Head of FBI to visit India

March 1, 2009 at 1:35 AM

NEW DELHI, March 1 (UPI) -- A visit to India by FBI Director Robert Mueller is intended to increase cooperation between India and the United States on counter-terrorism, officials said.

Mueller is scheduled to arrive Tuesday, The Times of India reported. The FBI has been heavily involved in the investigation into the November terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

One major result of cooperation has been the tracing of telephone calls made by the attackers from Mumbai to their alleged handlers in Pakistan. The Times, citing sources, said an agent has been waiting in Pakistan, hoping to interview suspects being held there.

Mueller, in a speech in the United States, said Steve Merrill, an agent from the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, was in Mumbai while terrorists were still holed up in the Taj Mahal Hotel.

"Amid gunfire and explosions, he established lines of communication with his Indian and intelligence community counterparts, coordinated the arrival of our Rapid Deployment Team, and helped rescue trapped Americans inside the Taj Hotel," Mueller said. "No red tape, no turf battles -- just first responders, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a time of crisis."

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