorities.

After the fact

In a cable sent on December 8, 2008 (181773: confidential), Acting Principal Officer Frederick J. Kaplan noted that the Consulate received no advance notification of the threat, but was given information about the threat by two contacts in “informal after-the-fact references.”

Mr. Kaplan wrote: “Our police intelligence interlocutors had previously assured us that they would advise us of any specific threats against the Consulate.

“Instead, we find ourselves learning about a specific threat that they deemed credible enough to prompt additional precautionary measures after the fact. Worse yet, despite ample opportunities for the police to tell us in our frequent liaisons with them in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, we only came to know about the threat in the course of small talk and casual banter. We plan to follow-up with the authorities to learn more about the threat and to ensure that future threats to the Consulate are communicated to us promptly.”

(This article is a part of the series "The India Cables" based on the US diplomatic cables accessed by The Hindu via Wikileaks.)