Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley told a Mumbai court on Friday he joined the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba to avenge a bombing at his school in December 1971 “by Indian planes.”
“I have hatred towards India since my childhood and I have pleaded guilty to that,” he said.
The 55-year-old, who has turned approver in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case, is being cross-examined by Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, via a video link from the US. He is being cross-examined since Tuesday.
Headley had taken videos of many places in the city for the LeT which were used in the 2008 terror attack when 10 Pakistani terrorists had attacked the city.
He told the court that former Pakistani prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had visited his house a few weeks after his father’s death. Headley’s father, who retired as a director general of Radio Pakistan, died on December 25, 2008. Gilani, however, did not attend the funeral, he said.
Headley also told the court that many of his relatives, including his half-brother, work for various Pakistani establishment.
The LeT operative also said he had arranged a fund-raising programme for the Shiv Sena in the US and told the terror outfit about it.
When asked as to why he did not disclose the name of Ishrat Jahan in the trial of Tahavur Husain Rana, Headley replied because he was not asked about it. “I was answering the questions which were asked I did not have liberty of giving speech,” Headley told the court.
On Thursday, Headley had told the court the LeT wanted to kill Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray but the person who was assigned the job to kill him was “arrested”. Headley also told the court he had visited the Sena Bhavan twice. He, however, did not specify the year for the same.
“We (LeT) wanted to target the chief of Shiv Sena... His name was Bal Thackeray. LeT wanted to kill him wherever a chance arose. I knew that Bal Thackeray was the head of Shiv Sena. I have no first-hand knowledge but I think an attempt was made by LeT to kill Bal Thackeray,” he said.
“I don’t know how this attempt was made. I think the person (who was sent to kill Thackeray) was arrested but he managed to escape from police custody. I don’t have first-hand knowledge about this though,” he said.
Headley, convicted in the US for his role in 26/11 Mumbai attacks, also told special judge GA Sanap, who is hearing the 26/11 terror case against Jundal in a sessions court, that he does not know who else was a target of LeT apart from Thackeray.