ISI-LeT funded 26/11 groundwork: Headley

ISI-LeT funded 26/11 groundwork: Headley

United States citizen of Pakistani descent, David Coleman Headley on Thursday admitted to receiving money from the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) while doing the groundwork for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The 56-year-old terrorist said Haji Ashraf, a Lahore-based businessman, was the one who controls the finances of the terror group and that his nephew was killed when security forces repulsed the attack at the Akshardham temple at Gandhinagar on September 24-25, 2002.

Friendly ties
While being stationed in Mumbai on reconnaissance missions, Headley used to receive money from his childhood friend Dr Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who was based in Chicago, and used to collect money from Sajid Mir, his LeT handler, Major Iqbal of the ISI and also Major Abdul Rehman Pasha, who left the Pakistani Army to join the LeT and then drifted to al Qaeda.

The Pakistani-American made the disclosures while deposing before Additional Sessions Judge G A Sanap, who presides over  anti-terror cases, when his examination was conducted by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

Asked whether he received money from Major Iqbal, he replied in positive and said that he received $25,000 from him before he left for Mumbai. Asked about Sajid Mir, he said that he gave him 40,000 Pakistani rupees.

“In April 2008, Major Iqbal again gave me 2,000 Indian rupees and in June 2008, he gave me 1,500 Indian rupees,” he said.

It came to the shock and surprise of the court when Headley also revealed that “once or twice” Sajid Mir also gave counterfeit Indian currency to him.  Major Pasha also gave him 80,000 Indian rupees on one occasion.

Tangential comments
In fact, Headley’s statement of Thursday was a departure from what he said on Tuesday. When he was asked whether he received funds from the LeT-ISI, he said: “This is complete nonsense....this question does not arise....Yes...I am rigid on it.” As regards money that he received while in Mumbai from Dr Rana, he said that it was on four occasions — Rs 67,605 on October 11, 2006, $500 on November 7, 2006, Rs 17,636 on November 30, 2006 and $1,000 on December 4 2006.

RBI denied account
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had rejected the application of David Headley to open a business account. On October 12, 2006, he submitted papers signed by Raymond Sanders, the partner of Dr Tahawwur Rana at the Immigrant Law Centre, Chicago.

On June 1, 2007, the RBI rejected the application. Asked whether the Mumbai office of IML had secured US visas for anyone, he said: “No...attempts were unsuccessful.”

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