M A I N   N E W S

26/11: US charges 4 more LeT men
One of them, ‘Major Iqbal’ said to be a Pak army officer

Chicago, April 26
One ‘Major Iqbal’, believed to be a Pakistan army officer, is among four more Pakistani conspirators charged by US prosecutors with carrying out the 2008 Mumbai terror attack at the behest of Lashkar-e-Toiba.

In a second superseding indictment filed by the federal prosecutors before a court here yesterday, the other three were identified as Sajid Mir, Mazhar Iqbal and Abu Qahafa. Besides, the indictment mentioned an unnamed individual “Lashkar Member D.” All are residents of Pakistan.

‘Major Iqbal’, who has been named by the US prosecutors, is believed to be a Pakistan army officer. A dossier India handed over to Pakistan in February 2010 had named two Pakistan army officers, ‘Major Iqbal’ and ‘Major Samir Ali’, for their suspected involvement in the Mumbai attacks. The dossier was handed over during the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks on February 25, 2010, in New Delhi.

It is believed that the role of ‘Major Iqbal’ emerged in the interrogation by the FBI of US terror suspect David Headley, arrested in Chicago in October 2009 in connection with the Mumbai attack.

The four men identified were previously mentioned but not named in the indictments that charged Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley and Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana in connection with the attack which killed 166 persons, including six Americans.

Sajid Mir was associated with LeT and supervised others linked with the outfit. He served as a “handler” for Headley, who has confessed to his involvement in Mumbai attack, and others who were directed to carry out actions relating to planning, preparing for and carrying out the terrorist strikes on behalf of the LeT.

While Abu Qahafa was an associate with LeT who trained others in combat techniques for use in terrorist attacks; Mazhar Iqbal and ‘Lashkar Member D’ were LeT commanders. An individual known as ‘Major Iqbal’ participated in planning and funding attacks carried out by LeT in Mumbai, federal prosecutors said.

They acted with the intent to cause death and serious bodily injury, and with the intent to cause extensive destruction of such places and facilities and where such destruction would likely result in major economic loss.

The indictment noted that the David Headley was a national of the United States, from where he was arrested.

The court documents showed that in February 2009, one Abdur Rehman Hashmim Syed took Headley to meet LeT terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri in Waziristan region of Pakistan.

During the meeting, Kashmiri indicated that he had reviewed Copenhagen videotapes made by Headley and suggested that they consider using a truck bomb to attack a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons of Prophet Mohammad. Kashmiri also indicated that he could provide manpower for the operation and that the participation of Lashkar was not necessary. — PTI

Who is ‘major iqbal’?

* A retired ISI official

* His role surfaced in the interrogation of David Coleman Headley

* Indian agencies had named him as one of the masterminds in the dossiers last year and sought his custody

* Headley described ‘Major Iqbal’ as “a fat, deep-voiced cigarette-smoker in his mid-30s”

* He gave Headley secret documents on India from the archives of the ISI at the subsequent meetings in safe houses

* After each visit to India between 2006 and 2009, Headley reported to him and also Sajid Mir

Ex-ISI men may be behind 26/11: Pak

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director Gen Athar Abbas has hinted at the involvement of retired Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officials in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, but categorically denied any role of serving spies. In his interaction with a visiting delegation of Indian journalists and in a TV interview, the Pakistan military spokesman indicated the possibility of some retired ISI officials collaborating with 26/11 perpetrators, the Dawn reports. This is probably the first time that the Pakistan military has suggested possible links between retired ISI men and the LeT, although in the past, India had accused serving officials of being involved. — ANI 




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