'LeT had planned for 26/11 attack in 2005' | world | Hindustan Times
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'LeT had planned for 26/11 attack in 2005'

world Updated: Jan 15, 2010 08:37 IST

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Lashkar-e-Taiba had started planning for the Mumbai terrorist attacks at least three years before its strikes in November 2008.

According to the charges filed by American federal prosecutors before a Chicago court, an unnamed Lashkar member A, who served as a "handler" for terror suspect David Coleman Headley and another person associated with LeT, advised him in late 2005 that he would be travelling to India to perform surveillance of potential targets for Lashkar.

Arrested by the FBI in October last year, Headley, a Pakistani-American, has been charged with planning terrorist attack in India and being involved in the Mumbai terrorist attack.

His school-time friend Tahawwur Hussein Rana has also been arrested and indicted on similar charges.

In an indictment filed before the Chicago court on Friday, federal prosecutors said, as per direction given by his LeT handlers Headley changed his given name of Daood Gilani on February 15, 2006, in Philadelphia, enabling him to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani.

In the spring of 2006, Lashkar Member A and a Lashkar associate discussed with Headley the idea that he could open an immigration office in Mumbai as a cover for his surveillance activities.