National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Friday met FBI director James Comey in Washington to work out the modalities for jointly choking the financial channels of D-company and dismantling the syndicate run by Pakistan-based global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. Other global terror groups on the India-US radar are the al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Sirajuddin Haqqani network.
While PM Narendra Modi discussed with President Barack Obama the need to nab Dawood, the 1993 Mumbai blast accused, the FBI had on September 9, 2009, informed then home minister P Chidambaram about D-company’s growing footprint in America.
Then FBI director Robert Mueller had told Chidambaram in Washington’s Willard Hotel that Dawood’s syndicate was involved in land deals and entertainment events organised for the South Asian community in the US.
Though Mueller wanted India to help target Dawood, there was little initiative from the UPA-II government side.
While central security agencies monitored the underworld only in the context of terrorism, the D-company moved from killing to extortion, global financing and a construction empire sprawling from Maharashtra to Pakistan, South Africa and the Middle-East.
With India and the US planning a concerted effort against common enemies in Pakistan, the Indian security agencies will now be pro-active against Dawood’s global group rather than letting the Mumbai police manage the show.
While Doval will work out the scope of joint operations after returning home on Saturday, it is evident a joint team — comprising FBI and IB officials — will be formed to take out the D-company. The exercise will involve real-time exchange of intelligence and asset sharing.
“Nobody is better equipped to tackle Dawood than Doval as both have been at it in the past two decades,” said a senior South Block official.
It is another matter that New Delhi doesn’t know how Dawood now looks, except recognising his voice from intercepts commanding his men.