Cablegate: Home Minister Chidambaram's Washington D.C. Visit, Sept. 7-10
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RHMCSUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 001783
STATE FOR DS/IP/SCA AND DS/PL
JUSTICE FOR HARRY MARSHALL
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/14/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PK IN
SUBJECT: HOME MINISTER CHIDAMBARAM'S WASHINGTON D.C. VISIT, SEPT. 7-10
Classified By: AMBASSADOR Timothy Roemer for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)
1. (S) Summary and Background: India's Minister of Home Affairs P. Chidambaram will visit New York and Washington D.C from September 7 - 10. On August 19, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials shared the ""agenda points"" for the Home Minister's visit. The GOI sees the visit as an opportunity to discuss what it perceives as continued Pakistani support for terrorist activities. Other areas of interest are technical cooperation, countering financing of terrorism, and the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center's command and control.
2. (S) Our goals for the visit include: -- Modeling interagency communication and cooperation, specifically in breaking down stovepipes. -- Explaining how the United States works with foreign intelligence services to develop information and take action against threats. -- Illustrating how the United States develops and briefs threats to foreign missions. -- Exploring future areas of cooperation. -- Expressing commitment to ensure perpetrators of terrorist attacks are brought to justice. -- Strengthen relationships at the most senior levels.
3. (S) Minister Chidambaram is currently scheduled to arrive in New York on Air India 91 at 10:35 am on September 7. We have informed the MEA we cannot schedule any meetings on September 7 (Labor Day). We have proposed he stay in New York on September 8 for briefings by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the New York Police Department, and the Amtrak Police Department (POC John J. O'Connor Chief of Police (email@example.com). These briefings will provide opportunities to bring to life the first three goals listed above. Meetings in Washington on September 9 and 10 with Secretary Clinton, DNI Blair, CIA Director Panetta, DHS Secretary Napolitano, FBI Director Mueller, Attorney General Holder, and others will advance all of the goals. End Summary and Background.
A Chance to Build new Bridges
4. (S) The visit by Home Minister P. Chidambaram to the U.S. September 8 - 10 provides a rare opportunity to advance cooperation on counterterrorism and intelligence sharing with India. The Minister appears to be willing to engage on some issues that National Security Advisor (NSA) M.K. Narayanan has previously kept as his own purview. This opening may allow us to broaden our channels of communication over the long term. We need to keep in mind, however, the rivalry between Chidambaram and NSA Narayanan, and ensure that we stay in contact with both.
Delivering the Message that Information Flows both Ways
5. (S) We should use the visit to highlight the importance of cooperation with foreign intelligence services and the need for India to play a more proactive role in information sharing. The Home Ministry's agenda paper for the visit (full text in para 7) spells out that the GOI wants to highlight its concern about Pakistani involvement in terrorist activities in India. We should stress that we are best able to help India if the government is proactive in sharing information on threats and leads. We should also take this opportunity to encourage the GOI, and particularly the Intelligence Bureau, to share information with all relevant U.S. government agencies. We should also relate the actions
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the U.S. has taken to encourage Pakistan to investigate and try those responsible for the Mumbai and other terrorist attacks.
How We Respond -- We Need to Make it Easier to Expand Cooperation
6. (C) The Embassy Counterterrorism-Law Enforcement Joint Working Group will develop proposals to respond to each of the specific requests for training. It would be helpful if interlocutors in Washington could assure the Minister that we look forward to providing this training assistance, and encourage him to empower Indian agencies to accept our offers with as little red tape as possible.
Full Text of Agenda as Provided by GOI
7. (S) Proposed GOI Agenda Points for Discussion during the Forthcoming Visit of Home Minister to U.S.A (September 9-10, 2009)
1. Exchange of assessment of security scenario in South Asia with special reference to Pakistan.
2. Continued Pak involvement in terrorist activities: -- Infiltration; -- Failure to dismantle terrorist infrastructure; -- Lack of progress in prosecution of Hafiz Saeed and Yusuf Muzammil; -- Need for speedy investigation by FBI in respect of cases registered by US in Mumbai attack; -- Role of Pakistan in printing and circulation of FICN via Nepal, Bangladesh, UAE, etc.; -- Exposing close links between terrorist organizations like LET/JUD, JEM and charity organizations like Al Rashid Trust, etc.; -- Involvement of ISI with terrorist organizations like LET, Al Qaeda, JEM, HM, JUM, Taliban, etc,; -- Exchange of information on capabilities of LET in Gulf countries.
3. Cooperation on terrorist financing- holding of workshop;
4. Functioning of U.S. National Counterterrorism Center;
5. Technical Cooperation (assistance to be sought from U.S.): -- post blast investigation explosives, forensic analysis; -- RFIDs in passports; -- facial technology; -- making available voice transcripts instead of mere intercepts; -- Border Control Assessment initiative; -- bio-terrorism/Disaster Management; -- triangulation/location of caller and called parties.
8. (S) Chidambaram, a former Finance Minister, Harvard MBA, and lawyer, is sure of himself and used to being in control. He appears to be committed to making India more secure, and realizes the many challenges his security agencies face.