SUBJECT: FBI DIRECTOR MUELLER DISCUSSES HEADLEY CASE WITH INDIAN HOME MINISTER CHIDAMBARAM


Friday, 26 February 2010, 06:33
S E C R E T NEW DELHI 000367 
SIPDIS 
EO 12958 DECL: 10/01/2020 
TAGS PREL, PTER, IN, PK 
SUBJECT: FBI DIRECTOR MUELLER DISCUSSES HEADLEY CASE WITH 
INDIAN HOME MINISTER CHIDAMBARAM
Classified By: Ambassador Tim Roemer. Reason: 1.4 (b,d).
1. (S) Summary: In a February 23 meeting, FBI Director 
Robert Mueller told Indian Home Affairs Minister P. Chidambaram
 that the USG would continue to cooperate with the GOI in 
providing information on the David Headley case and other 
cases involving terrorism directed at India. Chidambaram 
requested direct access to Headley, even if such access
produces no information, as well as access to Headley’s 
spouse, who he said was in Chicago. Chidambaram asked whether
 a GOI official could monitor Headley’s interrogation and 
submit questions “in real time.” Chidambaram said he had “a 
feeling in my bones that Headley was not acting here alone,”
 but conceded that he had no evidence to support his supposition
 that Headley formed sleeper cells in India, one of which may have
 been involved in the February 13 Pune bombing. Mueller assented 
to Chidambaram’s request for expedited FBI lab assistance regarding
 forensic cyber and voice recognition analysis. Chidambaram 
complained that Pakistan had “done damn near nothing” to prosecute
 Mumbai terror suspects, and Mueller said he would press the 
Pakistanis to take action during an upcoming visit to Islamabad.
 End Summary.
2. (S) Director Mueller opened the 20-minute meeting by 
expressing satisfaction over increasingly close bilateral

 cooperation. Characterizing the information produced by
 interrogations of David Headley as among the most important 
intelligence the USG has gleaned in the past 6 - 8 months, 
the Director assured Chidambaram that we would continue to 
pass such information in a timely manner to India. Noting that 
the process of Headley’s proffer of evidence is nearing a 
critical stage, Mueller observed that Headley has expressed 
hatred toward India and may “clam up” if his guilty plea is 
tied in any way to cooperation with the GOI.
3. (S) After thanking Mueller for the “outstanding cooperation”
displayed by the USG, Chidambaram stated that he understood from 
his discussions with Attorney General Holder that the GOI cannot
 use any information provided by the USG at this time in Indian 
prosecutions. He noted, however, that GOI investigators had 
developed information on their own through examination of 
Headley’s computer and emails. Chidambaram insisted that the
 GOI have access to Headley: “we must be able to say we had 
access, even if Headley did not speak.” He also requested access
 to Headley’s spouse, Shaiza, who he said is in Chicago so GOI
 investigators can question her on the meaning of her alleged 
message to Headley that she “saw your graduation.” 
Director Mueller said he would look into both requests. 
In reply to Chidambaram’s observation that the “worst outcome
 would be a light sentence of 2 or 3 years for Headley,” Mueller
 stated that Headley is looking at a considerably longer sentence.
4. (S) Chidambaram informed Mueller that the GOI would soon send
 a number of Letters Rogatory to the USG in relation to the Headley
 case, and Mueller responded that we would welcome such documents.
 Returning to the issue of access to Headley, Chidambaram asked
 whether GOI personnel could monitor and pass questions “in real
 time” to USG personnel conducting Headley’s interrogation. 
Mueller replied that he would look into this possibility. 
Chidambaram again thanked the USG for providing information 
and assistance, but asked whether GOI requests could be handled 
more promptly. The Home Minister asked for increased cooperation 

in three areas: 1) cybser security; 2) forensic cooperation; and



 3) some financial initiatives and cooperation.
5. (S) Chidambaram confided that “I have a feeling in my
bones that Headley was not acting alone” in India and expressed 
frustration over what he characterized as Headley’s false claim
 that he had no accomplices in India. The Home Affairs Minister
 conceded he had no evidence to support his working hypothesis that
Headley formed sleeper cells in India, one of which may have
 perpetrated the February 13 Pune bombing. He noted that the GOI
 would not file formal charges against Headley until the trial of
 Mumbai defendant Mir Kasab is finished for fear that Kasab would
 use the Headley charges as a way to delay conclusion of his own 
trial. Chidambaram complained that Pakistan had “done damn near 
nothing” to prosecute Mumbai-related terror suspects, but added 
that the GOI would present a list of terror suspects to Pakistani
 officials when the two sides meet for talks in New Delhi on 
February 25. Mueller said he was traveling to Pakistan and would
 press the Pakistanis for increased cooperation. ROEMER
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