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US faces terror threat diffused from AfPak region: Official

New Delhi, Dec 5 : The US faces an increasingly diffused terror threat that has evolved from a central location in the AfPak region, a senior official said Thursday, noting the threats require shift in tactics.


Talking to reporters at the end of India-US police chiefs' conference here, Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security David Heyman said there was need to empower communities in the fight against terror as they were likely to get information about any attempt at recruitment.

Asked about terror threat in the US, he said there was increasingly diffused threat "that has evolved from central location in the AfPak" region.

The two-day conference deliberated on the issue of cyber security in detail with India asking the US to strengthen legal assistance and encourage cooperation in cyber crimes as most service providers were in that country.

"It would be important to strengthen the process of legal assistance so as to speed up the investigations and promote legal mechanisms that encourage co-operation in cyber crime matters," Home Secretary Anil Goswami told the conference, according to a home ministry release.

He said that the security measures should be designed to facilitate safe movement of people and goods while securing critical infrastructure. He also called for strengthening cyber security environment to facilitate e-commerce and other services.

Goswami said partnership in the areas of use of sophisticated technology, forensics, solutions for chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear threats and IT solutions need to be strengthened.

Heyman later addressed a press conference in which he was accompanied by Daniel Oates, chief of Aurora Police Department, Art Acevedo, chief of Austin Police Department, and Michael Downing, deputy chief of Los Angeles Police Department.

Laying stress on community-oriented policing to deal with challenges such as radicalization of individuals, he said there were self-radicalized individuals and those recruited from outside.

"Each of these cases (require) empowerment of communities, support to their efforts," he said.

The police officers from the US also shared their experiences about "use" and "frustration" with the social media amid growing concerns in India about its possible misuse in flaring up communal tensions.

Downing said there was robust discussion on technology and use and leveraging of social media.

He said there was also frustration due to possible misuse of social media.

"It causes us to be distracted. (There can be) potentially destructive inaccurate information," he said.

Downing said the two sides shared experiences and "conversation was very helpful".

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde have in the past pointed to the misuse of social media in fanning riots in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar.

Shinde inaugurated the conference Wednesday.

--IANS (Posted on 05-12-2013)

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