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Serving ISI officer among 26/11 handlers, says Headley

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 15, 2010
First Published: 00:49 IST(15/2/2010) | Last Updated: 01:01 IST(15/2/2010)

A serving major of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was among those directing 26/11 terrorists over phone from across the border, India has been told by the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

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The major was referred to by a pseudonym — Major General Sahab — in his phone conversations with the terrorists during the attacks, recordings of which are with the security agencies.

David Headley, the Pakistani-origin American Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative who surveyed the 26/11 targets months before the attacks, disclosed this during interrogation, Indian intelligence agencies were told.

Headley’s disclosure, a security agency official said requesting anonymity, confirmed India’s stand that “state actor/s” was/were involved in the planning and execution of the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan has consistently maintained no state-player was involved.

Ten terrorists from Pakistan reached Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and killed 166 people over the next two days.

This ISI major oversaw their training, with Lashkar founder Hafeez Saeed. And he was constantly on phone with the terrorists during the attacks.

India has been aware of this “Major General Sahab” for a while, Home Minister P. Chidambaram had told NDTV last September. But it was not known then if he was still with the ISI or was a retired officer.

Headley has said he was with the ISI then.


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