26/11: Indicted Pak Major a serving ISI officer

Pakistan national Major Iqbal, who has been indicted by US federal prosecutors for his involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attack, was a serving ISI officer, a media report said on Wednesday.

Updated: Apr 27, 2011, 11:18 AM IST

Washington: Pakistan national Major
Iqbal, who has been indicted by US federal prosecutors for his
involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attack, was a serving ISI
officer, a media report said on Wednesday.

Filed before a Chicago-court, the indictment
identified Major Iqbal as one of the masterminds who directed
and funded months of reconnaissance in Mumbai by David Coleman
Headley, a Pakistani-American businessman who was once an
informant for the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Headley was arrested in October 2009 and is
cooperating with US and Indian officials, said a report
published in the ProPublica.Com.

The indictment describes Major Iqbal as "a resident of
Pakistan who participated in planning and funding attacks by
Lashkar."

But US and Indian officials and Indian court documents
allege that Iqbal was a serving officer in Pakistan`s
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, said the report,
which was also published in The Washington Post.

Major Iqbal allegedly acted as Headley`s main handler.

The Major was one of at least three ISI officers who are
suspected of being involved in recruiting, training and
directing him in terrorist activities, according to US and
Indian investigators and Indian court documents.

The indictment filed on Monday, which named four more
Pakistani conspirators charged with carrying the terrorist
attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 allegedly on behalf of
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), however never mentions the Pakistani
security forces or their alleged role in the attacks.
"But it represents a major development in a secretive,
diplomatically sensitive prosecution set for trial next month,
because Pakistan is considered a close US ally in the fight
against terrorism. Prosecutors charged the four Pakistanis
with playing lead roles in the attacks by the Lashkar-e-Taiba
terrorist group that killed 166 people, six of them
Americans," the report said.

Besides Major Iqbal, other individuals are Sajid Mir,
Mazhar Iqbal, Abu Qahafa, besides an unnamed individual
identified as `Lashkar Member D`.

Sajid Mir was a resident of Pakistan associated with
Lashkar who supervised others associated with it and served as
a "handler" for Headley and others who were directed to carry
out actions relating to planning, preparing for, and carrying
out terrorist attacks on behalf of LeT.`

While Abu Qahafa was an associate with LeT who trained
others in combat techniques for use in terrorist attacks;
Lashkar Member D was LeT Commanders.

Major Iqbal participated in planning and funding
attacks carried out by LeT in Mumbai, federal prosecutors
said.

All of them have been charged with six counts of
aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India as well
as the material support of terrorism and conspiracy to murder.
ProPublica said the other significant figure indicted
Monday is a longtime Lashkar chief named Sajid Mir.

"Mir remains at large, according to investigators,
despite the fact that he allegedly was a key plotter in the
Mumbai attacks. His voice was caught on tape directing the
slaughter by telephone from a Pakistani safe house, according
to officials and documents," it said.

PTI