London, Delhi to share counter-terror intelligence


New Delhi : Britain will share with India intelligence and expertise to prevent any terrorist attack during the 2010 Commonwealth games in Delhi and the Olympics in London in 2012, London Mayor Ken Livingstone said here Monday.

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Hailing India as “an economic superpower”, Livingstone also announced the opening of his office in India here that will promote business, culture and tourism between Delhi and London.

“We will share our best practices in countering terrorist attacks. Cities like London and Delhi may be targets,” Livingstone said at a roundtable with senior Indian editors at Hotel Shangri-La.

“We will exchange intelligence and electronic data on suspect individuals and organisations,” he said.

“In London, security cameras have worked very well and acted as a deterrent. We also get very good tip-offs from various communities living in London. The links between London police and ethnic communities have improved dramatically,” he said.

He suggested the Delhi authorities should consider deploying security cameras at key points in the city as a preventive measure against terror attacks. “Cameras are getting cheaper and smaller. It shouldn’t be a problem,” he said.

Livingstone, however, vehemently rebutted media reports that British Muslims were being kept under the scanner or being targeted in any manner, especially after the terror attacks on London’s buses and underground trains on July 7, 2005.

“Out of 700,000 Muslims who live in London, we are keeping a tab on only 2,000. The Muslims in London are like any other Muslim living in any other city. They are not targeted in any manner,” said the mayor.

The mayor admitted that there is a small number of disaffected Muslim youth but held they were not representative of London’s Muslim community in general.

“I live in a street in London where half the residents are Muslims. They are probably more loyal and law-abiding than any ethnic community I know of,” the mayor said while lauding the ethnic diversity of London.

“We want more people from India to make London their first choice for visiting, studying or locating a business. This new office in London will show Indians what London has to offer and will provide practical resources to help encourage greater economic and cultural activity,” the mayor said while opening the India office of London.

Livingstone, who arrived here Sunday with a delegation comprising top business, sports and tourism executives, named Divya Dwivedi the chief representative of the mayor of London in India.

Livingstone’s mission in India is to promote London as the “most internationally successful world city” and to promote closer links between it and New Delhi.