Headley made his children do 'military drills'

Suspicious manoeuvres in Chicago park caught the attention of police

 “On a summer day last year, Headley, like many fathers, took his children to a Chicago park. There, Headley, ran his children through military drills, including manoeuvres such as rolling into a shooting position,” a report in the Chicago Tribune said, quoting the officer.

The “manoeuvres” had caught the attention of a Chicago police official who, like others in his department, was being trained to be more alert and to document suspicious activities. “At the park, the officer did exactly that,” the report said, adding “the officer also took note that Headley was speaking Urdu.”

“This really helped... bring him (Headley) on the radar,” Chicago police Cmdr Steve Caluris was quoted as saying of the officer’s observation.

“We are not saying he witnessed him plotting something out there in the public. He recognised an activity that seemed out of the ordinary.”

The observations — by the officer who had received counter-terrorism training — became part of the case that was built against Headley, who was arrested by the FBI in October last year and later charged in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and with planning attacks in Denmark.

“The details of his park activities were eventually combined with an independent tip the FBI task force got about Headley, adding pieces to the emerging picture of a possible terrorist,” the report said.

A Pakistani-American, Headley was living in Chicago’s far North Side in 2009. His plans for an attack in Denmark were under way, the report said.

Avoids detection

Headley, who has pleaded guilty to the terror charges and is currently lodged in a Chicago jail, had been successful in avoiding detection despite two of his wives coming forward with information about him.

US officials have said those tips were not specific enough to launch an investigation of a US citizen.

Headley had travelled extensively across India and shared information with his Pakistani handlers about terror targets in Mumbai and other Indian cities.

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