US prepares six mega cities against Mumbai-type attacks

WASHINGTON: Learning a lesson from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, several American security agencies have conducted a series of workshops in six major US cities to tackle such an eventuality, the US has said.

The information on preparations made to prevent Mumbai-type terrorist attacks has been provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its annual budgetary proposals to the Congress.

“To address the current threat environment, FEMA partnered with the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the National Counter-terrorism Center, and the Department of Justice/ Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct in six major cities across the country a series of workshops focused on response to a Mumbai-style terror attack,” it said.

While names of the cities have not been released, reports in the past have indicated them to include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington.

DHS said that the New York Police Department (NYPD) had sent its team on the ground even as the Pakistan-based terrorists were carrying out mayhem in Mumbai in November 2008 in which 166 people, including six Americans died.

It said that it had signed an MoU with India last year to ensure the timely exchange of critical cyber security information and expertise between the two governments through the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and DHS’ United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).

Referring to last year’s India visit of the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, the department said the US launched the Homeland Security Dialogue with India -? the first comprehensive bilateral dialogue on homeland security issues between the two countries. –PTI