NIA files charges against Headley, LeT chief for 26/11
The National Investigation Agency has formally charge-sheeted Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley, LeT founder Hafeez Saeed and seven others on Saturday for their roles in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks that left 164 people dead and at least 308 wounded. Date with deathdelhi Updated: Dec 25, 2011 15:58 IST
The charge-sheet also covered the larger conspiracy of Pakistani spy agency ISI, and LeT to attack Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, offices of national carrier Air India, government offices in Mumbai, Chabad houses in different cities and the National Defence College in Delhi after the Mumbai attacks.
On November 26, 2008, Pakistan-based terrorists launched more than 10 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai. Ajmal Kasab, the lone attacker arrested alive, later claimed that their mission had the support of Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI.
Filed in a special court in Patiala House here three days after the Centre gave sanction to prosecute all the nine accused — seven Pakistanis and two Pakistani-origin citizens of the US and Canada — the charge-sheet also named the attack mastermind, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Headley's accomplice Tahawwur Rana and al-Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri.
Sajid Malik, handler of Headley, and Abdul Rehman Hashmi, a former Pakistani army officer, were also named besides two serving officers.
According to the charge-sheet, Headley and Rana, both members of LeT, were placed in a position where they could provide tactical, material and financial support for carrying out attacks in India and other places.
But the NIA ruled out the possibility of them having any local support. “All local contacts of Pakistani-American national David Coleman Headley were not aware of his real intentions,” said an official.
During the investigation, more than 300 witnesses were examined and evidence was collected from several sources.
Both Headley and Rana are at present in the custody of the US authorities. The NIA got only a limited access to Headley, who had entered into a plea bargain to escape harsh sentence and extradition to India.