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Headley met top Lashkar men Hafiz Saeed, Lakhvi in 26/11 attack plot

Headley met top Lashkar men Hafiz Saeed, Lakhvi in 26/11 attack plot

Author: Shishir Gupta
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: December 14, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/headley-met-top-lashkar-men-hafiz-saeed-lak/553502/

Introduction: 1) He videotaped BARC and Army bus to NDC
2) All DGPs alerted on fresh Lashkar 'targets'

David Coleman Headley, the US national of Pakistani origin who was charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week with helping plot the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, is said to have named the top brass of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, including its founder Hafiz Saeed, operational commanders Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Yusuf Muzammil and Sajid Mir, and a section of the Pakistan Army as being part of the plot.

Sources told The Sunday Express that the visiting five-member FBI team told Indian interlocutors last week that Headley disclosed his "close proximity" to Saeed whom he has claimed to have known very well. Besides, Headley said, he had regular interactions with Lakhvi, Muzammil, Mir and a serving Pakistani Army officer identified as Major Iqbal during his terror training in Muridke and Manshera as part of the preparation for the 26/11 attacks.

Major Iqbal not only "handled" Headley but is also said to have briefed him on Indian Army installations on the Lashkar hitlist. Last month, Lakhvi and six others were charged in a Rawalpindi court in connection with the 26/11 attacks.

These alarming Headley disclosures have not only led to a security audit of all Indian nuclear establishments and Army installations but all State Directors General of Police (DGPs) have been briefed by the Centre about the possibility of a Lashkar attack on fresh targets.

The National Investigation Agency, the RA&W and Intelligence Bureau officials have reiterated to the FBI the need for a Headley voice sample and his e-mails to his Pakistani handlers. A fresh questionnaire was given to the FBI team to interrogate Headley to find out whether Nagpur, Pune or Ahmedabad are on the Lashkar hitlist.

Sources said the FBI informed New Delhi that Headley took a course in clandestine photography taught by Pakistani Army officials, including Major Iqbal.

Besides the 26/11 targets, Headley videotaped the security of the National Defence College, including the residential quarters at Raksha Bhawan, right opposite Hyderabad House, and the route taken by the Army bus to transport senior officials to NDC on Tees January Marg. He also disclosed that he had videotaped the security detail at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Trombay.

Headley is said to have told FBI that while Muzammil, Lakhvi and Mir were interested in "economic targets" in India, Pakistani Army officials repeatedly asked him about Indian Army installations.3

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