26/11: NIA chargesheets Headley, 8 others

Last Updated: Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 18:40

New Delhi: American-born terrorist David
Headley, founder of Lashker-e-Taiba terror group Hafiz Saeed
and two serving Pakistani Army officers were among the nine
people chargesheeted on Saturday by the National Investigation
Agency (NIA) for planning and execution of terror strikes in
India.

Besides 51-year-old Headley, NIA has also chargesheeted
his Pakistani-Canadian accomplice Tahawwur Rana, whom the US
courts had not found guilty in Mumbai terror attack on
November 26, 2008 in which 166 people were killed.

Two serving Pakistani Army officials -- Major Iqbal and
Major Sameer Ali -- believed to be working for ISI, were also
named in the chargesheet filed before the Special NIA court
here.
Al-Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri, Sajid Malik, handler
of Headley, and Abdul Rehman Hashmi, former Pakistani Army
officer, were also named in the chargesheet filed against the
nine for waging war against the country and other relevant
sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The charge sheet, which was filed after two years of
probe by the central agencies and later by the NIA, had been
accorded sanction for prosecution against all the nine after
being convinced of their role in planing terror strikes in
India.

Initially NIA had registered a case against Headley and
50-year-old Rana but after a thorough probe and testimony of
Headley to the NIA, seven other names were included in the
case.

The NIA document gives details of the 293 days stay in
the country of Headley and his involvement in carrying out
surveillance of places of iconic installations which includes
his recce of Mumbai before the 26/11 terror strikes.

The voluminous charge sheet mentions the fake plea made
by Rana to the Indian authorities about Headley being a
representative of his Immigration Law Centre.
It refers to Rana`s meeting with 40-year-old Pasha, a
former Pakistani army officer, in Dubai and his sudden exit
from India barely five days before the Mumbai terror strike.

Both Headley and Rana are at present in the custody of US
authorities and NIA has only got a limited access to Headley,
who had entered into plea bargain with US authorities to
escape stiff sentence.

The charge sheet said that Headley attended several basic
and specialised terrorist training programmes of LeT. The
immigration business of Rana came in handy, as a front office
was opened in India for launching Headley in this country.

Neutral contacts of Rana in India were easily available
for Headley’s assistance. The office of Rana and his business
partners in the US were used for providing documents for
obtaining visa for Headley, it said.

Headley furnished incorrect and false information
relating to the name of his father and his marital status and
after obtaining visa, he made multiple trips to India between
September 14 and March 15, 2009,the charge sheet noted.

During his trips he conducted tactical surveillance of
potential targets of terrorist attacks and collected tactical
details including video footages of all the places which were
attacked during 26/11 in Mumbai.

Headley also collected information and videos of places
including but not limited to different Chabad houses in India,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mantralaya and Air India
building in Mumbai and National Defence College.

He befriended several individuals, who had no knowledge
about his activities, during his stay in Mumbai for carrying
out reconnaissance of important places in India, it said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 13:29

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