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Questions to Headley around post 26/11 stay

Questioning of Headley is going to revolve around the places he had visited after 26/11 attacks.



New Delhi: The questioning of American
Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley is going to revolve
around the places he had visited after the Mumbai terror
attacks and the people he had remained in touch with during
his stay in India.

A three-member team of National Investigation Agency,
which along with a public prosecutor is expected to leave
for the United States in the wee hours on Monday, has prepared
questions about his stay in the country especially during
March 2009, his last visit to India.

The travel details of Headley, the globe-trotting
prized asset of the LeT, are being sought mainly as
investigators believe that this visit may have been to
finalise the synchronised terror strikes on Jewish houses
located in five cities, sources said.

They said the Government has kept `backup staff` in
readiness if the team, that was visiting the US, needed any
assistance.

This will be for the first time that 49-year-old
Headley, who was born to a Pakistani father and whose earlier
name was Daood Gilani, will be facing direct questions from
Indian investigators.

The statement of Headley would be recorded by the
Special Law Officer of India after which the NIA, which has
registered a case against Headley and Pakistani-Canadian
national Tahawwur Rana for waging war against the country and
Unlawful Activities Prevention (Act), may file a charge sheet
against him.

Besides the Indian team, those expected to be present
during the questioning would be Headley`s lawyer and an
officer of the FBI.

Piecing together the travel trail of Headley during
his visit to India in March last year, the investigators of a
central security agency were of the opinion that the US terror
suspect was scouting only Jewish targets, including the office
of Israeli airlines El Al in Mumbai.

Headley had carried out reconnaissance of the office
of El AI located at Cuffe Parade in Mumbai in March before
moving to the national capital, where he chose to stay in a
small hotel in Paharganj area.

The security agencies found a Chabad House barely 300
metres from the hotel. 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`.

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 scouted the area around Koregaon Park.

The visit of the NIA team comes after Solicitor
General Gopal Subramanium held a meeting with US Attorney
General Eric Holder to discuss modalities in April this year.

"The two partners agreed to take suitable steps to
bring about direct access by Indian authorities to David
Headley as soon as possible," the Indian embassy had said.

Headley, who was arrested by the FBI in October last
year, has pleaded guilty before a Chicago court in the US to
his involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

In his plea bargaining, he had agreed "that, when
directed by the United States Attorney`s Office, he will fully
and truthfully testify in any foreign judicial proceedings
held in the United States by way of deposition,
videoconferencing or letters rogatory."

PTI

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