M A I N   N E W S

Live coverage aided Mumbai attackers
* Headley says LeT handlers used TV to guide terrorists
* Terms ISI officer Major Iqbal, who called himself Chaudhery Khan, as 26/11 mastermind

Rana Trial Revelations

  • An attempt to take the attackers to Mumbai in September 2008 failed as the boat in which they were to sail was lost.
  • Headley met Major Iqbal several times before the attack and issued specific instructions on every step, right from establishing an office in Mumbai to recruiting retired military personnel, making surveillance and giving list of targets.
  • Iqbal wanted Mumbai airport to be included in the list of targets and was upset over its exclusion.

Met Headley: Sena man

Mumbai: Rajaram Rege on Wednesday admitted that he had met David Coleman Headley at the party’s headquarters in Central Mumbai’s Dadar area. Rege said Headley wanted to take a look at Shiv Sena Bhavan from the inside. “He came across as a normal American tourist so we did not entertain his request,” Rege told reporters. Rege said he was introduced to Headley by his fitness trainer Vilas Varak. Interestingly, Virak is the one who introduced many celebrities, including Rahul Bhatt, son of Mahesh Bhatt, to Headley. — TNS

CASE papers to be made public

Chicago: The court conducting the Mumbai attack trial in the US on Wednesday ordered that some of the over dozen sealed documents presented in the court as key evidences be made public. Some of the documents are believed to have key evidence of links between the ISI and the LeT and other terrorist outfits blamed for 26/11. — PTI

Chicago, May 25
Watching the 2008 Mumbai carnage live from Pakistan, the Lashkar handlers guided the attackers on phone and even asked them to change tactics to challenge the advancing commandos.

The strategy followed during the 60-hour siege of Mumbai emerged during the testimony of 26/11 co-accused David Headley in a Chicago District Court on the third day of the trial of his childhood friend and Pakistani-Canadian Tawahhur Rana.

Headley also identified the mysterious Major Iqbal, who India suspects is a Pakistani Army officer in the ISI, as 'Chaudhery Khan.' Khan, according to Headley, is the mastermind of the 26/11 attack.

Headley told the court that his Lashkar-e-Toiba handler Sajid Mir was in Karachi during the Mumbai attack. Mir told Headley that a couple of people were with him. Mir was in contact with the attackers via phone and was watching TV coverage of the siege, he said.

Mir was praised by Rana for his Chhabad House attack strategy and even called him 'Khalid bin Walid', one of the greatest generals in history, Headley testified.

About the operation at Chhabad House, Headley said Mir told the two boys (attackers) to use mattresses and ambush the commandos who were descending down the stairs. Regarding his conversations with Rana, Headley said he told Rana that his four targets were Somnath - an ancient temple in Gujarat, Bollywood, Shiv Sena and Jyllands Posten, the Danish newspaper which published the controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed. Headley also told the court that an attempt to take the attackers to Mumbai in September 2008 failed as a boat in which they were to sail was lost. Headley said Major Iqbal, whose name keeps cropping up in the testimony, used the ID of 'Chaudhery Khan', made all key decisions and was indeed the mastermind of the 26/11 plot. The federal prosecutors presented to the court additional evidences linking strong connection between Headley and ISI officials.

Through records of several emails exhibited in the court prosecutors established beyond doubt that Headley was in constant contact with ISI officials, in particular Major Iqbal. In an email dated April 23, 2008, Headley sends Chaudhery Khan information on commercially available spy cameras and pen spy cameras.

Headley said he met Major Iqbal several times before the Mumbai attack during which he issued specific instructions on every step right from establishing an office in Mumbai to recruiting retired military personnel, making surveillance, giving list of targets and closing the Mumbai office. "Major Iqbal told me the Chabad House would be added on whatever list (of targets) there was because it was a front office for the Mossad - Israel's intelligence agency," Headley said. Major Iqbal "seemed upset that the (Mumbai) airport was not included" as a target, he added. Headley also testified that New Delhi-based National Defence College is on the hit-list of terrorists as another 26/11 plotter Illiyas Kashmiri believes in this way he can kill more Indian Brigadiers than what the Pakistan Army could not do in four wars with India.

Within a few months of the Mumbai strikes, Kashmiri met Headley and asked him to go to India again to do surveillance of the National Defence College in New Delhi and a number of Chhabad Houses in various cities of India. Apprehending his arrest after the Mumbai strike, Headley wrote a will and emailed it to Rana, as to what should be done to his wives and children in the event of his death or arrest.

During his stay in Mumbai, Headley wanted to develop contact with Rajaram Rege, whom he described as Shiv Sena PRO, so as to gain access to the party. Rege was apparently also looking to gain intimacy with the Mumbai terror accused to bag some multi-billion Indian contracts for US companies. — PTI





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