Post notes with some concern the report (Ref A) that the GOI Ministry of External Affairs plans to release information from its investigation into the Mumbai attacks next week to all countries that lost citizens and ""that therefore any information sharing will be overtaken by events.""
185604,01/03/2009 12:47,09ISLAMABAD10,Embassy Islamabad,SECRET,09NEWDELHI10,"O 031247Z JAN 09FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABADTO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0926INFO AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY CIA WASHDC PRIORITYFBI WASHDC PRIORITYNSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY","S E C R E T ISLAMABAD 000010 E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/03/2034 TAGS: PREL, PTER, PK, IN SUBJECT: PRESERVING INFORMATION SHARING REF: A. NEW DELHI 10 B. FBI //1314/01907/366/0013//
Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (S) Post notes with some concern the report (Ref A) that the GOI Ministry of External Affairs plans to release information from its investigation into the Mumbai attacks next week to all countries that lost citizens and ""that therefore any information sharing will be overtaken by events."" Ref A says a sanitized version will be released and ""widely disseminated.""
2. (S) We believe it is premature for the Indians to be considering a broad dissemination of information on the attack until the investigation has been completed. In this regard, we note that the FBI has just presented a long list of information it is still seeking from the Indians to advance its own investigation. Most importantly, we believe there are still Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) sleeper and other cells in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as many law enforcement leads which need to be pursued. To prevent another potential attack, we need to keep channels of cooperation and information sharing open. We are concerned that the Indians' premature public dissemination of this information will undermine essential law enforcement efforts and forestall further Indo-Pak cooperation. Our goal is not only to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice, but also to begin a dialogue that will reduce tensions between India and Pakistan.
3 (S) ISI Director General Pasha has just approved the sharing of tearline information on Pakistan's investigation with Indian intelligence, after assurances from CIA that information would be tightly held in intelligence channels only. Gaining GOP approval for this release was a significant step forward for the Pakistanis. But as Ref A notes, ""the question of information sharing may be overtaken by events."" If Pasha is embarrassed by what is essentially public dissemination without the Indians providing the results of their own investigation to Pakistan, it will undercut Pakistan's ability to pursue its investigation, generate a public backlash in Pakistan, and could undermine Pasha personally.
3. (S) Therefore, we believe Department should urge the GOI to delay the release of information about their investigation until intelligence and law enforcement sharing with the GOP (and with us) has been able to move forward.