US citizen and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) operative David Headley had allegedly discussed with Pakistan-based co-conspirators the logistics of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008.
This has been stated in an affidavit submitted last week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a Chicago court.
Headley had talked of the “potential landing sites for a team of attackers who would arrive by sea in Mumbai”.
The affidavit, the latest in a series of papers filed by the FBI since the 49-year-old terror operative was held on October 3, stated that the discussions took place nine months before the terrorist attacks, which left 173 people dead.
The FBI’s affidavit lists 12 different counts of offence under which he will be tried in US.
“Along with carrying out surveillance of important locations such as places of public use, state and government facilities, public transport systems and infrastructure facilities in India,” the FBI has charged Headley with aiding and abetting the murder of six US nationals in the 26/11 attacks.
The FBI document stated that he changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley around February 15, 2006, after LeT operatives briefed him about his task regarding India. The FBI has stated that Headley did it to present himself as an American who was not a Muslim.
Headley made long trips to India during September 2006, February 2007, April 2008 and July 2008 and “Lashkar briefed him before his every visit over places in and around Mumbai that required surveillance to be conducted for an attack,” the affidavit said.
Headley was arrested at O’Hare airport in Chicago while boarding a flight to Philadelphia. Tawahhur Hussain Rana (48), a Canadian and one of Headley’s handlers, was arrested from his house in Chicago.
The FBI had initially charged them both with plotting attacks on an office of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
The newspaper had published cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in 2005, angering Muslims all over the world.
The FBI had found in Headley’s possession memory sticks (a kind of memory card), which contained videos of the office of Jyllands-Posten and a military outpost nearby.
The FBI said that the Headley-Rana duo then started planning attacks on Indian establishments. The FBI told the Chicago court that the duo had conversations on the phone and email, and face-to-face; they discussed their plans of carrying out attacks in India.
Last week, the FBI filed fresh charges against Headley to extend his period of custody.