Pakistan’s spy agency ISI was planning the recruitment of retired Indian military personnel to penetrate into the system and then use them for its anti-India activities, according to LeT operative David Headley.
Less than six months before the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, Major Iqbal, Headley’s handler in ISI, asked him to put an advertisement in a Mumbai newspaper that an employment agency in Canada was looking for people to work there, the LeT operative said in his testimony before a Chicago court during the recently concluded trial of Tahawwur Rana.
“He (Major Iqbal) told me to put an ad in a newspaper, which was like an employment agency looking for people to work in Canada.”
And amongst many jobs which were to be placed, he wanted to put in security personnel because he thought retired military people would respond to that kind of advertisement. “We added that part in the ad where it said military service preferred,” Headley told the court in response to a question from the public prosecutor.
“Was Major Iqbal asking you to engage Indian military, retired people?” the US attorney asked. “Yes,” he said. Headley said Major Iqbal gave him R25,000 to place such an advertisement.
'Oberoi Hotel was not in original plan'
Oberoi Hotel, one of the sites attacked during the 2008 Mumbai strikes, was not originally on the list of targets for surveillance given to David Headley by his ISI handler but he made a video of it after filming Chhabad House as he had an hour to spare before he could catch a movie.
Headley said Chhabad House was added to the list at the direction of Major Iqbal, who told him that this was a house from where the Israeli spy agency operates.