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Expect more sea-borne terror attacks: Headley

Last updated on: January 5, 2011 16:06 IST

Headley's reveals Lashkar's future plans

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Vicky Nanjappa

Chilling confessions of Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative David Coleman during his 30-hour interrogation with the National Investigation Agency last year reveal that the 26/11 attack on Mumbai has only inspired the terror group to continue waging "war" against India.

The 119-page report recounting Headley's interrogation by Indian authorities also throws light on the fact that the Paksitani-American was not just one of Lashkar's puppets. If his confessions are to go by, then Headley not only played a role in the 26/11 attacks and Pune's German Bakery blast, but he was kept in the loop about the 2006 train bombings in Mumbai that left over 200 dead and 700 injured.

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Image: David Coleman Headley

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'Expect more sea-borne terror attacks'

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Here's what Headley, who is currently serving a jail term in the United States under a plea bargain, told the NIA.     

According to Headley's confessions, the LeT looks at the 26/11 attacks as an inspiration. Following the November 2008 strike, the terror outfit has set up a naval wing for future operations. "The wing is specifically created to carry out more sea-borne attacks against India. In future, expect more terror strikes from the sea," warned Headley.

LeT's naval wing is headed by Yakub and he has roped in Abdur Rehman from the Pakistan Navy to assist him. An expert in the field Rehman is expected to train cadres in swimming and diving, said Headley.

He also revealed that the LeT has recruited a Pakistan Navy frogman to take care of sea-related operations. A frogman is someone who is trained to dive, swim and combat.     


Image: The 10 26/11 terrorists entered Mumbai via the sea
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
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'Watch out for Lashkar's women bombers'

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The LeT is also concentrating on setting up a wing of women operatives, Headley said.

The Pakistani-American terrorist said that even before he could scout targets for the 26/11 attack, the LeT heads had selected men who would carry out the attacks.

"I was shown photographs of the ten attackers by my handler Sajid Majid. One of the 10 terrorists was part of the team, which attacked Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's rally in Srinagar in 2004. I was also show pictures of Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismail, who attacked the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus," said Headley. "I was also introduced to a person by the name Muzzamil who I was told was carried out the Chittisinghpura massacre and the attack on the Akshardham temple."

Thirty-six Sikhs were killed on 20 March 2000, in the Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir during the Chittisinghpura massacre. In the September 2005 attack on the Akshardham temple, two terrorists killed 25 devotees.

 



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'I was going to skip Chabad House recce'

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It was during Headley's visit to India in March 2008 that he carried out the recce of Chabad House at Nariman Point.

"I had first decided to give this place a skip, but my ISI handlers insisted that I should survey the place as it was one of the prime targets. I shot videos of Chabad House and other targets from my mobile phone and clicked pictures using my camera," Headley said.


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Next on LeT's radar: Pune's National Defence Academy

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During the March visit, Headley made a trip to Pune and carried a detailed survey of the German Bakery, after which he returned to Lahore and met his other handler Abdur Rehman Hashim alias Pasha.

"I even handed out sketches and videos of the targets that I had videographed. It was then that I told Pasha that it would be better if we staged an attack on the National Defence Academy in Pune, which today is under the LeT's radar. I said if we targetted the NDA we could kill more Indian soldiers than Pakistan managed to kill in all its wars with India," said Headley.

He said that apart from the LeT and the Al Qaeda he also surveyed possible terror targets in India exclusively for the Inter-Services Intelligence.

 



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'ISI backed 2006 Mumbai train bombings'

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Headley confirmed that the ISI backed every project carried out by the Lashkar even the 2006 train bombings. "It was during my meeting with Pasha that he revealed that the ISI was behind the train blasts."

Headley started training with the Lashkar in 2003. "Back then there was a lot of talk regarding the ban on the outfit. During a meeting with LeT founder Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, there were suggestions from other cadres that the ban should be challenged and they should take legal recourse. However, Sajid said that this would open a can of worms and give India the opportunity to provide proof against them," he said.

During his training, Headley travelled to Maldives, France, Germany, United Kingdom and Sri Lanka. "I used to travel using my real name Dawood Gilani. It was only after I came to India I changed my name to David Headley as I had been instructed to do so."

 


Image: Seven bomb explosions rocked Mumbai's rail network in 2006
Photographs: Reuters
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