Mounting evidence links Headley to 26/11 | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Mounting evidence links Headley to 26/11

delhi Updated: Nov 19, 2009 18:35 IST
IANS
David Coleman Headley

Investigators probing David Coleman Headley's links in India said they were close to nailing the connection between American terror suspect and his Canadian accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana with the larger module that had planned and executed the 26/11 strikes.

Top sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that has taken over the case said it had established that Headley and Rana were in touch with the same Pakistan-based handlers who gave directions to the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai.

Sleuths are now examining how the duo had corresponded with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) masterminds Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, who are currently in Pakistani custody, and also probing if there was another module at all involved in the Mumbai attacks.

"We are trying to procure the records and transcript of the full conversation that took place between them to establish links," a senior investigating official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Indian investigators have asked the FBI for voice samples of Headley and Rana and the people the duo spoke with on phone so that they can be compared with the samples available in India after 26/11.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that is expected to come to India soon is reportedly bringing the voice samples.

Sources also pointed out that both suspects, now in US custody for planning terror attacks in India and Denmark, used satellite phone during their visits to Mumbai and Kochi last year before 26/11.

The NIA is trying to establish if Headley and Rana brought the phones with them to the two cities or obtained them from local aides.

With the duo's role in the terror strikes becoming clearer with every passing day, investigators are also stumbling on other bits and pieces of information that may be connected with their choosing other potential targets in India.

"There is some information that temples in Kerala were on their radar. But we need to examine this further," an official told IANS.

Kerala's police chief Jacob Punnoose is already on record stating that Rana had stayed in a hotel in Kochi on November 16 last year.

Rana, a Canadian citizen, was posing as an immigration consultant and had advertised in newspapers for temporary jobs in US and Canada giving preference to ex-armymen

The costs for these print ads were reportedly paid by Headley's job agency in Tardeo, Mumbai which was another front. However, sources said the advertisements were a signal to the sleeper cells of their presence and to let them know about the meeting point during their India sojourn.

Headley and Rana, who are graduates of a military academy in the town of Hasan Abdal in Pakistan, had maintained e-mail contact with other former students, including officers in Pakistan's military.

They apparently belonged to a group of the school's graduates who referred to themselves as the "abdalians" in internet postings, according to FBI affidavits.