Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed had sought details of and monitored the three-year-old preparations undertaken by Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) to execute terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
This is what Pakistan-born American Lashkar suspect David Coleman Headley (49), who conducted reconnaissance of the spots targeted in the 26/11 attacks, disclosed to his interrogators of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) last month in Chicago, US.
According to Headley’s account, said a senior security official who is not authorised to speak to media, “It was LeT’s then operations chief Zaqiur Rehman Lakhvi alias Chacha who kept Hafiz Saeed informed of each and every detail that went into the preparations to launch the Mumbai attacks.”
Lakhvi, currently in a Pakistani jail along with six other Pakistani Lashkar accused who are facing trial for their role in the terror attacks in Rawalpindi special court, had even sought help of Saeed’s oratory to pep up his ten-man team of suicide attackers, including Mohammed Kasab who was arrested by the Mumbai police and has been convicted to death by a city special court, in the run-up to the attacks. “Saeed delivered motivational speeches before the ten-man fidayeen (suicide attackers) team that Lakhvi chose for the Mumbai attacks. In particular, Saeed had spoken on... the need for jihad against India,” said the source. India shared Headley’s revelations on Saeed’s 26/11 role with Pakistan last month when India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram met Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik in Islamabad.
A four-member team of NIA officials had questioned Headley face-to-face, seeking answers about his role in the attacks.
The suicide squad was given training by Lashkar’s select trainers (ustaad) at its facilities in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
Headley traveled to India five times between 2006 September to July 2008 to scout targets, and gathered video footages.