FBI yet to share Headley bank info with India | delhi | Hindustan Times
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FBI yet to share Headley bank info with India

delhi Updated: Oct 21, 2011 02:30 IST
Shishir Gupta

Even though the FBI released on Thursday the interrogation tapes of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative and a conspirator in the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, David Coleman Headley, on court orders, the agency has not yet shared his bank account details with New Delhi.

The National Investigation Agency was allowed access to Headley in the US in June 2010, but the home ministry has not received any information on who bankrolled him during his nine visits to India before the Mumbai attacks.

This has strengthened the Indian internal security establishment's suspicion that Headley, a Pakistani-American, was actually a US intelligence agent who later turned rogue and went over to the other side.

Former home secretary GK Pillai, in fact, pointed this out to Timothy Roemer, former US ambassador to India, and to visiting dignitaries, such as deputy homeland secretary Janet Lute, earlier this year.

According to the tapes, Headley allegedly tried to help the FBI nab a former major of the Pakistan army, Sajid Mir, who was a close confidant of Lashkar supremo Hafiz Saeed and one of the main accused in the Mumbai attacks.

Headley was also close to former Pakistani army major Abdur Rehman Syed, who was the creator of the Indian Mujahideen and the main handler of the Karachi Project - set up by Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence and the Lashkar in 2003 to train Indian jihadis.

Even though the foreign ministry denied any differences between India and the US on the Headley issue, home ministry officials indirectly blamed the US agencies for not alerting India on the Mumbai attacks.

While one US telegram released by WikiLeaks quoted former national security advisor MK Narayanan as saying that India's demand for Headley's extradition was merely posturing, home ministry officials believed that Headley would never be extradited as he knew too many US secrets on Pakistan.