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Post 26/11, Major Iqbal asked Headley to lay low and not

Last Updated: Friday, May 27, 2011 - 20:54

Washington: Mumbai attack co-accused David
Headley was asked by Major Iqbal, his handler in Pakistan`s
intelligence agency, to lay low after the carnage and not to
contact him as there was intense pressure and increased
international surveillance of their activities post 26/11.

Sometime in February 2009, Headley, who has been
accused of being involved in the planning of November 2008
Mumbai attack, met Major Iqbal in Lahore who informed him that
the investigation into 26/11 was intense.

Headley during the ongoing trial of 26/11 co-accused
Tawahhur Rana this week said Major Iqbal was a serving officer
in the ISI. Iqbal has been indicted by US federal prosecutors
for his alleged involvement in Mumbai attack.

Pakistan has strongly refuted allegations of ISI
involvement.

"Major Iqbal instructed Headley to remove any
incriminating materials from his house, and to avoid contact
with him," says the Government’s Santiago Proffer, which was
unsealed this week.

This was also acknowledged by Headley during the
questioning this week in a Chicago court.

Headley told the court this week that he in fact was
"disappointed "and "upset" when Major Iqbal seemed to be
discouraging when he showed him the fresh surveillance
videos of the planned terrorist strike in Copenhagen in early
2009.

"However, Major Iqbal was more concerned with the
attention that the Mumbai attacks had received and instructed
Headley to lay low," the court documents said.

But Headley said that he was determined and wanted
to go ahead with the project, so he went to Pasha and Illyas
Kashmiri, who were eager to go ahead.

At this time Pasha sought to convince Headley to
leave Lashkar and carry out the attacks with the assistance of
Kashmiri instead.

"After talking more with Pasha over the course of a
few days, Headley agreed to meet with Kashmiri.
Pasha gave Headley an Al Qaeda video that discussed
the cartoons and the bombing of Denmark’s embassy in
Islamabad,? the documents said.

Fresh court documents and proceedings of the court
this week indicates that Major Iqbal was very enthusiastic
about the terrorist attack in Copenhagen and as late as
October 2008, he was fully involved in it.

In fact, in October 2008, Major Iqbal said that he
was surprised that an attack had not happened already.

But given the intense international pressure on
Pakistan post 26/11, he was feeling the heat and asked Headley
to keep away from the terrorists activities for some time.

PTI

First Published: Friday, May 27, 2011 - 20:54

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