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How Oberoi hotel accidentally became a 26/11 target

By Lalit K Jha
June 15, 2011 17:06 IST
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Oberoi hotel, one of the sites attacked during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, was not originally on the list of targets for surveillance given to David Headley by his Inter Services Intelligence handler.

But the Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative made a video of it after filming Chabad House as he had an hour to spare before he could catch a movie.

This was revealed by the LeT operative in his testimony before a Chicago court during co-accused Tahawwur Rana's recently-concluded trial.

Headley said Chhabad House was added to the list at the direction of his ISI handler Major Iqbal, who told him that the Israeli spy agency operates from there.

He said that the Oberoi hotel was not on the list of targets submitted to him, but he took a video of the hotel as he had an hour left before he could watch a movie in the same area.

"First of all, did you take a videotape of it, Mr Headley," he was asked.

"Yes," he said.

"Okay. Why? It was not on your list that you just mentioned a moment ago," the US attorney asked.

"Because I was in the area, and I was going to watch a movie in a nearby theatre, and I had about an hour left. So I went there and I just made the video," Headley said.

When asked how close the Oberoi hotel is to the landing point selected by them, Headley replied, "It is close."

Headley said for each of the target sites, he used GPS to enter the coordinates.

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