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Delhi's National Defence College next target: Headley

Last updated on: May 25, 2011 10:51 IST

Delhi's National Defence College next target: Headley

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Mumbai attacks co-accused David Headley on Wednesday testified that New Delhi-based National Defence College is on the hitlist of terrorists as 26/11 mastermind 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 terror attacks, Kashmiri, who has now emerged as mastermind of 26/11, 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.

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Image: Delhi's National Defence Academy

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Chhabad Houses a target to avenge Gaza strike

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When Headley, accompanied by Pasha, went to see Kashmiri in Waziristan in February 2009, he among the Lashkar-e-Tayiba circles had emerged as a "surveillance expert" thus a key element of the planning of the terrorist attack.

"Kashmiri asked me to return to India. He said that his leadership was very upset about the Israeli strike on the Gaza strip and thus wanted retaliation," Headley said in response to a question, adding that Kashmiri wanted him to identify the Chhabad houses in India.

On the way back, he was given a list of Chhabad houses in India by Pasha.


Image: Jewish leaders from Israel and New York walk down a Colaba bylane, on the way to Nariman House
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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'NDC attack would kill more Indian brigadiers than what Pak ever killed'

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Headley said since he was coming to India again, he was asked by Kashmiri to also visit National Defence College, which he described as a prestigious Indian institution that teaches high-level army offices, colonels and above. Pasha told him that if "we were able to conduct" attack on NDC then "we will be able to kill more brigadiers than Pakistan has done in the four wars" with India.

Following the instructions from his handlers, Headley carried out surveillances of Chhabad houses in Delhi, Pushkar and Goa, along with that of the National Defence College. He again went to Pakistan to hand over to them the surveillance materials including pictures and videos. He shared the NDC videos with Pasha, who was very happy with the materials and told Headley that he would definitely work on this target.

When asked how serious Pasha was on this project, Headley said: "What I got from him that it would be a target in the near future." It is important for not only Pasha, but also him, Headley stressed.

When Headley, shared the NDC plan with Rana, he said, "This would be a big deal". However, he did not talk about the Chhabad house attacks.


Image: Cadets from the National Industrial Security Academy

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'I am afraid of going back to India'

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The Mumbai terrorist suspect said that he was afraid of going back to India at this point of time. Why, he was asked.

"Because I have been coming in and out of India before the Mumbai attack, conducted the surveillance, so I was was concerned about being apprehended in India during the travel," he said.

But since this was a mission, he decided to go, not before sending an email to Tahawwur Rana and asking him what needs to be done in the event if his death and how to distribute money or take care the well being of his wives and children.

"I am travelling and things are so bad these days, I would like to leave a few instructions with you in case of my death or if I am anticipated for some reason," Headley wrote to Rana on March 3, 2009 in an email.

Image: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Hotel

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