Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, who allegedly played a key role in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks, boasted to his former schoolmates that the assault was "retaliation" for events in Kashmir and Afghanistan, according to a new book by a Danish journalist.
Just a week after the attacks by Lashkar-e-Taiba cadres in India's financial hub killed 166 people, Headley’s posts on an e-mail group frequented by former students of the Cadet College Hasan Abdal indicated that he had inside information about the incident, said journalist Kaare Sorensen.
"In the e-mails he sent after the Mumbai attacks, he never ever said that he was directly involved. But he hinted that he had information that others did not have," Sorensen told PTI on phone.
In one e-mail sent to the ‘abdalians7479’ group exactly a week after the attacks were launched, Headley makes it clear that the incident in Mumbai was “retaliation” for alleged excesses by foreign forces in Afghanistan and Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Our opinion here is that the casualties in Mumbai should really be taken as Collateral Damage from the Daisy cutters that have been falling in Afghanistan as well as the over 70,000 dead in Kashmir over the last 20 years... (sic)," Headley, the son of a Pakistani broadcaster and an American socialite, wrote boastfully in the email.
"He was always bragging, building up his ego in the e-mails," said Sorensen, who accessed all 9,000 emails on the 'abdalians7479' group, including more than 300 written by Headley.
Headley also boasted about the 10 LeT cadres, including Ajmal Kasab, who were involved in the attacks, referring to them as “kids”.
He wrote: “As you can see that more than 500 commandos had a hard time containing 10 kids.”
He added: “Yes, they were only 10 kids, guaranteed. I hear 3 of the kids were Hafiz (those who memorised the Quran) and 2 were married with a daughter each under 3 years old.”
Such details, Sorensen said, made it clear he had a lot of information about the attackers.
While a few of Headley’s posts on the group were used as evidence during his trial in Chicago, Sorensen's book is probably the first to analyse all of them in detail.