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FBI briefs visiting Indian MPs on counter-terrorism

A visiting delegation of Indian parliamentarians led by Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Union Minister of State Ajay Maken, was briefed by a team of top FBI officials in New York on its counter-terrorism operations.

world Updated: Jun 16, 2010 10:27 IST

A visiting delegation of Indian parliamentarians led by Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Union Minister of State Ajay Maken, was briefed by a team of top FBI officials in New York on its counter-terrorism operations.

Members of the India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program termed the meeting as informative and helpful in understanding how the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been fighting against attempted terror strikes in New York City.

The Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Intelligence Division James C Trainor, Jr and SSA Niall rennan, representing the FBI New York's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) briefed the MPs at its New York headquarters on Monday.

When questioned about the defined roles of the FBI compared to the Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Homeland Security, Trainor said it is important to understand that the FBI is both a law enforcement agency as well as part of the intelligence community.

"As such, we have the responsibility and capability to act on the intelligence we collect. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was instrumental in changing the focus of the FBI," he said.

"Once an agency that primarily reacted to criminal activity, we are now focused on the prevention of terrorism as well as other threats," he said.

Given that it is a significant transition, it requires operational and resource decisions to be based on intelligence.

Trainor said full engagement of law enforcement and intelligence community on local, state and federal levels is crucial to ensure the success of anti-terror operations.

Brennan said one of FBI's key goals is understanding the overall threat picture in the US.

"We work toward this through coordination with all of our law enforcement and intelligence community partners both at home and abroad. It is vital that we make sure information is where it needs to be when it needs to be there in order to
prevent future terrorist attacks," he said.

George Joseph, Yale's assistant secretary of international affairs, who organised the event, said terrorist and insurgent violence, in addition to coordination of local, regional, and national responses to terrorist violence, are critical and pressing concerns for India.

The Indian government has admired the efforts of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the New York Office of the FBI in providing leadership and guidance in these challenging areas, Joseph said.