US prosecutors on Monday charged American national and suspected Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative David C. Headley with helping plan the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 172 people.
The charges filed in Chicago’s federal court allege that Headley conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the 2008 attacks.
Headley has been charged in 12 counts with conspiracy to bomb public places in India, murder and maim persons in India and Denmark, provide material support to foreign terrorist plots, provide material support to Lashkar and for aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India.
After his trips to India, Headley travelled to Pakistan to hand over the results of his surveillance and, in early 2008, he took boat trips into the Mumbai harbour, according to court documents.
Through his attorneys, Headley has authorised the justice department to disclose that he is cooperating in the ongoing investigation of both the Indian and Danish terror plots.
“This investigation remains active and ongoing,” said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, US attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. “The team will continue to seek charges against other persons responsible for the attacks.”
Headley, the first American charged in the plot, was arrested in October from Chicago’s O’Hare airport along with Tahawwur Rana.
The charges against Headley come a day after an FBI team arrived in India to share information on Headley and Rana.
Officials with India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday said they have found that Headley even visited Goa and surveyed Arambol and Anjuna beaches in 2008. “Headley rented a room in Goa where he stayed for almost a week. NIA officials have recorded the statement of the landlady and those he met in Goa,” a home ministry official said.
A retired major in the Pakistani military Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed was also charged with conspiracy in planning to attack a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet.