Chidambaram discusses counter-terrorism, 26/11 update with US officials

     Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram held meetings here with senior Obama administration officials, including National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. (retired) James Jones, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the US Attorney General Eric H Holder Jr. on Wednesday. Enhanced co-operation between India and US on tackling terrorism particularly in South Asia dominated the discussions, sources said. Pakistan's inaction in dealing with the perpetrators of 26/11 was also raised. Chidambaram also met Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Chairwoman of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Chidambaram is scheduled to meet the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday. On Tuesday, officials from FBI, intelligence and security agencies and the New York Police briefed Chidambaram about the measures being taken by them to prevent a Mumbai-type terrorist attack. From walking at the Penn Station, to a briefing by the New York Police, which had made several changes in its counter-terrorism measures post the 26/11 attacks, Chidambaram and his team of officials got to know what a mega city like New York can do to protect itself from terrorists without inconveniencing its residents. Chidambaram was also informed about the coast guard facility at Staten Island. It was an important aspect of his trip given that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26 last year entered Mumbai through the sea route. Within hours of his landing in New York, Chidambaram visited the Joint Terror Task Force Centre of the FBI where he was given an exclusive briefing by the New York Police Department. Before leaving New York City for Washington by train, Chidambaram was briefed about security of the Mass Transport System at the Penn station. The Home Minister is also scheduled to meet the top US intelligence and security officials, including FBI Director Robert Mueller and Director of National Intelligence Dennis C Blair; besides meeting National Security Adviser, Gen (Retd) James Jones at the White House. A tour of the National Counter-terrorism Centre in Virginia is also on his itinerary. Besides meeting experts and think-tanks'' members, Chidambaram is expected to hold talks with key US lawmakers, including Senator Joe Lieberman, Chairman, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; and Congressman Sylvester Reyes, Chairman, House Select Committee on Intelligence.

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