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'US to review handling of info given by Headley's wife'

America's top intelligence official has initiated a review of the handling by US agencies of the inputs provided by wives of Mumbai terror accused David Headley that their husband had radical connections and was involved in the plotting of a terrorist attack in India. Special

world Updated: Oct 21, 2010 23:06 IST

America's top intelligence official has initiated a review of the handling by US agencies of the inputs provided by wives of Mumbai terror accused David Headley that their husband had radical connections and was involved in the plotting of a terrorist attack in India.

American journalist Sebastian Rotella quoted a federal law enforcement official as saying on ProPublica website that the State Department did report information about a 2007 warning from Headley's Moroccan wife after she met twice with officials of the State Department's diplomatic security bureau and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Pakistan.

Officials have determined that the diplomatic security officer sent a written report about the wife's allegations to the FBI, CIA and DEA, ProPublica said.

What happened after that will be a focus of the inquiry to be conducted by none other than the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Admiral (rtd.) James Clipper.

"Director Clapper has initiated an after-action-review to determine lessons learned," newly appointed DNI spokeswoman Jamie Smith said.

"Reviews of this nature are an important part of improving existing processes. Since these events occurred, advancements in information sharing systems have been made by applying the lessons learned from these reviews," she said.

The White House and the State Department have so far maintained that there was no lapse in the investigation based on the information provided by the two wives of Headley – one in 2005 and other in 2007.

The Obama Administration has insisted that the tip off was taken seriously, but these were general information and not specific to those related to Mumbai.

"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," spokesman of the National Security Council Mike Hammer had said earlier.

"Three years before Pakistani terrorists struck Mumbai in 2008, federal agents in New York City investigated a tip that an American businessman was training in Pakistan with the group that later executed the attack," said the report, which was also published in The Washington Times.

According to the report, FBI had received tip off about the Mumbai terrorist attack and the links of Headley and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) about three years in advance of the massacre of innocent people by Pakistan-based terrorists in India's financial capital in November 2008.

"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,” Hammer said in reference to the latest report on the Mumbai terrorist attack.

Special