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Arrested ISI spy reveals Headley-handler link

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 16, 2011
First Published: 00:05 IST(16/3/2011) | Last Updated: 00:07 IST(16/3/2011)

An Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy arrested in India has told investigators he was being handled by an ISI officer known as Major Sameer, which was the name used by one of the ISI handlers of David Coleman Headley.


An Intelligence Bureau-backed operation led to the arrest of Sajjad Haider, a resident of Mohalla Pindi Rajputan in Lahore, from the outskirts of Delhi by the special cell of Delhi Police in September 2010.

Haider told investigators that an ISI officer called Major Sameer recruited him in Lahore and sent him to India. Another and rather more famous ISI recruit David Coleman Headley had also been handled by an ISI officer by the same name. Investigators are probing the possibility that both these 'Major Sameers' are the same.

Haider's arrest also shows there is no let-up in ISI efforts to run spy operations in India.

Haider, 43, told interrogators his father Mohammad Haneef was aPakistan government employee in the Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA).

Later Haider started dealing in property and suffered losses. He was also jailed in a cheque bounce case in 2008.

While in prison, ISI operator Hashim contacted him and took him to Major Sameer. Sameer told him the ISI would help him pay off his debts and pay his family R15000 per month if he works with them.

By the time of his arrest, Haider was able to arrange for an Indian wife and assumed other identities.

He was working as a cab driver in Gurgaon.

While in India, he was sent Rs. 42000 by the ISI through Western Union money transfer in two installments. In March 2010, Major Sameer informed him another ISI officer Major Ali Akbar would handle his requirements.

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