'ISI, LeT operate arms smuggling network'

A tell-all report prepared by the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) describes in detail Headley’s revelations, including his “detailed videography of some other places (apart from Mumbai). They include the residence of the vice-pPresident of India, India Gate, Paharganj in Delhi, the CBI office and the El Al (Israeli airline) office in Mumbai”.
His interrogation helped the NIA to fill in the blanks in its investigation and the intelligence that the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shared with the agency. The money for the Mumbai operation was provided to him by the mysterious Major Iqbal of the ISI which had also paid Rs 25 lakh for the boat that was used in the first aborted mission by the LeT to reach Mumbai. The boat was, however, destroyed midsea. “Moreover, Headley mentioned getting a boat loaded with weapons to India had to have been cleared by Pakistan government authorities,” the rport says.

According to Headley’s interrogation report, which runs into 120 pages, and accessed by Deccan Herald, he was “aware” that sometime in April 2007, two LeT terrorists, Sajid Majid and Muzzammil paid Rs 8.5 lakh to Niyamat Shah, son of Jeb Shah, in Landikotal in Shermalkhel area of Khyber Agency in Pakistan to smuggle in arams and explosives to India.

From the Shirwari tribe in North Waziristan, which is heart of al-Qaeda operations in the tribal area where the United States is continuing to push Pakistan for a military offensive to clear out terrorists, Niyamat Shah pushes in drugs, produced by Taliban and Pakistani militants, into India.

But it was in January 2006 that Headley took a Paksitani army officer Colonel Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed to the Khyber Agency to “introduce him to some of my old contacts of drug-dealing days for assistance to smuggle weapons to India”.

In his tell-all statement to the NIA, Headley says that after reaching Kyber Agency by taxi, Col Hashim and he were taken to Khar police station and subsequently lodged in Landikotal jail, but were “let off” on the intervention of an ISI officer Maj Ali alias Sheen who shared his intelligence exploits while being based in Lahore.

Headley discussed the possibilities of smuggling weapons to India with his contact Niyamat Shah who said that his men could smuggle out weapons and narcotics to India through Jammu, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

In his disclosures to the NIA, Headley has given precise details of each of his contacts, including ISI officers like Major Iqbal, Major Sameer Ali, Colonel Shah and Lieutenant Colonel Hamza. The report says quoting Headley that after returning to Lahore from the Khyber Agency, “Maj Iqbal introduced me to his boss known as Lt Col Hamza” who is in his “early forties...baby-faced...five feet inches in height...(and) appeared to be from Punjab.”
In early 2009 Col Hashim introduced Headley to Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri, a former member of Pakistan’s elite commando Special Services Group, who quit the service to join the terrorist ranks and then subsequently became an al-Qaeda operative in North Waziristan.

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