Latest updates National

LeT made a model of the Taj Hotel: Headley

Public prosecutor Ujwal Nikam talking to media outside sessions court after video conference with 26/11 accused David Headley. Photo: Vivek Bendre

Public prosecutor Ujwal Nikam talking to media outside sessions court after video conference with 26/11 accused David Headley. Photo: Vivek Bendre  

Headley, appearing from an undisclosed location via video conferencing, continued to spill the beans on LeT involvement in the 26/11 terror attacks.

Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley today continued his deposition for the second consecutive day before a court here.

Headley, appearing from an undisclosed location via video conferencing, continued to spill the beans on LeT involvement with the 26/11 terror attacks.

In his >first deposition yesterday, Headley told the court that Pakistani terrorists attempted to attack Mumbai twice before the 26/11 strikes that killed 166 people but failed both times.

Describing himself as a “true follower of LeT”, Headley also admitted during his examination by special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam that he joined the ranks of LeT after getting “influenced and motivated” by the speeches of terrorist outfit’s founder Hafiz Saeed.

Headley, who is serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks, spoke about the role of Saeed, another LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as well as his handler in the outfit Sajid Mir.

Latest updates:

12.15 pm: Headley adds, “The plan to attack the conference hall in Taj was cancelled due to logistical reasons, like it was not possible to get weapons and personnel to the hall.”

12.10 pm: “They (LeT) made a mock (dummy) of the Taj Hotel. However, the meeting of the Indian Defence Scientists was cancelled," says Headley.

12.05 pm: "I was working for ISI also and met many people from Pakistani Army," says Headley.

12.00 pm: Headley says he was not given any money by ISI and LeT.

10.55 am: Headley says he used a GPS device given to him by Mir and Abu Khaffa to store locations.

10.50 am: Multiple targets included Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (Mumbai), Naval, Air station, Maharashtra Police state headquarters, Oberoi Hotel and CST. This included the video of Leopold cafe, Colaba Police Station and shops and Restaurants which are on the same road, says Headley. "During this surveillance, I also made the video of Bhagat Singh Marg road in Colaba." - ANI

10.46 am: Headley also says he was specifically asked to conduct surveillance of the Siddhivinayak Temple by Sajid Mir.

10.44 am: Headley says he handed over photo and video surveillance to Sajid Mir of the LeT and Major Iqbal, who were satisfied with it.

10.40 am: Headley says he stayed at the Taj Mahal hotel on the second floor with wife Faiza, where he conducted surveillance of the floor.

10.35 am: Headley is shown the register book from the Taj Hotel with signatures. Headley recognises and identifies his signatures.

10.30 am: Dr. Rana's friend Bashir Sheikh received Headley at the Mumbai airport. Headley's first day in Mumbai was also arranged by Bashir Sheikh, whom Headley says he did not know prior to his Mumbai visit.

10.20 am: Headley says he obtained permission from Dr. Rana to set up an office in Mumbai. >Tahawwur Hussain Rana , a former army doctor in Pakistan convicted in the U.S. for providing material support to the LeT, was Headley's schoolmate. He also helped Headley obtain a multiple-entry business visa through Raymond Sanders, who ran an immigrant law centre in Chicago.

10.15 am: David Headley says he arrived in Mumbai for the first time on Sep 14, 2006 from Karachi.

10.00 am: Headley says he does not know why Mumbai was specifically targeted.

9.45 am: "Prior to November 2007, I had taken photography and videography of Hotel Taj (Mumbai), but I didn't know that it would be targeted," says Headley.

9.35 am: Headley identifies Pasha from a photograph.

9.27 am: In early 2003, Headley also met Abdul Rahman Pasha, an LeT leader, in a mosque in Lahore. Headley went on to visit Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Pasha to meet a drug peddler Zeb Shah to seek his help in smuggling weapons to India.

9.24 am: Headley says his wife Faiza lodged a complaint in US Embassy in Islamabad that he was involved in terrorist activities.

9.20 am: In October 2003, Headley met Maulana Masood Mazhar, the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed, about three hundred miles away from South Lahore. Headley also met with Zakir Ur Rehman Lakhvi in 2003 at Muzzafarbad.

9.17 am: Headley admits that LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen are working under United Jihad council, and that all these are terrorist organisations in Pakistan working against India.

9.15 am: Headley says he was asked by LeT to gather military intelligence in India and also recruit someone from Indian military for spying.

9.10 am: Another meeting was held in November 2007 in Muzzafarbad, head quarters of LeT where Khaffa and Mir discussed and made a mark up to attack Hotel Taj on the basis of information collected by Headley. They were discussing on the basis of pictures and videos of conference room at Taj where a meeting of Indian Defence Scientists was scheduled to be held.

9.05 am: Headley then says he was asked to make a general video and recce of Mumbai by >Major Iqbal from the ISI .

9.00 am: In the deposition, Headley reveals that in the Spring of 2006, a meeting was held where LeT members Muzzabil Butt, Sajid Mir and Abu Khaffa were present. It was then decided that from Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, Mumbai was chosen to set up an office.

8.55 am: Headley also admits that Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was the all-over spiritual leader of LeT. He was in charge of operations in occupied Kashmir. Lakhvi was appointed as the head of all military operations by Hafeez Sayeed.

8.50 am: David Headley while deposing before the Mumbai Court admits that he knows Al-Qaeda, he also defines Al-Qaeda as a 'terrorist organisation'.

More on the Headley case and his role in LeT :



Sajid Mir

Lashkar-e-Taiba commander

"Sajid Mir was a high-ranking officer in the Pakistani Army and apparently also was in the ISI. "

Who is Sajid Mir?: Born in 1976, according to documents filed to obtain his Indian visa, Mir grew up in a middle-class ethnic Punjabi home.

Mir's father, according to Indian intelligence officials, earned enough working in Saudi Arabia to build a comfortable family home near Lahore airport, set up a small textile business, and put his sons through college.

He married the daughter of a retired Pakistan army chaplain; the couple are thought to have two sons.

Role in LeT: Mir was made responsible for training the growing number of western jihadists knocking on the Lashkar's doors.

Fluent in English, Urdu and Arabic, he was known to the foreign jihadists as “Uncle Bill”—a reference to Mir's affable manner.

Mir and Headley: Intense pressure by the United States led the Lashkar to shut down its camps to foreigners. Headley had arrived at Mir's camp just after the foreigners were evicted under ISI pressure — and was used to target India alone.

In an intercepted September 17, 2009 phone conversation with a former Pakistani military officer and military trainer called Abdur Rehman Hashim, Headley railed against Mir who, he asserted, had "rotten guts." "I am just telling you," he lectured Hashim "that the companies in your competition have started handling themselves in a far better way."





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.


(Compiled by Internet Desk)

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

null
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 6:56:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/LeT-made-a-model-of-the-Taj-Hotel-Headley/article15617409.ece

Next Story