ISI wanted Headley to penetrate military

Last Updated 09 February 2016, 18:52 IST

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) wanted David Headley to undertake reconnaissance of military establishments in India and develop contacts with officials of the armed forces and recruit spies.

This was way back in 2006 even before the Mumbai terror attack plan was conceived and after he was caught along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and came in contact with two ISI operatives – Maj Iqbal and Maj Ali.

During his deposition, he said that had met Maj Iqbal in early 2006 in Lahore. Asked what Maj Iqbal wanted him to do, Headley said: “He wanted me to note the movement of troops in India. He wanted someone to spy….on matters of military intelligence, movement of officers. He wanted me to develop contacts with officials of Indian military forces with a purpose to gather intelligence.”

Asked where he meet Maj Iqbal in Lahore, he said it was in some house. Asked if anyone else was present, he said: “A Colonel of the Pakistani Army was present…no one was wearing uniform.”

When pressed further on what they told him, Headley said: “I said yes to what he was asking….on (aspects of gathering) military intelligence”.
Headley also confirmed that Maj Iqbal asked him about his passport, visa, training and other aspects.

Fumbles... gets irritated
The otherwise calm and composed David Headley fumbled when he was reeled out and countered with names of ISI handlers and operatives and posed a battery of questions that hinted towards his strained relations with wife Faiza Outelha, reports DHNS from Mumbai.

     The questions were pertinent as it dwelt on the larger aspect of the reconnaissance that he carried out in Mumbai ahead of the 26/11 terror attacks.

The 56-year-old Pakistani-American was visibly tensed and fumbled and went into silent mode for some time when he was confronted with names of ISI agents like Col Shah, Brig Riyaz, Lt Col Hamza, Maj Sameer Ali, Maj Iqbal. He denied meeting Brig Riyaz but said he met Col Shah only once.

     He confirmed other names. When it was pointed out that during one of his visits to Mumbai, he initially stayed with wife Faiza in Taj Mahal Palace, but later she shifted to Outram Hotel, he said: “I don’t remember.” When confronted with facts and hotel receipts, he said: “It’s a personal matter…we had an argument…its between me and her.”

Terror plan
First meet held in 2006 to decide target — Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru
Taj Hotel discussed as a target in 2007 meet attended by Sajid Mir, Muzammil and Khafa
Sept 2008: First attempt to attack Mumbai fails
Oct 2008: Second attempt to attack Mumbai fails
Nov 26-28, 2008: Ten LeT fidayeens carry out
multiple attacks on Mumbai
Targets include the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, the Leopold Café, the Chabad House and the CST
All locations scouted in advance by Headley

Early years:David Headley
Born Daood Gilani on June 30, 1960, in Washington DC to a Pak diplomat and American mother 
Headley is a US citizen, by birth
Elementary schooling at Jesus and Mary Convent, Karachi
Attends Habib High School in Karachi and Cadet College in Punjab (Pak)
Meets Dr Tahawwur Hussain Rana in Cadet College
Knows English, Urdu and Hindi

Tumultuous marriage
 Marries Shazia Gilani in 1999
 Meets Portia Peters in 2004, marries her later
 Marries Faiza Outelha alias Faizala Christiana in 2007
 Faiza complains to police in Lahore in Dec 2007 about Headley being abusive
 Faiza complains to US Embassy in Islamabad in Jan 2008 about Headley’s terror activities

Hunting down Headley
Oct 3, 2009: Held by FBI atChicago airport en route to Pak
Jan 14, 2010: Charges framed 
March 18, 2010: Enters plea
bargain with FBI;
 — agrees to reveal about 26/11
attacks and Denmark plot
June 2010: US gives NIA access to Headley
Jan 24, 2013: Gets 35 years in prison by a US court for Mumbai attacks
Dec, 2015: Turns approver
Feb 8, 2016: Starts deposing before Mumbai court

Joins Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in 2002
Undergoes LeT training
Meets LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and chief of operations Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in 2002-04
 Hears lecture from JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar
Applies for change of name in 2005 in Philadelphia
Name changed on February 15, 2006
Meets Maj (retd) Abdul Rehman Pasha after arrest in Landi Kotal area
 Maj Pasha later joins al Qaeda
Visits Pak in 2006; meets ISI handler Maj Iqbal and LeT contact Sajid Mir

(Published 09 February 2016, 18:52 IST)

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