Just a week before President Barack Obama’s much-hyped visit to India, not surprisingly, his remarks have invited some tough talk from American envoy to India Timothy Roemer.
Talking to a TV channel, Pillai said: “India was disappointed as the US had not provided it with all the information it had about Headley prior or after 26/11, adding that the Indian agencies could have nabbed Headley when he was in the country again in March 2009, had they got tip-off from the US.”
He said the US agencies had shared intelligence with their counterparts in India, but added that “he would have appreciated if it had been much more than what they (the American agencies) have been doing.”
Pillai’s remarks come after reports in the US media indicated that Headley’s wives had informed US officials in 2007 and 2008 about their husband’s links with terrorists and his role in plotting the Mumbai attacks, but Washington had not shared it with New Delhi.
However, in a quick riposte to his remarks, Roemer told journalists that the US had been sharing intelligence with India regularly and consistently even before 26/11 and had continued to do so even after the attacks.
He said that the US government would not have given India’s National Investigation Agency access to Headley, now incarcerated in Chicago, had it been afraid that he could reveal something Washington had not shared with New Delhi earlier. Roemer, who was on the US commission to probe 9/11, recalled that the panel had not been given access to al-Qaida operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a mastermind of the 2001 attacks in WTC in New York.