LeT gets military & financial support from ISI: Headley

RSTV Bureau
File photo of David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani -American LeT terrorist. A Mumbai court directed that Headley must be produced in the 26/11 terror attack case on December 10 by video-conference while allowing a plea by Mumbai police to make him an accused. PTI Photo

File photo of David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani -American LeT terrorist. A Mumbai court directed that Headley must be produced in the 26/11 terror attack case on December 10 by video-conference while allowing a plea by Mumbai police to make him an accused. PTI Photo

Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Coleman Headley, who is serving a 35-year term in an American prison, deposed before a Mumbai court for the second day in connection with the 26/11 terror attack case.

In his testimony via a video link, Headley claimed that Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI provided military, financial and moral support to the terror outfit LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen.

In his explosive deposition, Headley also revealed that he was working for the Pakistani Army and ISI besides the LeT. He also claimed that he knew that ISI official Brigadier Riyaz was the handler of LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who was the key man
responsible for the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

Headley told the court that LeT had planned to attack Indian defence scientists’ meet at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. He also said that he was asked by the ISI to recruit Indian armymen to spy for them.

“I met Major Iqbal of ISI in Lahore in early 2006. He asked me to gather military intelligence from India and also try to recruit someone from the Indian military to spy. I told Major Iqbal that I would do as he asked,” Headley told the court.

“I cannot tell this court who specifically from LeT instructed to conduct terror acts in India. The group as a whole was responsible. We can, however, speculate that since Zaki-ur-Rehman was the head of operations of LeT, and hence all orders would have logically come from him,” he revealed.

He also told the court that the LeT decided at the end of 2007 that the target of the attack was going to be Mumbai.

“In November, December 2007, the LeT held a meeting in Muzaffarabad which was attended by Sajid Mir (Headley’s handler in the outfit) and one Abu Kahsa….In this meeting it was decided that terror attacks would be conducted in Mumbai,” Headley testified.

“The task of conducting recce of Taj Hotel in Mumbai was assigned to me. They (Sajid and Kahsa) had some information that there was going to be a meeting of Indian defence scientists at the conference hall in Taj Hotel. They wanted to plan an attack at that time…They also made a mock (dummy) of the Taj Hotel. However, the meeting of the scientists was cancelled,” he said.

The 55-year-old terrorist-turned-approver said that he was also working for ISI and had met many people from the Pakistani Army. He revealed that he also conducted a recce of Maharashtra State Police Headquarters, the Naval air station in south Mumbai and the famous Siddhivinayak Temple.

On day one of his deposition on Monday, Headley named ISI and LeT chief Hafiz Saeed in court for the first time in connection with the 26/11 case. He also revealed that the terrorists attempted to attack Mumbai twice before the 26/11 but failed. He also called himself a “true follower of LeT”.

Headley is serving a 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people. The deadly attack executed at multiple spots in Mumbai began on November 26, 2008 and lasted for 3 days.

(With inputs from PTI)