Terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), blamed for the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, got assistance from Pakistan's intelligence agency, ISI, and both coordinated with each other, Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley said on Monday.
He had pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the 2008 attack.
The testimony by Headley, a star prosecution witness, came as the trial of the Mumbai attack co-accused and his long-time friend Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Canadian of Pakistani origin, opened at Chicago's Dirksen Federal Building. Headley is also a co-accused.
In its opening arguments, prosecution said the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had links with Rana and Headley, both of whom are 50 years old. Rana has not pleaded guilty.
Headley said the ISI helped the Pakistan-based LeT. He first started training in Pakistan more than a decade ago with the LeT.
Headley said the LeT boss, Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the November 2008 attack that killed 166 persons, motivated him for carrying out a ‘jihad.' Saeed told him that the satisfaction of one second of ‘jihad' is equal to “100 years of worship.”
During his testimony before the pre-lunch proceedings, Headley said he wanted to get launched in Jammu and Kashmir but the LeT bosses told him that they would find something better for him. He said he disliked India. The LeT operative also said he was in touch with ‘Major' Iqbal of the ISI.
Headley, Rana's old friend from military school in Pakistan, claims that two years before terrorists struck Mumbai, he began laying the ground work for the attack, financed by $25,000 from ‘Major' Iqbal.
When LeT leaders began talking about a possible attack in India, Headley suggested that he get involved. “I suggested that I change my name and make a new passport to make it easy to enter India undetected,” Headley testified.