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Headley’s wife, associate ‘refuse’ to answer NIA questions: Sources

The agency had approached Headley’s wife Shazia and his business partner Raymond Sanders through the U.S. Department of Justice.

The U.S.-based wife of Pakistan-American Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley, one of the > main conspirators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, and his business partner have “refused” to answer questions posed by NIA, citing a privacy clause.

The agency had approached Shazia, Headley’s wife, and Raymond Sanders, his business partner, through the U.S. Department of Justice, for helping it get answers to some of the questions related to the 55-year-old terrorist, undergoing a prison term of 35 years in an American jail, for his role in plotting the terror strikes in Mumbai and Denmark.

Official sources said both of them “refused” to answer any questions, citing a “privacy” clause. As per the U.S. law, since neither of them is an accused in the case, they can accept or deny requests for examination by a foreign law enforcement agency.

The investigators had approached them as they feel Headley had stonewalled information about his family and that they had knowledge of his activities in India and his links with the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba.

According to the 106-page dossier of the NIA, Headley had told the Indian investigators that they should not ask him any questions pertaining to his immediate family. The dossier was prepared after the detailed questioning of Headley in the U.S. in 2010.

“I got married to Shazia Gilani in Pakistan in the year 1999...I do not want to discuss the details of my in-law’s family as they have nothing to do with my activities...,” Headley is quoted as having said in the dossier.

Further stonewalling information about his immediate family, especially his first wife, Headley told the NIA team that “my request would be not to ask questions relating to my immediate family members.”

According to the Chicago court records, Shazia watched on TV the terror strikes unfold in Mumbai and used code words like “I am watching cartoons” to describe the 26/11 strikes.

“I’ve been watching these cartoons (attacks) all day and I am proud of you,” Shazia wrote in an email to Headley during the strikes. In her congratulatory message, she also said how proud she was at his graduation (success of attacks). This was stated by Headley on May 27, 2011, the fourth day of the trial of > co-accused Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana.

He told Defence Attorney Patrick W. Belgan that after the Mumbai attacks began many people congratulated him, besides Shazia, who was even aware of his plans for Denmark attacks and had booked plane tickets for him from Denmark to Frankfurt to Dubai and Pakistan.

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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.





David Headley arrest: Chronology of events

  • October 18, 2009: Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, a resident of Chicago and an accomplice of Headley, arrested by the FBI.
  • October 27, 2009: FBI files affidavit in a Chicago court alleging that Pakistan—based terror group Lashkar—e—Taiba was planning to use Headley to carry out a major terror attack in India and Danish newspaper ‘Jyllands—Posten’
  • November 30, 2009: Tahawwur Rana categorically denies any involvement in the Mumbai attacks. The detention hearing of Headley scheduled for December 4 at a Chicago court indefinitely deferred.
  • December 7, 2009: Headley charged in a Chicago court with criminal conspiracy in Mumbai terror attacks and having links with a retired Pakistani army Major who liaised between him and terror groups including LeT and HuJI.
  • December 8, 2009: US President Barack Obama says indictment of Headley, is an “important day” in his effort to protect the people from terrorists.
  • December 9, 2009: Headley pleads not guilty before a Chicago court where he was produced. Next hearing postponed till January 12.
  • December 14, 2009: Headley turns into FBI informant to avoid death penalty. FBI says the Somnath temple in Gujarat, Bollywood stars and Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai were also the targets of LeT, which was planning to carry out strikes with the help of Headley and Rana.
  • December 29, 2009: FBI classifies arrest of Headley as its second biggest case for the year 2009.
  • January 11, 2010: The status hearing of Headley postponed till Feb 23.
  • January 15, 2010: Ilyas Kashmiri, the dreaded Pakistani terrorist, belonging to the Harakat—ul Jihad Islami, indicted in a U.S. court for the first time in connection with the plot to target the Danish newspaper.
  • January 26, 2010: Tahawwur Rana pleads not guilty to the charges of helping arrange the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and making plans for an attack on the Danish newspaper.
  • January 27, 2010: Headley pleads not guilty to all the charges of helping arrange the attack on targets in Mumbai and on the Danish paper.
  • February 23, 2010: A U.S. court adjourns till March 23 the status hearing of Headley.
  • March 10, 2010: Headley, who pleads guilty to 12-count of terror charges, including plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks at the behest of Pakistan-based LeT and conspiring to target a Danish newspaper, escapes death penalty.
  • January 24, 2013: U.S. federal court sentenced Headley to 35 years in prison for his role in the Mumbai attacks.
  • July, 2015: Mumbai police seeks to take a deposition of Headley by video-conference to provide evidence against Zabiuddin Ansari (Abu Jundal).
  • December 10, 2015: Mumbai court pardons David Headley, makes him an approver in 26/11 case.


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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 9:24:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Headley%E2%80%99s-wife-associate-%E2%80%98refuse%E2%80%99-to-answer-NIA-questions-Sources/article14078976.ece

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