'Sajid Mir was key to Mumbai attacks'

Sajid Mir, whom David Headley repeatedly referred to during his deposition via video conferencing, was an integral part of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) team that planned and executed the Mumbai terror attacks.

It was Mir who instructed Headley to make a general video of Mumbai, which was later used to plan the deadly attacks at various places in the western metropolis. He was also close to Mir, which is evident from the fact he told Headley about the two aborted attempts before the November 26 terror strikes.

Headley had first met Mir at the Lahore High Court when he along with others had gone to settle some cases of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed. Mir was introduced to him by one Ramzan of LeT. Mir, who belongs to Lahore and is LeT’s foreign recruiter, also runs training camps.

According to Indian security officials, Mir entered into a criminal conspiracy in 2005 along with others based in Pakistan for waging war against India. Mir had visited India using a false name and fake passport in April 2005 to carryout reconnaissance activities.

He assumed the identity of Mohd Awan and visited India under the pretext of watching India, Pakistan cricket match, officials said. He had also collected video footage and photographs gathered by Headley during the reconnaissance in India after each visit of the latter. An NIA chargesheet says he actually committed the crime of organising the 26/11 attack in association with the other co-conspirators.

Mir was “coordinating, guiding and directing the other co-conspirators” in the Mumbai attacks. He along with Headly and others also planned an attack in Denmark. Headley used to meet him whenever he returned from India and handed over video footages to Mir. Another person whom Headley used to give footages was one Major Iqbal.

It was in July 2006, Mir asked Headley to travel to India to conduct reconnaissance of potential targets for attacks by LeT. Headley was told that he should carefully conceal his Muslim religion and Pakistani origin and he should integrate himself in the business and military community during his stay in India.

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