Headley not one to be influenced by jihadi elements: Bhatt

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt`s son Rahul, who came into the spotlight for his acquaintance with David Coleman Headley, doesn`t think the terror convict is one to be influenced by jihadi elements.

Last Updated: May 24, 2011, 22:04 PM IST

Mumbai: Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt`s son
Rahul, who came into the spotlight for his acquaintance with
David Coleman Headley, doesn`t think the terror convict
charged with scouting targets for the 26/11 Mumbai terror
attacks is one to be influenced by jihadi elements.
"The investigators have spent just 30 hours speaking
to Headley. I have spent 1,000 hours with him. I don`t think
he is one to be influenced by jihadi elements," Rahul said
today.

"Headley has been made a `fall guy` for the Americans,
the CIA," Rahul told agency, when asked if Headley was innocent.

"There is a much deeper issue. Headley is not what he
is made out to be," he said.

Headley has a `mind of his own`, Rahul said.

"I come from a family of intellectuals. My father is a
tough man, but nobody could push David Headley`s buttons. He
was a very sharp man," he said.

Rahul confirmed that the mobile number allegedly
mentioned in Headley`s diary belonged to him, till three
months ago. "Yes, the number did belong to me till three
months ago. I surrendered it due to personal reasons," he
said.

Asked when was the last time he spoke to Headley on
that number, Rahul said their last conversation was around one
and a half years ago, during the swine flu outbreak in India.

"What he has said... these are all his voluntary
confessions. I refuse to believe the theory that he was
arrested in Af-Pak region," he said.
"What is surprising is that no one in media is
investigating this theory," he said.

The FBI put Headley on surveillance after the (terror)
attacks, Rahul said.

"Headley was trained by Americans in the art of
surveillance and was sent in by their Drug Enforcement
Agency," he said, claiming that Headley was a "CIA
terrorist".

"He was not a jihadi element, who believed in
sacrificing 1,000 lives," Rahul said.

"In fact, we used to joke with him, calling him "Agent
Headley" because we suspected him to be a CIA guy," he said.

PTI