Headley was a Pak spy working for ISI: Report

ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha was possibly aware of the plot to strike India`s financial hub Mumbai, claims an investigative news report.

Last Updated: Jan 02, 2011, 10:10 AM IST

Washington: LeT operative David Headley, who
scouted targets in Mumbai for 26/11 attacks, was a Pakistani
spy working for ISI, whose chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha was
possibly aware of the plot to strike India`s financial hub,
claims an investigative news report.

"In essence, US and Indian officials say, Headley was
more than a terrorist: he served as a Pakistani spy,"
investigative American journalist Sebastian Rotella wrote in
`ProPublica.Com`.

Investigation into the Mumbai terrorist attacks by the US
and Indian agencies, the news report said, has for the first
time given a detailed account of how Pakistan`s powerful ISI
has been playing the "double game": acting as a front-line US
ally in the fight against terror while supporting selected
terrorist groups which serve Pakistani interests.

Documents about Mumbai attacks investigation in
possession with ProPublica.Com, have built a strong case that
officers in Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
Directorate collaborated with the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist
group in the plot that killed 166 people, six of them
Americans, Sebastian wrote.

"Officials from both countries (India and the US) say
they are persuaded that ISI officers recruited and trained
Headley in spying techniques and gave him money and
instructions to scout targets in Mumbai and elsewhere.

"Headley has told investigators that a Pakistani Navy
frogman helped plan the maritime attack on Mumbai," the news
report said citing a 119-page report recounting his
interrogation this year by Indian authorities.

The report, which was obtained by ProPublica, quoted
Headley as saying his Pakistani intelligence handler took part
in a discussion about a subsequent Lashkar plot to attack a
Danish newspaper -- information that Pakistan did not share
with Danish authorities, it said.

While the allegations have been denied by Pakistani
authorities, according to ProPublica, US investigators see
much of Headley`s account as credible.

In a potentially significant revelation, ProPublica
reports that Headley said Lt Gen Pasha, the director general
of the ISI, went to see Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT military
chief, in custody after he was arrested post-26/11.

"Pasha had visited him to understand the Mumbai attack
conspiracy," the report quoted Headley as saying, without
further elaboration.

"Pakistani officials deny that the spymaster made the
jailhouse visit. US and Indian officials and experts are more
willing to believe the story," it said.

"I think Pasha was aware of the plot beforehand, or he is
not chief of the ISI," an Indian counter-terror official was
quoted as saying.

PTI