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US has taken steps to thwart any Mumbai-type attack: official

world Updated: Feb 27, 2010 11:14 IST

Learning lessons from the Mumbai terror strikes, the Obama administration has taken several steps in intelligence gathering and security infrastructure to thwart any similar attack on a major US city, according to a top official.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the administration has taken several steps to make sure that terrorists do not strike soft targets.

"On the soft target issue, you'll find most of that under the NPPD (National Protection and Programmes Directorate) and also in the private sector office. We've had a lot of outreach, we've had outreach with the hotel associations and the hotel operators in the past months," Napolitano said.

Appearing before a key Congressional panel, she said that "over the holiday season, we met with the representatives of the 700 largest shopping malls in the country, and we also prepared and had online training for shopping mall employees on what to watch out or, what to look for, and the like."

"That's the kind of thing that provides direct assistance in the soft target environment that I think is very, very useful," Napolitano told members of the House Homeland Security Committee yesterday.

Her remarks came in response to a question from Benny Thompson, Chairman of the Committee, who pointed out that in the wake of Mumbai attacks in 2008, "there was a real focus on the problem with soft targets" but that seems to have diminished now, though the threat has not diminished.