Was Manali Jewish centre on Headley`s target list?
Manali (Himachal Pradesh): Investigators tracking American terrorist of Pakistani origin David Coleman Headley`s India visits are probing if his friends -- an American couple -- had visited this picturesque resort in Himachal Pradesh for reconnaissance of a Jewish centre here.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths who are in Himachal Pradesh have established that the American couple was in Manali in 2008, a police official said.
The official said the sleuths visited Chabad House, the Jewish centre located on the Club House Road, to inquire if Headley`s accomplices had visited there.
They have scrutinised log books of some hotels and guest houses in the vicinity of Chabad House and recorded the statements of their staff members.
"It`s believed that Headley`s Moroccan girlfriend met the couple in Manali. Even Headley got in touch with them through his girlfriend. So they (the sleuths) were here to scan details regarding their links with this town," the police official told IANS, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Himachal`s Deputy Inspector General of Police Anurag Garg said that "Headley himself never visited Manali".
Manali, nestled in the Himalayas, attracts thousands of backpackers from abroad, especially Israelis, every year.
According to the state tourism department, around 50,000 foreigners pour into the area every summer. Of them, 10,000-15,000 are from Israel. The Chabad House in old Manali is their favourite haunt.
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