Special Correspondent

Conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years

Headley made five extended trips to Mumbai

Before each trip he was instructed on specific locations

NEW DELHI: The federal grand jury indictment in Chicago says that in 2002 and 2003, Headley attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan maintained by the Lashkar, and conspired with its members and others, including Rana, Kashmiri and Abdur Rehman, in planning and executing the attacks in Denmark and India. He allegedly conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the November 2008 attacks that killed 164 people and left hundreds injured.

According to the charges, unnamed Lashkar member ‘A’, who served as a “handler” for Headley and another person associated with the Lashkar, advised Headley in late 2005 that he would be travelling to India to perform surveillance of potential targets for the Lashkar. Headley changed his given name of Daood Gilani on February 15, 2006, in Philadelphia, enabling him to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani. In the spring of 2006, Lashkar member ‘A’ and a Lashkar associate discussed with Headley the idea that he could open an immigration office in Mumbai.

In June 2006, Headley allegedly travelled to Chicago, advised Rana of his assignment to scout potential targets in India, and obtained approval from Rana, who owned First World Immigration Services in Chicago and elsewhere, to open a First World office in Mumbai as cover for his activities. Rana allegedly directed an individual associated with First World to prepare documents supporting Headley’s cover story of opening a First World office in Mumbai, and advised Headley how to obtain a visa for travel to India. Headley misrepresented his birth name, his father’s true name and the purpose of his travel in his visa application, the indictment said.

In July 2006, an unnamed person ‘A’ in Pakistan gave Headley approximately $25,000 to establish and operate the Mumbai office of First World and to pay for living expenses, while Headley carried out his assignment for the Lashkar.

Headley later made five extended trips to Mumbai — in September 2006, February and September 2007, and April and July 2008 — each time taking photographs and making videotapes of various potential targets, including those attacked in November 2008, and using his association with First World as a cover for his travels.

Before each trip, Lashkar members and associates allegedly instructed Headley regarding specific locations where he was to conduct surveillance, and Headley travelled to Pakistan after each trip to meet Lashkar members and associates, report on the results of his surveillance, and provide the surveillance photos and videos.

During his meetings with Lashkar members and associates in Pakistan after the September 2007 surveillance trip to Mumbai, Lashkar member ‘A’ showed Headley a styrofoam mockup of the Taj Mahal hotel, and person ‘A’ provided Headley with approximately $2,000 worth of Indian currency for expenses, according to the indictment.

Before the April 2008 surveillance trip, Lashkar Member ‘A’ provided Headley with an additional $1,000 worth of Indian currency. In addition, Lashkar Members ‘A’ and ‘B’ provided Headley with a global positioning system device and showed him how to use it to record the locations of possible landing sites and potential targets in Mumbai, which Headley then used during his surveillance trips in April and July 2008.

Before the July 2008 visit, person ‘A’ provided an additional $1,500 worth of Indian currency to Headley to keep the First World office open, but approved closing that office in the future and opening a new business in Delhi, to be used as cover for future activities. During Headley’s July 2008 surveillance mission, Person ‘A’ communicated with Headley, by passing messages to him through Rana, the indictment said.

Starting November 26, 2008, and continuing for the next two days, 10 attackers trained by the Lashkar carried out multiple assaults with firearms, grenades and improvised explosive devices against multiple targets in Mumbai, including the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, the Leopold Café, the Chabad House, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station, each of which Headley allegedly had scouted in advance.

The six Americans killed during the three-day siege are identified in the charges as Ben Zion Chroman, Gavriel Holtzberg, Sandeep Jeswani, Alan Scherr, his daughter Naomi Scherr, and Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum.

The indictment said that Headley met with Lashkar Member ‘A’ in Pakistan in October 2008 and discussed the prospect of an attack on the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, and extensive surveillance work that Headley would perform. Lashkar Member ‘A’ allegedly provided Headley with a thumb drive containing information about Denmark, the city of Copenhagen, and the newspaper.

In late December 2008 and early January 2009, after reviewing with Rana how he had performed surveillance of the targets attacked in Mumbai, Headley advised Rana of the planned attack on the newspaper and his intended travel to Denmark to conduct surveillance of its facilities.

In late January 2009, Headley travelled to Pakistan and met separately to discuss the planning with Abdur Rehman and Lashkar member ‘A.’ In February 2009, Abdur Rehman allegedly took Headley to meet Kashmiri in the Waziristan region of Pakistan.

During the meeting, Kashmiri allegedly indicated that he had reviewed the surveillance videos made by Headley and suggested using a truck bomb in the operation. Kashmiri further indicated that he could provide manpower for the operation and that the Lashkar’s participation was not necessary, the indictment says.

Subsequently, in March 2009, Lashkar member ‘A’ advised Headley that the Lashkar put the newspaper attack on hold because of pressure in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks.

In May 2009, Headley and Abdur Rehman met again with Kashmiri in Waziristan and Kashmiri allegedly directed Headley to meet his European contacts, who could provide Headley with money, weapons, and manpower for the newspaper attack. In late July and early August 2009, Headley travelled from Chicago to various places in Europe, including Copenhagen, attempting to obtain assistance from Kashmiri’s contacts and, while there, made 13 additional surveillance videos, according to the charges.

In September 2009, Headley and Rana allegedly spoke about reports that Kashmiri had been killed in a drone attack and the implications of his possible death for the plan to attack the newspaper. Later that month, Abdur Rehman, from Pakistan, allegedly called Headley to report that Kashmiri was not killed and was anxious to move forward in the planned attack on the newspaper. In the late summer of 2009, Rana and Headley allegedly agreed that funds that had been provided to Rana could be used to fund Headley’s work in Denmark.

On October 3, 2009, Headley was arrested at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, as he was intending to travel to Pakistan to meet and deliver the 13 surveillance videos to Abdur Rehman and Kashmiri, the indictment said.

In custody in Pakistan

Nirupama Subramanian reports from Islamabad:

Major (retired) Abdur Rehman, indicted by the Chicago court, has already been taken into custody in Pakistan.

Military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas told The Hindu that the retired Army officer was the same person who was detained last year and is now in the custody of intelligence agencies.

The former major, who retired from service just two years ago, was picked up sometime in September 2009. The military spokesman said there was as yet no formal communication from the U.S. about his indictment, nor any requests for questioning him.

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