Not paid by ISI or LeT, says Headley

February 09, 2016 02:29 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 05:00 am IST - Mumbai

The Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, deposing for the second day on Tuesday, told the special court here that he was not given any money either by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) or by the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Headley, currently lodged in a U.S. prison, has been deposing as an approver through a video link in the November 2008 terror attacks case.

He told the court that he completed five or six leadership courses offered by the LeT, at which Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi were also present.

Fixing the target

He told special Judge G.A. Sanap about his meetings with his handlers Muzammil, Sajid Mir (Headley’s key contact in the LeT) and Abu Khaffa to plan the 26/11 attacks. The first meeting took place in the spring of 2006 to choose among Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to launch the attack. He was then sent to Mumbai to set up an office and take videos and photographs of the city. The major work assigned to him was reconnaissance of Taj Hotel, especially the convention centre on the second floor. A meeting of Indian defence scientists had been planned there, but it was cancelled.

Headley said they met again in November 2007 to plan the attack after going through the information he had gathered. Muzammil was not present at this meeting. The final plan was chalked out keeping in mind the entrance and exit of Taj Hotel and the convention centre. He surveyed the CST railway station, Oberoi Hotel, the police headquarters and the entire lane in Colaba, including Leopold Café.

He said Mir asked him to specially make a video of the Siddhivinayak Temple and he gave all the videotapes and photographs to Major Iqbal and Mir.

LeT, ISI work together: Headley

In his deposition before a special court here for the second day on Tuesday, Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley said he had met his handlers again in November 2007 to plan the attack after going through the information he had gathered in Mumbai.

He said he had met Major Abdul Rehman Pasha, a retired officer with the Pakistani Army who was in 6 Baloch Regiment.

Pasha joined the LeT after retirement and two years later joined the al-Qaeda. He had heard that Brigadier Riyaz, a serving ISI officer, was another handler of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi .

Headley said he came to Mumbai in September 2006. He first stayed at the Taj and then moved to Oberoi. Later, he stayed as a paying guest in a house near Breach Candy Hospital. He returned to visit Taj Hotel in April 2007 with his wife Faiza and conducted surveillance of the hotel several times.

Headley said the LeT and the ISI worked closely with each other and gave military, financial and moral support to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. He met Maulana Mazoor Azhar, head of the JeM, at a gathering in October 2003 organised by the LeT where he was the guest speaker.

When special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam asked Headley where he went after visiting Mumbai, he said he visited the UAE to invest his money in properties.

The deposition will continue on Wednesday morning.

More on the Headley case and his role in LeT :

David Headley

Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba operative

Who is Headley? He was born Daood Gilani. His parents — the Philadelphia socialite Serill Headley and Pakistani poet and diplomat Syed Salim Gilani — divorced soon after they moved to Islamabad in 1960. Mrs. Headley returned to Philadelphia. Headley was admitted to a boarding school, where he first met Rana, but then moved to the United States in 1977. He rebelled against his mother's heavy drinking and multiple sexual relationships by expressing a loathing for all non-Muslims.

Marital life Apart from Shazia Gilani, records show that he was married to Faiza Outhalla, a Lahore-based medical student. Headley divorced her to evade pressure from his family and then married her again after she filed a complaint with police in Lahore that led to his incarceration for several days.He also had another bigamous marriage with a New York-based make-up artist, Portia Gilani, ich ended in divorce in 2005.

His other life Headley married Shazia Gilani, daughter of a retired Pakistan soldier, in 1999. Ms. Gilani moved to the United States in 2008, along with their four children — Haider, Osama, Sumya and Hafsa.

Psychological problems Evidence also emerged that Headley was diagnosed in 1992 with multiple personality disorder — a condition which includes the possession of multiple mannerisms, attitudes and beliefs. His personal life could provide an explanation for why he sought psychological counselling..

26/11 Mumbai attacks Viewing the terror strikes unfold in Mumbai on television, David Headley’s first wife Shazia used code words like “I am watching cartoons” to convey to him that he had “graduated”, a term she used for success of the 26/11 strikes.“I’ve been watching these cartoons (attacks) all day and I am proud of you,” Ms. Shazia wrote in an email to 50-year-old Mumbai accused during the strikes.

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