US intelligence chief meets Chidambaram

New Delhi: America’s top intelligence official Dennis C. Blair met union Home Minister P. Chidambaram here on Thursday, on a day suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley was slated to appear before a Chicago court to plead guilty to charges of terrorism.

Blair was accompanied by the US ambassador in New Delhi Timothy J. Roemer and a delegation of the US Secret Service. It was not known if Headley figured in the talks with Chidambaram.

The two sides are said to have have discussed issues related to terrorism emanating from Pakistan and also the recent spate of terror attacks in Afghanistan targeting Indians.

The ambassador told reporters after the meeting in North Block that the US would cooperate with the government of India in all areas, including terrorism.

The visit was to maintain “the day by day, hour by hour cooperation with the government of India and the United States on issues of terrorism… and fighting a common enemy”, the ambassador said.

The US intelligence head also held a meeting with Intelligence Bureau Director Rajiv Mathur on the issue of terrorism and the ways to counter it, a home ministry official said.

Blair’s visit comes days after his statement that Pakistan was using militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba as strategic tools against India.

LeT’s operative Headley, a Pakistani American resident of Chicago, has been named in the Mumbai terror attack and is expected to plead guilty to get a sentence lighter than the death penalty.

He faces six counts of conspiracy involving bombing of public places in India, murdering and maiming people in India and abroad and providing logistical support to the Lashkar-e-Taiba. He also faces six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of six citizens in India.

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