David Coleman Headley hoodwinked the Indian Consulate in Chicago. Through a loophole in the visa process, Headley was able to keep hidden the fact that he is originally Pakistani.
American-Pakistani terror suspect David Headley’s visa application did not ring any alarm bells in the Indian consulate in Chicago as he did not disclose his Pakistani origin, according to reliable information.
Headley, charged with scouting targets for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks blamed on Pakistan based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), gave his name in the visa application form as “David Coleman Headley.” He wrote ‘last name at birth’ as “Headley” only, his father’s name as “William Headley” and nationality as “US”.
As the mentioned American name and the nationality in the visa application form were matching the information on his US passport, and his name did not figure on any black list with the consulate, his application could not have alerted the processing officials, say diplomatic sources familiar with the case.
Headley’s Pakistani origin cannot be traced from his passport either as the US passport, it was pointed out, does not show “Parents’ names, previous nationality of the passport holder or parents’ previous nationalities, address of the passport holder and previous name”.
Not only is Headley’s place of birth, according to his US passport, in the USA, he also submitted a business sponsor letter from the Immigrant Law Centre owned by Raymond Joseph Sanders, a US national.
Headley, according to federal charges filed in a Chicago court, had changed his birth name Daood Gilani on or about Feb 15, 2006, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania “in order to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani.”
US Passport has only following fields printed in it: Type, Passport No., Surname, Given Name, Nationality, Date of Birth, Sex, Place of Birth, Date of Issue, Date of Expiration, Authority, Amendments and Photo of the passport holder.
Even there is no signature or thumb impression on the printed pages and that is left to the passport holder to do later. Several times a US passport does not have any endorsements about the changes in the Date of Birth or Name Change.
Pakistani-Canadian businessman Tahawwur Hussain Rana, accused of helping Headley in the Mumbai attacks conspiracy, and his wife Samraz Rana Akhtar disclosed their Pakistani origin. However, as per a Ministry of Home Affairs circular of 2005, no prior reference to New Delhi was required for Canadian Nationals of Pakistani origin.
Rana also submitted business sponsor letters from Immigrant Law Centre and original property tax payment notice from the Cook County towards his address proof.
Sanders, a US national, submitted a business sponsor letter and his driver’s license as an address proof.
The names of all four - David Coleman Headley, Tahawwur Rana Hussain, Samraz Rana Akhtar and Raymond Sanders - do not appear in the black list provided to or maintained by the Indian mission.
According to reliable information, Headley’s 2007 visa application is dated 16 July 2007 & visa was issued on 18 July 2007. The applications of Tahawwur Rana and his wife were received in the consulate on 22 Oct 2008 and visas were issued on 31 Oct 2008.
The application of Sanders was received by the consulate on 29 Oct 2008 and visa was issued on 3 Nov 2008. Thus it can be seen that the visas were not issued in a hurry, the sources said.