Mohammed Ajmal Kasab. the 26/11 attacks convict.(File)
Mohammed Ajmal Kasab. the 26/11 attacks convict.(File)

Kasab was to be traded with 26/11 hostages: Headley

Defence advocate Abdul Wahab Khan questioned Headley about the execution of the 26/11 attacks
By Charul Shah | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 25, 2016 11:35 PM IST

Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley, on the third day of his cross-examination by defence advocate, told the court that LeT intended to negotiate for the release of Ajmal Kasab in exchange for the hostages held at Nariman House at the time of 26/11 terror attacks in 2008.

Giving the details shared by his LeT handler Sajid Mir, Headley on Friday told the court, “During the attack, one of the attackers was arrested. Mir had told me they were trying to contact the other attackers at Chhabad house to get in touch with the Israel embassy to trade the release of hostages for the attacker.”

Defence advocate Abdul Wahab Khan questioned Headley about the execution of the 26/11 attacks. Khan asked Headley if Mir had asked him to call the Israel embassy and negotiate with the government. Annoyed with the question, Headley said it was not possible as he was sitting in Lahore and was not in touch with Mir at the time of the attacks.

Replying to the advocate’s allegations that Headley was one of the handlers and was giving instructions from the control room set up in Karachi, the LeT operative said he was in Lahore at the time of the attack. Headley said, “It is not true that I was in the Karachi control room at the time of the attacks. It is also not true that I was giving instructions to the attackers.”

Khan alleged the conversation intercepted between the attackers from Mumbai and handlers in Karachi control room were played during the trial conducted in the US, where Headley had identified his own voice as that of one of the handlers. Headley said such a thing never happened and he was in Lahore at the time. Headley also offered to give his voice sample, saying the agency can verify his claim.

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