Kasab, team failed twice before: Headley

Kasab, team failed twice before: Headley

In a sensational disclosure, Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative David Headley told a Mumbai court on Monday that the group of 10 fidayeens who were part of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks had failed on two previous occasions.

The 56-year-old LeT operative deposed before Mumbai Sessions Court’s Additional Sessions Judge G A Sanap, who presides over cases related to terrorism, from an undisclosed location in the United States through video-conferencing.

Besides, Headley, who has been sentenced to 35 years in prison in the US after a plea bargain, recalled how he was influenced by LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and LeT chief of operations Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and how eager he was to fight the Indian Army in Kashmir.

Headley also spelt out his association with his handler Sajid Mir and officers from the Pakistani Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), like Maj Iqbal, Maj Ali and Maj (retd) Abdul Rehman Pasha. “Sajid Mir told me that the plan has failed twice,” said Headley, during his examination-in-chief by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

When asked about the first attempt, he said: “The first attempt failed in September 2008. The boat hit the rocks in the ocean. The people had life jackets and they came to the shores. However, the weapons and ammunition were lost…the boat had disintegrated.”

When Asked about the second attempt, he said: “It happened in a month or so (around October 2008)…that failed also.” When Nikam wanted to know as to who were in the first and the second boat, he said: “The same 10 people.”

Coming to the 26/11 attacks and when questioned whether in the third boat also the same persons were there, Headley said: “It is the same group of persons. Yes, they are the same people.” This is new information for the Mumbai Crime Branch-CID that had investigated the 26/11 terror attacks and the National Investigation Agency, which is in touch with the US agencies.

In fact, LeT fidayeen Kasab, the lone terrorist to be caught, had made three statements, but this fact has not come to light. 

First attempt in Sept 2008: Boat hit rocks. People had life jackets and they came to the shores. The weapons and ammunition were lost.

Second attempt: It happened in a month or so (around October).

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