India gets access to 26/11 attacks accused Headley

The US has finally granted India access to David Coleman Headley, who has confessed to his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Updated: Jun 06, 2010, 09:45 AM IST

Washington: India has finally been given access to Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley, who has confessed to his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, according to US National Security Adviser James Jones.

"Yes access (to Headley) has been given. We have fulfilled our commitment," he said Saturday, a day after External Affairs Minister SM Krishna left for home after making a public plea for access to Headley, 49 who changed his given name of Daood Gilani in 2006 to scout targets for the November 2008 attack.

However, Jones did not spell out how and when the four-member National Investigation Agency (NIA) team, which is already in Chicago to question Headley, was given access.

"This is an ongoing process and I don`t have any detailed information that will be helpful except to say that it is in the hands of right professionals from both countries," Jones said.

Leading the Indian team is Loknath Behera "a meticulous detective with a knack for obtaining information from criminal suspects", who was recently awarded the President`s Medal for Distinguished Service, according to ABC News.

The Indian team is being accompanied by special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan to sort out any legal roadblocks that could be put up by Headley`s lawyers, it said.

Arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last October, Headley confessed to his role in a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty.

The Indian team will focus on finding out details of Headley`s undercover trips to several places in India and whether he had put in place sleeper terror cells.

The team also hopes to interrogate him about his role in the bomb blast at the German Bakery in Pune, his dealings with terror leaders in Pakistan and officers of the Pakistani Army, the ABC said.

Also, Justice Department officials in Washington have promised to provide details of the conspiracies that Headley is suspected to have hatched.

Before leaving for Delhi, Krishna had asserted that India has been given access but declined to spell out details.

"Investigations of this kind are of a very delicate and sensitive nature. We cannot go on spelling out day-to-day updates. Right now, the time is not appropriate."

IANS