Even as intelligence agencies indicated that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) suspect David Coleman Headley visited Lucknow and Agra during his stay in India, the Uttar Pradesh government denied that he had stayed in the State capital or in the city of Taj.
Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order), First, Brij Lal said here on Thursday that a verification was made of the foreigners who visited Lucknow and Agra in the last of couple of years and it was found that no David Coleman Headley had visited the cities. Mr. Lal added that Headley’s alias, Dawood Jilani, was also checked by the investigating agencies but no such person had stayed in the two places.
He said all documents pertaining to the visit of foreigners were checked by the agencies before ascertaining that Headley or Dawood Jilani had not visited the State.
Mr. Lal also denied that the Central government had alerted the State about a possible LeT-led terror attack on the lines of the 26/11 attack in Mumbai. “No alert has been received by the DG Police headquarters in Lucknow and the police headquarters in Allahabad,” the ADG said.
Reports quoting intelligence sources said that Headley had visited several cities before and after the November 26, 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai. They alleged that the terror suspect left U.P. in April 2009, but this has not been substantiated by the inputs gathered by the State intelligence agencies. Mr. Lal sought to dismiss these reports when he categorically said that no movement of Headley’s had been found in Uttar Pradesh.
U.P. has long been on the radar of terror outfits, with the State’s open border with Nepal offering a safe conduit for the smuggling of arms and counterfeit currency. But due to the tight surveillance and foolproof security measures, the State had not witnessed a terror attack since December 31, 2007 when LeT operatives attacked the Central Reserve Police Force sub-centre in Rampur.
Dismissing the possibility of LeT sleeper cells being active in the State, Mr. Lal said adequate security arrangements were in place and the agencies always on alert.
U.S. national Headley was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month for allegedly plotting LeT terror attacks against India.