File photo of Children painting portraits of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack martyrs as a tribute outside Taj Hotel in Mumbai, Nov. 25, 2015. (Mitesh Bhuvad | PTI)
The U.S. is ready to assist India in pursuing every possible lead to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack to justice, a top official said after LeT operative David Headley told a court that Pakistani terrorists conducted the strikes after two failed attempts, writes Lalit K. Jha. (@Siliconeer, #Siliconeer, #FightingTerror, #US-IndiaRelations)
“The United States is committed to doing all we can to assist the government of India in pursuing every possible lead to bring to justice those responsible for that attack to the fullest extent permitted by U.S. law,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
“Certainly, it’s indicative of our commitment to making sure the perpetrators of that attack are brought to justice and I think it’s indicative of a close relationship with India, again, in a law enforcement realm but across all others as well,” Kirby said.
Kirby was responding to questions on the deposition by Pakistani-American terrorist Headley, who told a Mumbai court via a video-link from the U.S., Feb. 8, how his outfit had planned the 26/11 attacks and executed it after two failed attempts and gave details of the role played by ISI.
Headley, 55, who is serving 35-year prison sentence in the U.S. for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks, also spoke about the role of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, another LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as well as his handler in the outfit Sajid Mir.
“We’ll always look to try to improve our cooperation across all different aspects of the relationship. I don’t want to prejudge or presuppose here based on this testimony, that that it has a strategic value here. That’s not for me to speak to,” Kirby said.
This was a decision and this was an event set up and established by Department of Justice, Kirby said, adding the U.S. has a very strong relationship with India on a lot of levels and law enforcement is one of them.
Described himself as a “true follower of LeT,” Headley also admitted during his examination by special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam that he joined the ranks of LeT after getting “influenced and motivated” by the speeches of Saeed.