Indian intelligence officials who went to the United States to get themselves acquainted with the ongoing probe into the suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley's terror plot targeting India have returned with "good information," Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Saturday. He, however, refused to divulge details, maintaining that investigations were still going on.
"The team had a good visit. They have come back with good information," Mr. Chidambaram told journalists here.
Asked if Headley was linked to the Mumbai attacks, he quipped: "This is not a cricket match which gives a ball-by-ball description. Investigation is on and once the investigating agency completes investigations, we will share whatever has to be shared."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested the 49-year-old Pakistan-born U.S. citizen in Chicago last month on suspicion that he was part of a larger LeT conspiracy to plan terror attacks in India. His accomplice, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Canadian national, was also arrested.
Links to 26/11
Detectives of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are poring over details of Headley's visits to India over the past three years and trying to explore if he had any link to the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. Pune, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Kochi are also on the radar screen of the investigators, who are retracing Headley's steps in India.
Headley's U.S. passport (No. 097536400), issued in March 2006, and valid for 10 years, revealed that he came to Delhi from Abu Dhabi on March 6 this year. Sources did not rule out the possibility of Headley having a Pakistani passport also.
It is believed that during his sojourn in the Capital he gathered details on possible targets such as the National Defence College. During his stay in Mumbai's Taj and Trident, Headley is suspected to have made video films of the hotels.
Referring to the meticulous planning behind the 26/11 attacks, the sources said the 10 Pakistani terrorists had swiftly divided themselves into separate teams and headed for their specific targets.
Rana had visited India once prior to 26/11 and was believed to have stayed put in Mumbai a few days before the terror attacks.
In the light of the details of the Headley-Rana visits to India, investigators are likely to question Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist facing trial in Mumbai for the 26/11 attacks, on these lines.