Mumbai terror attack operative David Coleman Headley, who had been vehemently denying that he had not been paid by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, finally made a sensational revelation before a court on Thursday that the ISI had massively funded his entire operation.
Speaking to the media after Headley's cross-examination, Special Prosecutor in the case Ujjwal Nikam said that the Pakistani-American terrorist had made four major revelations in Thursday session.
"He said that the Pakistan ISI had given him huge finances for completion of the 26/11 operation. Secondly, he said that the Lashkar-e-eTayiba attempted to kill Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray and one person was apprehended by the police but he escaped. Of course Headley made it clear that he had no firsthand knowledge about this information but that he heard it from the LeT people. Thirdly, he said that following the growing international pressure on the LeT following the 26/11 attack, they made a soft stand in the Denmark attack," Nikam said.
Asserting that key 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal's lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan has been repeatedly putting pressure on Headley in the cross examination with regard to the involvement of his wife Shazia, Nikam added that he had once again flatly refused to answer anything saying it was privileged conversation between husband and wife.
"Headley further disclosed, that in one mail from Shazia, she had described the corpses as well as the injured in the terror attack as cartoon. These are the sensitive revelations he made today. The defence's attempt was to book Shazia for criminal conspiracy and that she had the knowledge about the terror attack," he said.
In other revelations, Headley disclosed via video link from a US prison that he was planning another attack on India after 26/11 on the instructions of Al-Qaeda and not the LeT.
However, he asserted that he did not condone what was done by Ajmal Kasab, the lone LeT gunman who was caught alive and executed later.
"I visited India in March 2009 and went to NationalDefenceCollege and other places to select the target. This tour was funded by Ilyas Kashmiri and expenditure of this tour was around 1 Lac (Pakistani rupees) and was paid in cash by Ilyas Kashmiri," Headley said.
On Wednesday, in his cross examination, Headley accepted that he had funded Rs. 80 lakh to the LeT, adding that he did not know the purpose of the money.
" Headley, the approver in 26/11 case, has been cross-examined today by the Attorney of Abu Jundal's lawyer. He has admitted three important facts. Firstly, he admitted that he has donated 80 lakhs Pakistani rupees to the LeT. However, he claimed that he was not knowing exactly as to where that money was used and for what purpose," Nikam told the media.
Thursday was the second day of Headley's cross examination and it will resume on Friday. Meanwhile, reacting to Headley's revelation, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that he feels proud that Bal Thakeray was on the hit list of LeT.
"A killer was hired by the LeT to kill Shiv Sena chief but the mission failed. In this case, the Mumbai Police also arrested a suspect but he ran away from police custody. I would like to ask that why the police hid this fact. Who was that person who ran away from the prison and how did he escape? What was the conspiracy behind this? The Mumbai Police and the then government have to answer these questions. The then police commissioner should be questioned," Raut told ANI.
"It is no surprise for us as Bal Sahib has always been a true nationalist and has always been against the notorious activities carried out by Pakistan and terrorists. We feel proud that Bal Sahib was on the hit list of LeT," he added.