Kasab's claim on Headley interrogation not so absurd: FBI sources

While there was no official response from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Attorney's office or Headley's lawyer John Theis, background conversations with authorities prompted nothing more than amused disbelief.
Although it is obvious that US prosecutors and investigators are following the media frenzy in India over Kasab recanting his confession and claiming that Headley was among the FBI team that questioned him, they are unlikely to make any official comment on the subject.

It is baffling for the authorities here how Kasab, who is incarcerated in maximum security prison, would have known about Headley by name. Equally intriguing is what persuaded him to surmise that introducing Headley's name at this stage of the case would create a great deal of confusion. But this development has no immediate bearing on Headley's impending trial in Chicago, or that of his fellow accused, Tahawwur Hussain Rana's.
Sources familiar with such matters say that as a matter of policy the FBI or any similar US government agency does not officially offer comment such subjects. Some non-US sources speaking on background, said although it is not as absurd as it may sound that someone like Headley could have been included in an official team under a plausible guise, in this particular case it is almost certain that it did not happen.

"Apart from the grave violation of another country's immigration laws, such an act has the real potential of causing profound damage to bilateral diplomatic ties. So unless it happened with Washington and New Delhi's covert consent, there is no way the FBI on its own would have taken Headley with them," these sources said.

An official at the Chicago FBI office's public affairs department declined to comment and instead asked that a formal email be sent to seek information. IANS did send that request but received no response.

Headley is under detention pending his trial on 12 counts, including six counts for aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India and another six counts of "conspiracy to bomb public places in India, to murder and main persons in India and Denmark."
By the time the Mumbai attacks happened Headley was already in the FBI's crosshairs and it is highly unlikely that the subject of a sensitive global investigation would have been co-opted into the questioning of another accused, namely Kasab.
Considering that the FBI team visited Mumbai some weeks ago and also that Headley has been in detention since Oct 3, there is next to nothing prospect of him having been taken to Mumbai even as part of a larger investigation to determine whether he had any personal contact with Kasab.

In the absence of a smoking gun to bear out Kasab's sensational claim, there is almost no possibility of verifying it. On the face of it Kasab's claim seems like nothing more than an attempt to throw a monkey wrench at the Indian justice system. If any of what he is claiming is even partly true, then it does bring into question the credibility of the whole case. That may well be his intention since he has nothing to lose if he had indeed set out of Pakistan with the knowledge that his action could result in his own death.

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