Al Qaeda sent Headley to Britain for weapons: Report

Last Updated: Monday, October 18, 2010 - 20:42

London: An al-Qaeda commander, who
triggered the recent terrorism alert over Mumbai-style attacks
on London and cities in Europe, sent 26/11 mastermind David
Headley to Britain last year to seek money, weapons and
manpower, the media reported today.
One-eyed Ilyas Kashmiri sent Pakistani-American
Headley to meet two men from Derby in August last year, The
Daily Telegraph reported today quoting security sources.
The British contacts were supposed to assist
Kashmiri`s associate with plans for a truck bomb attack on a
Danish newspaper behind cartoons of Mohammed.

According to the report, it is feared the network has
now been given the task of supporting Kashmiri`s plans for
Mumbai-style attacks in Europe.

Intelligence suggesting that Kashmiri boasted that he
had sent terrorists to Britain and Germany as part of the
plot, sparked the alert two weeks ago.
MI5, Britain`s internal intelligence agency, has been
aware of Kashmiri`s network for more than a year but has not
discovered active plans for attacks.

But the Security Service did uncover Headley, who was
then arrested at O`Hare International Airport in Chicago on
October 3 last year on his way to Pakistan to deliver
surveillance videos to Kashmiri.
Headley admitted having conducted reconnaissance for
the commando raid by 10 gun-men on hotels and cafes in Mumbai,
over three days in November 2008, in which 166 people were
killed and more than 300 injured.

Two of Headley`s wives warned the American authorities
years before the Mumbai attack that he was involved with
planning terrorism agaisnt India.

In August 2005, his American wife met officials on
three occasions and gave a detailed account of his activity
with the LeT. In December 2007, his Moroccan wife repeated the
warnings to US officials in Pakistan, the report said.

The 50-year-old, who has an American mother and
Pakistani father and changed his name from Daood Sayed Gilani,
called the plan to blow up the offices of the Jyllands Posten
newspaper, the "Mickey Mouse Project" because it was all about
cartoons.

The project began in October 2008 when Headley
travelled to Pakistan to meet a member of Lashkar-e-Toeba
(LeT), a terrorist group, to discuss surveillance work,
according to US court documents.
Headley travelled to Denmark in January 2009 to take
surveillance video of the newspaper`s offices in Copenhagen
and Aarhus. He gained access to the offices by saying he
wanted to place adverts.

Headley returned to Pakistan to discuss the planning
separately with a retired Pakistani army officer called Major
Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed and his LeT contact.

The following month, Abdur Rehman took him to meet
Kashmir in Waziristan, according to a US indictment.

During the meeting, Kashmiri allegedly said he had
reviewed the surveillance videos and suggested using a truck
bomb in the operation.

At a second meeting in May 2009, Kashmiri allegedly
directed Headley to meet his "European contacts" who could
provide "money, weapons and manpower for the newspaper
attack", according to the US indictment. This refers to the
contacts in Derby, the report said.

The indictment noted that in late July and early
August 2009, Headley travelled from Chicago to "various places
in Europe", including Copenhagen, but also thought to include
Britain, attempting to obtain assistance from Kashmir`s
contacts. He pleaded guilty to all charges in March.

-PTI



First Published: Monday, October 18, 2010 - 20:42

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