Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley told a Mumbai sessions court on Friday that Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai and the National Defence College in Delhi were on the hit-list of the Pakistan-based militant outfit.
The accused-turned-approver against Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, the prime accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case, also revealed that there were plans to assassinate Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
“I thought, perhaps the LeT would be interested in attacking the building or assassinating the head of the organisation (Bal Thackeray),” he said.
Headley told the court that he had come in contact with Rajaram Rege, the then media coordinator for Uddhav Thackeray, during his visit to Shiv Sena Bhavan in April 2007 “because I was interested in accessing that building”.
Rege, however, denied that he had provided Headley any information about the Sena headquarters or Thackeray’s bungalow at Bandra. “It was only a two-minute conversation. I refused his request for help to get permission for video shooting of the Sena Bhavan,” Rege said.
Nonetheless, Headley said he took photographs and videos of the building and gave them to his LeT handler Sajid Mir and a major in the Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence.
He revealed that the defence college in the national capital was also a “high-value target” of al Qaida and that he had scoped out the college as well the Chhabad Houses at Pushkar in Haryana, Pune and one more in Goa for the terrorist outfit.
After the 26/11 attacks, Headley met the al Qaida commander in February 2009 and was asked to visit India again to survey certain targets. He said his subsequent visit to India between March 7 and March 17, 2009, was financed by a retired Pakistani army official.
“Major (Abdul Rehman) Pasha had said that if they succeed in the attack on the National Defence College, they would be able to kill more Indian brigadiers than what might have been killed in India-Pakistan wars,” said Headley.