Revelation of conspiracy By David Coleman Headley before a special court via video conferencing.
Who is David Coleman Headley AKA Daood Sayed Gilani ?
An American Citizen and a terrorist of Pakistani origin, and a spy who conspired with the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist organization and Pakistani intelligence officers in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Involvement in 26/11 Attacks.
ISI recruited Gilani and by 2005, Gilani’s training had advanced to the point where he wanted to fight in Kashmir. Instead, Lashkar-a-Taiba sent Gilani to Sajid Mir, the organization’s foreign recruiter and a man Western authorities believe was involved with the ISI. Sajid Mir wanted to use Gilani for terrorist missions in India, specifically a planned attack on Mumbai. Under Mir’s direction, Gilani went to Philadelphia and legally changed his name to David Coleman Headley, taking his mother’s surname. Even though Pennsylvania law requires a background check for name changes, state officials apparently did not uncover Headley’s previous drug convictions. The name change would make it easier for Headley to hide his Pakistani ancestry and pass as a Westerner, leading anyone he encountered to assume he was a tourist rather than a terrorist.
In January 2006, Headley established ties with Adbur Rehman Hashim “Pasha” Syed, a retired Pakistan Army major and Lashkar militant, who put him in touch with Major Iqbal, a mysterious figure who is believed to have coordinated Lashkar activity through his capacity as an ISI officer. Under sworn testimony, Headley recalled meeting Major Iqbal and his superior officer, a Pakistani colonel, in a safe house. Major Iqbal and Sajid Mir reportedly became Headley’s ISI handlers and oversaw his training in espionage techniques in preparation for a reconnaissance mission to Mumbai; he met with Iqbal and Mir separately so that the ISI could maintain plausible deniability. In February, Headley was again detained by border inspectors at John F. Kennedy International Airport after returning from Pakistan, and was again released. That month, he contacted his former DEA handler for the final time.
In 2007, Headley met a Moroccan medical student in Lahore named Faiza Outalha, eventually marrying her as his third wife; unlike his second wife, Outalha reportedly knew that Headley was already married and approved of the potential arrangement. However, their relationship was strained due to Outalha’s progressive views and Headley’s unflinching religious conservatism. One reported point of contention was Headley’s demand that Outalha wear traditional Muslim clothing for women. In December 2007, Outalha filed assault charges against Headley after getting into an altercation with his servant outside of their house in Lahore. After spending eight days in jail, Headley was reportedly released after Major Iqbal intervened.
Headley’s Trip To Mumbai
Over the course of 2007, Lashkar’s plot for the Mumbai attacks started to materialize, and the Western-looking Headley was considered the ideal militant to perform reconnaissance missions. Using $25,000 supplied to him by Major Iqbal, Headley opened a Mumbai branch office for Tahawwur Rana’s immigration business—which Headley had already used to traffick heroin—as a front company.Between 2007 and 2008, Headley made five trips to Mumbai, scouting local landmarks where Lashkar terrorists would carry out the multi-pronged attack. Headley stayed at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel—identified by Iqbal and Mir as their main target—and surveyed the building using his ISI training, shooting hours of video during in-house tours.
Iqbal and Mir were emboldened by Headley’s intelligence and decided to make their attack more ambitious in scale. As they expanded their list of targets, Headley scouted the Oberoi Trident Hotel, the Leopold Cafe, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. When Lashkar decided to target the Nariman House, a Jewish community center, Headley visited the location posing as a Jew.Headley also took boat tours to look for places where the attackers could reach the city through the waterfront; he found a landing location at a fishermen’s slum in the Colaba area of southern Mumbai, where he gathered GPS coordinates. For the maritime reconnaissance, Headley received assistance from a frogman in the Pakistan Navy.
Headley lived the high life during his time in Mumbai, and developed a rapport with the very people he was planning to help attack. He joined an upscale gym, frequented nightclubs, and befriended Rahul Bhatt, the son of Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt, who guided him through the city’s party scene. During his stay at the Taj Mahal, Headley acquainted himself with the hotel’s staff, reportedly praising the building’s architecture. In Colaba, he reportedly tried to attract a young café proprietor.
For their 2007 honeymoon, Headley took Faiza Outalha with him to Mumbai and stayed at both the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi Trident. The trip ended with an argument between the couple and Outalha was sent back to Lahore. Afterwards, Iqbal and Sajid Mir pressured Headley to divorce Outalha, believing she endangered his cover. She responded by reporting Headley to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, and later submitting to interviews with State Department and ICE officials, describing his Mumbai activities at length. However, Outalha later admitted that she embellished some of her accusations against Headley, leading the Americans to not take her claims seriously. The State Department relayed her warnings to the DEA, the FBI, and the CIA, but whether the agencies acted on them is disputed. After leaving Pakistan, Outalha divorced from Headley.
As the attacks unfolded in late November 2008, Headley watched the news coverage at home in Lahore after receiving a text message. The ten Lashkar militants carried out the attacks per the detailed intelligence gathered by Headley during his trips; the attack would lead to the deaths of 168 people, including six Americans. The intelligence he collected on the Nariman House allowed the terrorists to raid the building and execute its staff, in an act personally supervised by Sajid Mir from a command center in Karachi. Shazia, who had moved with her children to Chicago earlier in 2008 and knew of Headley’s reconnaissance work for Lashkar, praised him in a coded e-mail: “Congrats on your graduation. Graduation ceremony is really great. Watched the movie the whole day.”
First Day Disclosure
Headley said 26/11 attacks were launched with Jamaat-ud-Dawa Hafiz Saeed’s approval.
He said attacks were executed with the help of ISI and the money was given for recce.
Headley added that apart from Mumbai, he had recced residence of the Vice President, India Gate and CBI office in the national capital.
Headley further said that ISI’s major Iqbal and Sameer Ali were my handlers. He also said that LeT’s Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi’s handler was ISI brigadier Rivaz and added that ISI chief Shuja Pasha visited Lakhvi after his arrest, post-26/11 terror attacks.
Second Day Disclosure
David Coleman Headley on Tuesday admitted that he had met both Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) commander Hafiz Saeed and then operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
Headley confessed that he had suggested to Saeed to take the US government to court for branding LeT as a terror outfit. Lakhvi said it was a good idea but it would take long and would have to be discussed with the ISI.
Headley further revealed that the conspiracy to attack Mumbai was hatched at a meeting in November 2007 in Muzzafarabad where he was present alongwith his main contact Sajid Mir and Abu Kahfa.
He also said he had conducted a reconnaissance of Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai in 2006 and especially the convention hall as the plan was to attack an Indian defence scientists meeting. The plan was, however, later cancelled for various reasons.
Headley also spoke about his association with former LeT colleague Abdul Rehman Pasha. He said that Pasha later joined al-Qaida.