LeT was targeting National Defence College in Delhi: FBI

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - 21:14

Washington: The prestigious National
Defence College in New Delhi was one of the prime targets of
David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, arrested by
the FBI for plotting a major terror attack in India at the
behest of Pakistan-based LeT, federal prosecutors have said.

Details of conversation between Headley and Rana,
submitted by prosecutors to a Chicago court, indicates that
the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was giving priority to its attack on
the National Defence College over other targets.

Attorneys from the US Department of Justice opposed
the bail application of Rana, saying he is a danger to the
community and might leave the country if set out on bail.

If convicted, Rana, Pakistani-born Canadian citizen
and a resident of Chicago, faces a maximum sentence of 30
years.

He was arrested by the FBI on terror charges along
with his school friend Headley, a US citizen, who was booked
on the charges of plotting attacks in India and Denmark.

Sources revealed to Zee News that India`s R&AW had provided information to America`s CIA about the duo who were planning a 26/11 type of attack on important public places.

They were targeting Israeli tourists and American establishments in the country. Hadley had, reportedly, conducted surveys of places which could be targeted.

Headley`s bail plea is scheduled for December.

The reference to the National Defence College as a
target was made by the duo during their conversations on
September 7, which was recorded by the FBI.

"In the same conversation, Headley and Rana discussed
Denmark and other targets, including the National Defence
College in India -– Rana, in fact, used the English word
`target` in this discussion," the FBI informed the court.

The Department of Justice also contested Rana`s plea
in his bail application that he was "duped" by Headley and
that he is innocent.

Rana, in his bail application, claimed there were many
individuals willing to pledge their homes and savings as
security for his release.

He offered to put six houses as security for the bail
application, all having a combined value of nearly USD one
million. However, the prosecutors opposed the bail. The court
would hold the next hearing on November 10.

The National Defence College trains selected senior
Defence and Civil Services officers in national and
international security-related fields and promotes research
and understanding of various linked issues.

In its amended complaint filed before the Chicago
Court last month, the FBI said Rana and Headley had discussed
and named multiple targets of their planning in their
conversation on September 7.

"More specifically, Headley listed four targets, one
of which was `Denmark`, then commented `[a]fter that if I will
pray for any other action call me a thief. God may help me
complete this task`.

"Later in this same conversation, Rana asked Headley
to `pass along a message` to Individual B (an unidentified LeT
leader)," the FBI said in its affidavit.

The two Chicago-residents then discussed a fifth
target.

Headley referred to the earlier discussion, and stated
words to the effect of "oh my friend, not four, five, five".

While Rana laughed, Headley stated "Defence College"
twice, and Rana commented "right, this is it. I knew already".

"That one, uh, I thought that was the target", Rana
continued. Headley responded, "I don`t know but once he (LeT
leader) comes then it will be known, but I am going to ask him
to do that one first."

Rana responded, "in this matter -– defence [UI]," the
FBI said.

The FBI had last month busted the terror plot under
which LeT was planning to use an American national in planning
a major attack in India -- raising an alarm, particularly
given that LeT and Headley talked about targeting a mysterious
"Rahul".

The FBI in its charge sheet filed before a Chicago
court, said the Consul-General of Pakistan in Chicago
personally knows both Rana and Headley as all three of them
are from the same high school.

According to the website of the Pakistan Embassy here,
Dr Aman Rashid is the Consul General in Chicago.

But the FBI affidavit does not say whether the Consul
General was aware or had any inclination of their terrorist
connection of Rana and Headley.

Headley and Rana were arrested by the FBI last
month on charges of plotting a terrorist attack against the
facilities and employees of a Danish newspaper which had
published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - 21:14

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