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al-Qaeda thought National Defence College is high value target: Headley

Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, deposing for the fourth day on Friday, told the special court that he was told to survey naval air station and Siddhivinayak temple too, but he discouraged the idea to target them as both were heavily guarded.

Here are highlights of the deposition:





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» Headley was told to recruit someone from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and hand over videos of BARC to Major Iqbal and Sajid Mir.
» In July 2008, Headley also visited Nalanda book store situated in Taj Hotel. He purchased 5 books and made payment via american express card. The books were:1. Indian Army 2020; 2. Royal Rajasthan 3. India's Jewish Heritage 4. Grand Trunk Road 5. Polo in India
» "I was interested in army book because I wanted to know what was their vision. Book was on what they hope to be in 2020," said Headley.
» Badhwar park at Cuffe Parade was selected as a safest landing sites because it gave practical advantage of small hutments, slums, cottages etc., to connect to the main road.
» Lakhvi said that this attack and action is very important and should be done properly. As this is the chance to take revenge from India for all the blasts that India had done in past.
» Headley's first wife Shazia wrote an email to him on November 28,2008 congratulating him for the attacks. She said, " Yaar you did great."
» The attackers used Indian sim-cards and Sajid Mir told Headley to test the range of the phone by sending him to Wagha border and see if the phone had proper signal.
» Ten attackers were send in a group of two to CST train station, Hotel Taj, Leopold Cafe, Cabard House and Hotel Oberoi: Headley
» Headley's second wife Faiza told Hafeez Saeed to talk to him to take her back as he had divorced her.
» Sajid Mir told Headley to keep good relationship with the PR head of Uddhav Thackeray and make an attempt to attack the Shiv Sena Bhavan or their leadership.
» I took videos of Shiv Sena Bhavan from inside and outside as I thought LeT would be interested in attacking Shiv Sena Bhavan or even carry out the assassination of the head: Headley
» Sajid Mir told Headley to take 2 or 3 videos of Shiv Sena Bhavan and the footage was shared with both Mir and Major Iqbal.
» Headley met Rahul Bhatt in a body building competition at Moksh gym.
» Sajid Mir and Abu Khaffa decided whether the 10 attackers would take the 'strong hold' option or 'egress' option. Strong hold means not to leave the place of attack and keep on fighting till the end and Egress would mean to leave the place of attack and then go back to India occupied Kashmir to continue fighting there.
» Headley also said that on a visit to Siddhivinayak temple he got the idea to purchase the yellow "wrist bands" so that the ten terrorists could wear it and assume Hindu identity as a cover for their time India.
» Major Abdul Rehman Pasha, who was serving with the Pakistan army, then LeT and then Al Qaeda referred to Headley's second wife Faiza as M2 in an email and told him to "keep her busy".
» Major Pasha was apprehensive that Faiza might disclose the conspiracy plan.
» LeT was not interested in attacking the National Defence College in Delhi but Al Qaeda thought it was a good idea because it was a high value target and has senior military officers.
PTI adds:
» Headley tells court that Chabad House was selected by LeT as a target as it was an international location where Jewish and Israeli people were staying.


>Read: First day of deposition

>Read: Second day of deposition

>Read: Third day of deposition



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.


Also read:

David Headley, who surveyed targets for the 26/11 attacks, gave Indian interrogators a step-by-step account of his training with Laskhar-e-Taiba. >Read more

“On one of my trips, October 2000, I made my first contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), quite by accident. I attended their annual convection in November. I was very impressed with their dedication to the cause of the liberation of Kashmir from Indian occupation,” Headley writes. >Read more

The prosecution had moved an application to make Headley a co-accused. >Read more

Headley had done much of the reconnoitring of targets for the team of assailants who executed the 26/11 plot. >Read more



David Headley deposition: Diclosures and revelations

In his depositions till now, Headley has revealed important information about the planning behind the terror attacks and his role in the same. >Read all about his deposition here >.

‘I loathed India from childhood’

Headley writes memoir in prison on 26/11 attacks, Lashkar


Headley turns approver after court pardons him

Headway with David Headley


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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 10:03:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/al-Qaeda-thought-National-Defence-College-is-high-value-target-Headley/article15618906.ece

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