‘Kashmiri tasked Headley to synchronise attacks’

Last Updated: Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 14:48

New Delhi: American-born terrorist David
Headley`s return after the Mumbai terror strikes of 2008 was
to give final touches to synchronised terror strikes on Jewish
houses located in five cities, including the national capital
on instructions of al-Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri.

Piecing together the 293-day trail of Headley, the NIA,
which submitted its 60-page charge sheet before a special
court yesterday, said that during his visit to India in March
2009, he was scouting only the Jewish targets, including the
El Al airlines office in Mumbai on instructions from Kashmiri,
who merged his 313 Brigade of Harkat-ul-Jehad Islamia with
al-Qaeda.

Ahead of his arrival in India in March 2009, Headley had
met Illyas Kashmiri in Miransa area in North Waziristan in
February where he was instructed to conduct final recce of
Chabad houses for an attack, the charge sheet said.

The NIA charge sheet which is supported by voluminous
documents also talks about the fears of Headley to return to
India after the 26/11 attacks and said that the American
terrorist had met his accomplice Tahawwur Rana and talked
about his fear of being apprehended.

The two opened an email account "movie.money@yahoo.com"
and in which Headley exchanged his property details and debts.

Headley, born to a Pakistani father and whose earlier
name was Daood Gilani, has been charged by the NIA with
conspiring to wage war against India along with eight others
which include two serving Pakistani Army personnel, founder of
Lashker Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of 26/11 attack Zaki-ur-Rehman
Lakhvi and Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana.

The charge sheet, which gives graphic details about his
role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes which left 166 dead
including six foreigners, also gives out his activities of
March visit of 2009 when he had carried out reconnaissance of
Israeli airlines -- El AI-- office located at Cuffe Parade
before moving to the national capital where he chose to stay
in a small hotel at Pahargunj area.

His stay at hotel -- De Holiday Inn -- has also been
named in the charge sheet and the place is located barely 300
metres from Chabad House in the area. The statement of local
Rabbi was also recorded and e-mails exchanged by Headley were
also kept as evidence.

The Chabad House in Pahargunj, Delhi is located in narrow
lanes and is frequented generally by backpackers from Israel
while either going to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh or to
western parts of the country.

From Delhi, Headley travelled to Pushkar in the outskirts
of Ajmer in Rajasthan where he insisted on a room opposite a
Jewish prayer centre claiming he was a Jew and wanted "holy
sight". The hotel staff, in their statements to the NIA, said
50-year-old Headley had insisted on the room view which was
right opposite to the prayer hall of the Jew centre in
Pushkar.

There he met a Jewish couple and Headley expressed his
desire to know more about Jews. The couple gave him the
address of Chhabad house in Goa to him.

After staying there for three days, Headley moved to Goa
where he stayed at a guest house located in Anjuna village
along the coast of Arabian sea before proceeding towards Pune
where he recce the area around Koregaon Park.

Though initially it was believed that he wanted to target
the foreigners coming to the Osho Ashram, it was found later
that he had scouted the area for targeting the Jewish prayer
centre in the area.

Headley later left for Mumbai where he again went to the
Cuffe Prade area and apparently firmed up some loose ends in
targeting the Israel Airways office before flying to Pakistan
from the Chatrapati Shivaji airport. Upon reaching Pakistan,
he went to Miransa again and handed over details of his recce
activities of Jewish houses to Illyas Kashmiri.

The story of Headley came to an end when he was arrested
by the FBI in October 2009 when he was boarding a flight to
Denmark.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 14:48

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