Washingon, Jan 1: A five-member FBI ( Federal Bureau of Investigation) has visited Faridkot, the alleged ancestral town of the Ajmal Amir Kasav, lone surviving gunman blamed for the Mumbai terror attacks, media reports said.
The team of was headed by its South Asian Director William Robert, Dawn reported.
An FBI spokesman, Richard Kolko, when contacted by Dawn to comment on the reports, said: “The FBI continues to assist Indian authorities with their investigation. We will work with the Indian authorities and our partners to follow leads wherever they may take us."
When asked if an FBI team had visited Faridkot, Mr Kolko said: “We are unable to provide details of what is being done. We refer you to Indian authorities or the US State Department for any additional information."
Nadeem Kiani, a spokesman for the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, also refused to confirm or deny the reported visit. “We do not comment on ongoing investigations," he said. “We would refer you to US officials for information on FBI-led investigations."
Other sources, however, claimed that the FBI team, which was visiting Pakistan to help with the investigation of the Mumbai terror attacks, had determined that Pakistan had no links to the attackers.
The FBI also has determined that Ajmal Kasab, the gunman in Indian custody, has no links to any Pakistani government agency or individual, the sources said.
Unnamed Pakistani and Indian officials have been giving contradictory versions of FBI"s investigations into the Mumbai attacks.
While Pakistani officials say the FBI did not find any evidence of Pakistan"s involvement in the attacks, the Indians insist that it did. US officials, on the other hand, have remained silent on this issue.
The FBI team visited India before coming to Pakistan and they issued no statement after completing the India visit.
Indian officials, however, told their journalists that “the FBI is understood to have found evidence about the role of a Pakistani security establishment other than the ISI being involved in the attacks".
During its stay in Mumbai, the FBI team questioned Kasav for more than nine hours. Indian media reports said that the FBI sleuths sought minor details about Kasav"s native village and about his alleged links to the Lashkar.
The FBI also took DNA samples of nine terrorists killed in Mumbai to ascertain whether it matched with anyone in their data bank or had any relations with persons killed by US troops in Afghanistan.
The FBI has registered a case in the Mumbai terror strikes as US laws require the agency to file a charge-sheet in case of death or torture of any American national outside the country.
Besides the FBI, Director US National Intelligence John Michael McConnell also visited New Delhi after the Mumbai attacks and offered to help India investigate the matter.