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India's government confirms it is cooperating with the U.S. Federal
Bureau of Investigation concerning a foiled terror plot allegedly
involving two Chicago residents. Meanwhile, India is denying that a
famous Indian political figure was an intended target of the suspects.
and Indian government investigators are sharing information in the case
of two men under arrest in Chicago who were allegedly plotting a
terrorist attack in India.
The case has generated concern
among India's security establishment, still reeling from the large
terror attack on Mumbai 11 months ago.
Indian government officials
say senior officers from two intelligence agencies, the Research &
Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau will travel to the Untied
States next week to interview at least one of the suspects in custody,
identified as David Coleman Headley, also known as Daaud Gilani. The
investigators, officials here say, want to try to determine the
intended target and when the alleged attack was to be carried out.
government on Friday acknowledged that Headley had apparently traveled
to India several times. He was apprehended October 3 at a Chicago
airport as he was preparing to begin a trip to Pakistan.
Also arrested this month in the same case: Tahawwur Hussein Rana, a native Pakistani with Canadian citizenship.
Prosecutors say both men attended the same military school in Pakistan.
An alleged target of the plot in India, according to an FBI affidavit, was named "Rahul."
has set off intense speculation here about the identity of the intended
victim with published reports mentioning high-profile Congress Party
politician Rahul Gandhi, whose father and grandmother, both prime
ministers, were assassinated.
India's home minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, is trying to knock down such speculation.
"It could be a pseudonym," he said. "It could be a code name, but please be assured it's not the Rahul that you think it is."
reports say the target appears to have been a film actor, perhaps
Bollywood super star Shahrukh Khan, who plays characters named Rahul in
most of his films.
Besides India, the defendants allegedly
also planned to carry out attacks in Denmark, where a newspaper cartoon
of the Prophet Mohammad in 2005 was published, offending many Muslims.
FBI documents indicate Headley was in repeated contact with members of
the Pakistan-based terror outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba. The group is blamed
for the late November, 2008 siege of Mumbai, which left more than 160
The U.S. State Department has issued a fresh
travel alert for India, saying the U.S. government continues to receive
information that terrorist groups may be planning attacks here.