Continuing his testimony to an anti-terrorism court on Saturday, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley, 55, reiterated that the NIA did not coax him to name Ishrat Jahan during his deposition.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative-turned approver in the 2008 Mumbai attacks is being cross-examined via a video-link from the US. Headley has been convicted in the US for his role in the 26/11 strike that killed 166 people. He is serving a 35-year prison sentence in that country. An Indian court has pardoned Headley on the condition that he will reveal “every fact” regarding the conspiracy behind the attacks, which India believes were orchestrated from Pakistan. Eight years ago, ten Pakistani terrorists went on the rampage in India’s financial hub over a period of three days in November.
10: 15 am Headley told the Mumbai court that Jama’at-ud-Da’wah Hafiz Saeed wanted to teach Bal Thackeray a lesson. “I told him I will take 6 months to complete the task,” said Headley.
9:50 am Headley on Saturday was confronted on many issues in connection with his statement to the National investigating agency (NIA) in June 2010. Advocate Wahab khan in his cross examination asked why certain portions are missing in the NIA statement, to which Headley told the court that he had told NIA everything in 2010.
Headley ,howeve, radmitted before the court that he did not have first hand knowledge about Ishrat Jahan.
Jahan, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbra died in an encounter with Ahmedabad police crime branch in June 2004. Headley earlier had said he had heard she was a member of the militant outfit’s female wing.
Headley claimed that NIA after recording his statement did not read it out to him and he was not even given a copy. When asked, if he had asked Zaki-ul-Rehman Lakhvi about Ishrat, Headley replied he did not ask Lakhvi about her.
9:30 am Defence claims headley has not spoken about Ishrat Jehan in the NIA statement though Headley claims he had told an NIA official about the LeT operative
9:00 am Headley denies part of his statement given to NIA about LeT operative Ishrat Jehan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter.
Headley says NIA never read his recorded statement back to him but maintains that Lakhvi told him Muzammil Butt handled Akshardham and the Ishrat Jahan project
“( 26/11 Mastermind Zakiur Rehman) Lakhvi told me about Ishrat Jahan case but I was having prior knowledge about Ishrat Jahan case through newspapers,” Headley told the court. He also alleged that the NIA recorded his statement wrongly .
“I never told NIA that Lakhvi introduced me to Muzammil as a top commander whose every big operation was a failure,” he added.
When asked about the conversation between him and Lakhvi, Headley said “Muzzamil Butt was introduced to him by Lakhvi in 2005, where he (Lakhvi) said that Butt was top commander of Lashkar. Akshardham and Ishrat were his operations. However I thought that as these operations were failed why did Lakhvi mentioned it to me”.
Headley is deposing from US before the Mumbai court which is hearing the trial in 26/11 terror attack in which another LeT operative Abu Jundal alias Zabiuddin Ansari is facing trial. Headley had taken videos of many places in the city for the LeT which were used in the 2008 terror attack in which 10 Pakistani terrorists had attacked the city.
7 am Ex-Pakistan PM Gilani visited my home, says Headley
Pakistani-American LeT terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley said on Friday that former Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani visited his house to pay condolences a few weeks after his father’s death on December 25, 2008.
Though he denied that Gilani had attended the funeral of his father Sayed Salim Gilani, a former diplomat and Director-General of Radio Pakistan, who died a month after 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Headley said the former prime minister visited his home a weeks later.
Headley’s revelation came before Special Judge G.A. Sanap during his ongoing cross-examination by lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan, defence counsel for Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, an accused in the 26/11 attack case.
Headley’s father expired on December 25, 2008 while his step-brother Daniel Gilani worked as a PRO in Prime Minister Gilani’s office, Headley told the judge.
He added that his father was aware of his association with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and was not happy about it.
However, when asked if his step-brother Daniel Gilani was aware of his LeT links, Headley merely said they lived in different cities of Pakistan.
But he said a friend in Pakistan, Saulat Rana, was in the know of his LeT connections and his recce trips to Mumbai.
Rana was not linked with LeT and he neither objected nor encouraged Headley who worked for the terror group, nor did he tour Pakistan with him before the 26/11 terror attack by Pakistani terrorists that left 166 people dead.
He added that his father was a noted poet and writer, and after his death Daniel had publicly clarified that the family had barely any connections with him (Headley) -- who had changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Coleman Headley at LeT’s behest to enter India easily.