Washington, DC – One of the top American diplomats highlighted the close partnership with India in the ongoing fight against global terrorism saying, “India is an incredibly important, incredibly valuable, and incredibly close counterterrorism partner of the United States.”
After the conclusion of a two-day Conference on Mobilizing Law Enforcement Efforts to Defeat Islamic State (ISIS), Coordinator for Counterterrorism US Ambassador Nathan A. Sales told journalists, “I think the future is very bright for US-India counterterrorism cooperation, and I look forward to working with my counterparts in the Indian ministry of foreign affairs to bring to fruition the vision of (US) President (Donald) Trump and (Indian) Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi.”
Answering a question from IAT, Sales said, “As you know, the President and the prime minister held a very, very productive series of meetings earlier in the administration, and in response to that set of meetings, the US Government and the Indian Government have forged ahead to create a really powerful partnership.”
The US has designated seven IS groups and two leaders as global terrorists. The conference focused on the transition from military combat to a civilian and law enforcement effort to counter the ISIS group.
Earlier this year in February, the Trump administration imposed sanctions against three individuals allegedly linked to Pakistan-based terror networks as it called on the Pakistani government to deny sanctuaries to “dangerous” individuals and organizations. The three: Rahman Zeb Faqir Muhammad, Hizb Ullah Astam Khan and Dilawar Khan Nadir Khan, were designated by the US Department of Treasury, as “global terrorists” for their links to terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and The Taliban.
Citing the move as part of the process to defeat terrorism, Ambassador Sales noted, “We’ve announced in the United States a number of designations related to terrorist threats that India faces. Previously, we entered into an arrangement with India to share information about known and suspected terrorists, bilateral exchange of information about these known and suspected threats.”
Noting that South Asia is “one of the areas of the world where ISIS has an increasingly robust presence,” Ambassador Sales went on to give example: “Bangladesh is a good example of this. As I mentioned before, the Holey Artisan Bakery attack in July of 2016 in Dhaka killed 22 people.”
“We’re also tracking in South Asia the ISIS Khorasan affiliates of ISIS becoming increasingly ambitious and increasingly active,” Sales noted.
Listing the responses on which the US is working with partners in the Indian peninsula, Ambassador Sales said, “Those responses include things like information sharing, exchanging data about known and suspected terrorists, improving border security efforts to spot terrorists as they travel from conflict zone to conflict zone.”
“I’m confident that by bringing together partner nations who have a common understanding of the threat we face that we’ll be able to address this,” the ambassador added.