ISI recruited me, says Headley

ISI recruited me, says Headley

Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley admitted that he was drafted by Pakistan spy agency — Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) — to penetrate India’s military establishment and keep a regular tab on troop movements.

On the second day of his deposition on Tuesday before a Mumbai court via video conference, the US citizen of Pakistani origin continued to implicate the Pakistani establishment in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks when questioned by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

Headley revealed that the ISI and the LeT had planned to carry out strikes at strategic assets like Naval Air Station at Colaba, Maharashtra Police headquarters near Gateway of India and the famous Siddhivinayak temple at Prabhadevi.

Besides confirming that he had worked for both the ISI and the LeT, the 56-year-old LeT operative, who made eight trips to Mumbai —seven before the November 26-29, 2008 attacks — said his masters also tried to target the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in 2007 to attack a conference of Indian defence scientists. However, the plan was aborted due to logistical problems like “personnel and arms”.

To a specific question whether he was working for the ISI, Headley said: “Yes”. Asked who were coordinating for ISI and Lashkar, he said: “I was meeting both.”

Ø ISI wanted Headley to penetrate military
Ø US ready to assist India
in investigation
Ø Siddhivinayak temple was also a target
Ø At Taj Hotel, scientists were targets
Ø Fumbles... gets irritated
Ø Two Indians helped Headley
Ø ‘Urged LeT to challenge ban’

He also confirmed the names of several ISI officials and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives. He named his contact persons as Major Iqbal of ISI and Sajid Mir of LeT.
The latter remained in constant touch with the terror group’s founder Hafiz Saeed and chief-of-operations Zakiur  Rehman Lakhvi.

When asked to specify the relations between the ISI and the LeT, he said: “My assessment is they coordinate with each other…I do not have any direct knowledge…they coordinate the way everyone else does.”

Headley, who has turned an approver in a US court, also revealed how ISI helps out Lashkar-e-Toiba,Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizb-ul Mujahideen, who function under the umbrella of United Jihad Council and fight in Kashmir.

He also gave the names of the places he surveyed. “Sajid Mir (LeT handler) wanted me to especially do reconnaissance of Siddhivinayak temple,” Headley said.

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