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LeT poses grave threat to India: US

Washington: Describing LeT as an al-Qaeda- like organisation, the Obama administration has said the Pakistan-based terrorist outfit, which carried out the Mumbai attacks, poses grave threat to India and could also harm the United States.

"LeT is a terrorist organisation. It could be construed as a threat to the United States, certainly to India. It is al-Qaeda-like in its strength and organisation," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at a Washington-based think tank last evening.

Fresh from a week-long trip to India where she held talks on homeland security issues, Napolitano said the US had in the past 10 years mainly focused on al-Qaeda, which was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

As a result, sometime, one did not know that there were other groups as well, of which LeT would be one, she said.

The Homeland Security Secretary said that LeT was one of the major topics of discussions with her Indian counterparts.

"The discussion was in several parts: what is the state of intelligence with respect to LeT, I am not going to discuss that in public.

"Second is what is the tactics and techniques they use for example ? look at the Mumbai attack… Is our country prepared if there would be a very similar attack? Do we have a small boat strategy? Can we protect our harbours from infiltration? What about soft targets like hotels? Are they better prepared than before to handle this? she said.

"Who would do the command and control if a similar attack by LeT were going to occur now or in future?"

Napolitino that all these were discussed during her trip to India.

Not willing to talk about intelligence information on LeT, she said a lot of information about the outfit is publicly available, according to which this Pakistan-based terrorist group have had activities outside of India.

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