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US says 'threat info' shared with India before 26/11 attacks

world Updated: Oct 17, 2010 13:21 IST

Amid reports that two of David Headley's three wives had warned the FBI beforehand of the Mumbai attacks, the US today said the "threat information", though general in nature, was duly shared with India.

"Had we known about the timing and other specifics related to the Mumbai attacks, we would have immediately shared those details with the government of India," Mike Hammer, spokesman of the National Security Council, White House, said.

He made the remarks when asked about an investigative report on Mumbai attacks published by ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.

The New York Times also said that two of 50-year-old Headley's three wives had warned American law enforcement authorities -- in 2005 and less than a year before the 2008 Mumbai attacks -- of his links with the Pakistan-based LeT terror outfit and the plot to strike India's financial hub.

"Despite those warnings by two of his three wives, Mr Headley roamed far and wide on Lashkar's behalf between 2002 and 2009, receiving training in small-caliber weapons and counter surveillance, scouting targets for attacks, and building a network of connections that extended from Chicago to Pakistan's lawless northwestern frontier," the daily said.

Hammer said the US "regularly provided threat information" to Indian officials in 2008 before the attacks in Mumbai.

"It is our government's solemn responsibility to notify other nations of possible terrorist activity on their soil," he said.

Another US official denied that the United States did not share any terrorist-attack related information with Indian authorities.

"US authorities took seriously what Headley's former wives said. Their information was of a general nature and did not suggest any particular terrorist plot," a senior Administration official said.

Separately, an Indian source, who was involved in the investigations of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, said on the condition of anonymity, that India did receive the information, which was general and it was not specific in nature.

An examination of Pakistani-American Headley's movements in the years before the Mumbai attacks, based on interviews in Washington, Pakistan, India and Morocco, shows that he had overlapping, even baffling, contacts among seemingly disparate groups — Pakistani intelligence, terrorists and American drug investigators, the NYT said.