Pakistan's powerful intelligence services were heavily involved in preparations for the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008, according to classified Indian government documents obtained by The Guardian.

A 109-page report into the interrogation of key suspect David Headley, a Pakistani-American militant arrested last year and detained in the United States, makes detailed claims of ISI support for the bombings.

Key motivation

Under questioning, Headley described dozens of meetings between officers of the main Pakistani military intelligence service, the ISI, and senior militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

He claims a key motivation for the ISI in aiding the attacks was to bolster militant organisations with strong links to the Pakistani state and security establishment who were being marginalised by more extreme radical groups.

Headley, who undertook surveillance of the targets in Mumbai, claims that at least two of his missions were partly paid for by the ISI and that he regularly reported to it.

Headley, interviewed over 34 hours by Indian investigators in America in June, described how “a debate had begun among the terrorist outfits” and “a clash of ideology” leading to “splits.”

“T © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010

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