Mumbai

U.S. agency asked me to visit Pakistan, claims Headley

In another sensational claim, Pakistani-American terrorist and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley told a court that after he was arrested by the United States’ Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1997, the agency instructed him to visit Pakistan and had sponsored the trip as well.

Headley, who was made an approver in the Mumbai 26/11 trial, made this claim on Wednesday, when he was being cross-examined before Judge G.A. Sanap during a trial against one of the alleged plotters, Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal.

Headley surprised many when he claimed that he had not received any money from LeT, and that he had donated 60 to 70 lakh Pakistani rupees to the terrorist outfit. He revealed the information of donating money to LeT when defence advocate Abdul Wahab Khan asked him if he had bought a few shops in United Arab Emirates (UAE) from the money he received from LeT.

Headley also said that the money he donated was unlikely used for the November attacks.“It was impossible that the money would be used [for 26/11 attack] as 2006 was the last time I had donated,” he said. To a question if the money was donated for terrorist activities, he said “I had donated for many things.”

Advocate Khan asked Headley if Tahawwur Hussain Rana, fellow accused in the Denmark plot, knew about his association with LeT. To which, Headley replied in affirmative. Headley told the court that he had also informed Dr Rana about the training he underwent with the terror outfit.

Headley, went ahead, and said that he had told Dr Rana that he was acting as spy for the Mumbai attacks just before the conspiracy to attack was to end. He added that Dr Rana did not object to his association and participation in the attacks and said that, “He never objected.”

He also said that the only objection Dr Rana had was that he did not want Headley to continue using his office in Mumbai, which he had conceded to and had stopped using the office in July 2008, three months before the attacks that killed 164 people.

On being asked about his first wife Shazia’s whereabouts and whether she was in USA or Pakistan, Headley said, “I can’t disclose her location as there safety and security issues. On further being asked about Shazia, Headley said, “I am not going to answer any questions about my wife." He also said that Shazia never visited India and that he had told her about his relation with LeT.

Asked if Shazia was happy with his association with LeT, Headley snapped and said “ aapko samaj mein aata hain ya nahin (do you understand or not) my communication with my wife is private and I am not going to share anything between me and my wife as it is personal family matter.”

The 55-year-old deposing from an undisclosed location also said that the he had mentioned about his previous convictions in an application form when he wanted to change his name from Dawood Sayed Gilani to David Coleman Headley on his American passport. The cross examination will continue on Thursday.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 11:13:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/U.S.-agency-asked-me-to-visit-Pakistan-claims-Headley/article14171394.ece

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