The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday asked the government why its intelligence agencies were unable to question Laskhar operative David Headley, arrested in the U.S., whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation was allowed access to Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab’, the lone surviving gunman involved in 26/11. “Did Prime Minister Manmohan Singh raise the issue during his recent U.S. visit? What steps have been taken to question Headley,” Brinda Karat asked during question hour in the Rajya Sabha.

The CPI(M) leader also wanted to know whether the FBI provided real-time intelligence on Headley’s movements in India as it claimed to have been tracking him for over a year. Ms. Karat alleged that Headley was a double agent of the U.S. security agencies, beginning with the Drug Enforcement Adminstration. Indian agencies were not being given access to him because that would expose the “underbelly” of the U.S. intelligence operations in the region.

Headley, she said, was among the long list of U.S. intelligence agents in the region who turned rogue, the most famous being Osama bin Laden. Headley, earlier a drug smuggler, had been working as an undercover agent of the Central Intelligence Agency since 1999 and was helped by the U.S. government to make frequent trips to Pakistan. He travelled to India after the November 2008 Mumbai blasts and the FBI was aware of his antecedents even before the terror strike, she said.

Several members associated themselves with her observations and some, including from the Bharatiya Janata Party, thumped their desks in appreciation.

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