The Mumbai attacks could see a never-before multinational probe into a terror incident on Indian soil, but India will allow the US, the UK and Israel to only informally partner in the investigations, experts have said.
Both American and Israeli laws require their security agencies to “enjoin” probe into attacks on their nationals abroad and these countries would want greater access to crime scenes and Indian facilities.
“A multi-country probe is something which has never been done. India is unlikely to officially involve these countries because this may become a matter of sovereignty,” said former Intelligence Bureau chief Arun Bhagat. He said in case of a terror attack in India, only the “Indian state could be the complainant”.
A British Rapid Deployment Team — Scotland Yard investigators and foreign office staff — was the first foreign team to arrive. The US rushed an FBI team and a second team is being readied, unconfirmed reports said. An Israeli forensic team was expected too, an embassy official said.
“The US has sent an FBI team. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is coming too; this is significant,” a US state department official said, requesting anonymity. FBI spokesperson Richard Kolko told HT from Washington, D.C. that the agency was examining the situation in Mumbai.
“The team from UK will offer assistance to Indian authorities, but so far, it has no brief to launch its own investigation,” Dan Chugg, press director for the British High Commission, said.
A team of the Australian Federal Police too visited the Taj and Leopold Café on Monday. An officer told HT they had been in the city for two days.