American terror suspect David Headley had also stayed at Oberoi besides the Taj--the two hotels attacked on 26/11-- before the Mumbai carnage reinforcing suspicion of his link with the audacious strike, according to investigators on Friday.
Sources privy to the investigations said Headley stayed at the Oberoi for four days in April last year after which he left India reportedly for Pakistan through a Gulf country. The exact dates of Headley's stay were however not given.
The CCTV footage of the period mentioned as his stay in the hotel could not be retrieved from the machines installed at the hotel because of the time gap of nearly 19 months. Thirty people were killed in the terror strikes at Oberoi and Trident hotel.
Sources in the Oberoi said hotel records were minutely checked after investigators found that Headley had stayed in the Taj Mahal hotel which witnessed the longest battle between the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists and security personnel.
With fresh evidence of Headley's suspected link with 26/11 emerging, security agencies appeared to be convinced each passing day about his role when the conspiracy to carry out the terror attack was hatched. 183 people were killed in the Mumbai attack.
During the probe it was found that Headley, arrested by US investigating agency FBI for planning terror attacks in
India, stayed at Taj on two occasions for a total of nine days. The Taj had bore the brunt of the three-day carnage
after terrorists struck Mumbai on November 26 last.
His accomplice Tahawwur Rana, a Pakistani-Candian, who is also under FBI custody, had stayed in a guest house in
south Mumbai till November 21, 2008, before he flew to an European destination on way back to Canada.
The sources said this has raised suspicion that he may have given final touches to the audacious terror strikes that
also killed some American, British and Israeli nationals.
Headley had also stayed in two hotels in April last year in Delhi's Paharganj, a favourite of budget travellers from
abroad and recovered his passport details. However, his visit to Delhi continued to remain a mystery for the investigators
who were yet to find out the reason for his trip to the national capital.
National Investigating Agency and central security agencies are now probing the travel details of both the
suspects to check if they had any hand in the 26/11 attack or the serial bomb blasts in the country between 2006 and 2008.