November 28th, 2008
02:02 PM ET

The FBI – ready for Mumbai

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/28/india.attacks/art.taj.1835.gi.jpg
caption="Security forces outside the Taj Mahal Hotel."]
Kelli Arena
CNN Washington Correspondent

The FBI has a team ready to fly to Mumbai and join the investigation. Officials are working with Indian diplomats to get them there. They need an invitation from the Indian government. And the State Department is still discussing Indian officials how the FBI would operate once it hits the ground.

That can be a delicate negotiation with any country. But U.S. ties to Pakistan, India's longtime enemy, make it more complicated.

Whenever Americans are injured or killed anywhere in the world by a terrorist attack, the FBI opens a case. But it can only operate in another country with that government's permission.

After the U.S. embassy Bombings in Nairobi, there was full and total cooperation. After the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, there were more guarded dealings with the host government.

In India's case, you have a strong, sovereign, and fairly well organized government that has investigators from Canada, Great Britain, Australia and other countries all asking for access because their citizens were victims here.

The Indian government will have to arrange whatever access they will grant for each country's agencies. For the FBI, the State Department will have to negotiate that carefully.

Filed under: India • India Attacked • Kelli Arena • Terrorism
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. mc

    India's and U.S interests are tangential here. If a Pakistani link is found, India wants to quickly publish it to get international attention and this escalates tension with pak, while U.S wud do everything it can to prevent for such a link to be established as it will jeopardize their operations in Afghan, pak border.
    I doubt India will allow FBI or U.S to be involved in their investigation, but since it seems the terrorists were coordinating thru satellite phones, CIA wud have already decoded those messages.

    November 29, 2008 at 2:01 am |
  2. Peace

    With so many organized officials and investigators from Canda,Great Britain,Australia and other countries, why do we see only one fire truck and what are India's safety and emergency proceedures set up? Why no police or authority tape to secure the area and move back innocent citizens and media from harms way to eliminate confusion ? That would be a proceedure in place in the US. Security is described as what in India viewing emergency proceedures in place to protect innocent people for terrorism ? What systems and proceedures are in place for security ? Terrorism is a global concern reguardless of what differences are between Pakistan and India's conflicting interests and concerns all for peaceful solutions to eliminate terrorism. United global efforts for peace and support to end terrorism is critical ! The bad are few and the good are millions for peace. It's a global team effort for peaceful solutions to stomp out terrorism and hope the FBI is allowed to support security and US citizens in Mumbai as they would if this situation were taking place in Pakistan fairly viewing a balance for peaceful resolution and an ending to terrorism .

    November 28, 2008 at 7:31 pm |