US lacked proof of Headley's link to terrorism ahead of Mumbai attacks: US spy chief

Washington, Nov 9 (ANI): US spy chief James Clapper has claimed that America did not pass on the information about David Headley, an American man who was a key figure in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, as it lacked sufficient proof to establish his role there.

The Dawn quoted a statement from Clapper's office, as saying that although the US government had some information about Headley before the attacks, "it did not connect Headley to terrorism until 2009, after the attacks on Mumbai. Had the United States government sufficiently established he was engaged in plotting a terrorist attack in India, the information would have most assuredly been transferred promptly to the Indian government."

"Therefore, the United States government did not pass information on Headley to the Indian government prior to the attacks," statement from the office of the director of national intelligence added.

Headley, the son of a former Pakistani diplomat and a white American woman, is being currently held in the United States.

He has confessed to helping plan the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people, and in exchange for pleading guilty US prosecutors agreed he would not face extradition to India or the death penalty.

On Monday, US President Barack Obama had shared the results of the probe with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the third day of his trip to India, which focused in part on the Mumbai attacks.

The statement from Clapper's office also said that the United States takes counter terrorism and broader national security cooperation with their Indian partners very seriously, adding: "The review finds the United States government aggressively and promptly provided the Indian government with strategic warnings regarding Lashkar e-Tayyiba's threats to several targets in Mumbai between June and September 2008." (ANI)

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