David Headley says US DEA funded his Pak trip in drug smuggling case

  • Charul Shah, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 25, 2016 11:12 IST
David Coleman Headley said on Wednesday that the US had sponsored his trip to Pakistan. (PTI)

Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley said on Wednesday that the US had sponsored his trip to Pakistan and he had donated Rs 60-70 lakh to Lashkar-e-Taiba, till 2006, two years before the Mumbai attacks.

During the first day of his cross-examination via video conference, Headley told the sessions court that he was arrested by the US Drug Enforcement Agency in 1997. “The Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) of the US financed my trip. I was in contact with DEA then, but it is not true that between 1988 and 1998 I was providing information or assisting DEA”.

Headley told the court that in the 1997 drug smuggling case, he had visited Pakistan for the DEA. The purpose of the visit however, was not clarified.

He also clarified his association with Tahawwur Rana, who operated an immigration business in Chicago, and said Rana was aware that he was an operative of LeT. The defence had alleged that Rana, and Headley’s wife Shazia, were part of the conspiracy of Mumbai terror attacks and had moved an application to make them an accused last week.

When lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan asked him about Rana, Headley said, “Rana knew about my association with LeT. I informed him about the training imparted by me to LeT operatives. I disclosed to Rana that I was spying for LeT. This was four to five months before the 26/11 attacks.

“Rana objected to my association with LeT. He did not want me to continue using his office in Mumbai. I conceded his objection and started taking steps to close down the office. This was in July 2008,” he said.

About his wife, Headley said, “Shazia is still my wife. I do not want to disclose Shazia’s location due to security reasons. I do not want to answer any question about my wife.” He said his wife never visited India and that he had disclosed to her about his association with LeT.

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