Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley deposed before a special court in Mumbai regarding his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Headley, appearing from an undisclosed location via video conferencing, spilled the beans on LeT’s involvement with the 26/11 terror attacks.
Headley, who is serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks, spoke about the role of Saeed, another LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as well as his handler in the outfit Sajid Mir.
In his depositions till now, Headley has revealed important information about the planning behind the terror attacks and his role in the same.
Who is Headley? He was born Daood Gilani. His parents — the Philadelphia socialite Serill Headley and Pakistani poet and diplomat Syed Salim Gilani — divorced soon after they moved to Islamabad in 1960. Mrs. Headley returned to Philadelphia. Headley was admitted to a boarding school, where he first met Rana, but then moved to the United States in 1977. He rebelled against his mother’s heavy drinking and multiple sexual relationships by expressing a loathing for all non-Muslims.
Marital life Apart from Shazia Gilani, records show that he was married to Faiza Outhalla, a Lahore-based medical student. Headley divorced her to evade pressure from his family and then married her again after she filed a complaint with police in Lahore that led to his incarceration for several days.He also had another bigamous marriage with a New York-based make-up artist, Portia Gilani, ich ended in divorce in 2005.
His other life Headley married Shazia Gilani, daughter of a retired Pakistan soldier, in 1999. Ms. Gilani moved to the United States in 2008, along with their four children — Haider, Osama, Sumya and Hafsa.
Psychological problems Evidence also emerged that Headley was diagnosed in 1992 with multiple personality disorder — a condition which includes the possession of multiple mannerisms, attitudes and beliefs. His personal life could provide an explanation for why he sought psychological counselling..
26/11 Mumbai attacks Viewing the terror strikes unfold in Mumbai on television, David Headley’s first wife Shazia used code words like “I am watching cartoons” to convey to him that he had “graduated”, a term she used for success of the 26/11 strikes.“I’ve been watching these cartoons (attacks) all day and I am proud of you,” Ms. Shazia wrote in an email to 50-year-old Mumbai accused during the strikes.
“Ishrat was an Indian national and not a Pakistani and an LeT operative,” declares Headley
“The LeT made a mock of the Taj Hotel. However, the meeting of Indian Defence Scientists was cancelled ”
“Sajid Mir was a high-ranking officer in the Pakistani Army and apparently also was in the ISI”
Ishrat Jahan case: timeline
June 15, 2004:
Ishrat Jahan and three others killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Police claim they were Lashkar members planning to kill Narendra Modi.
Ahmedabad judge S.P. Tamang terms encounter ‘fake’. Mr. Tamang’s report said the Crime Branch police “kidnapped” Ishrat and the others from Mumbai on June 12, 2004 and brought them to Ahmedabad. The four were killed on the night of June 14 in police custody, but the police claimed that an “encounter” took place the next morning on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. That rigor mortis set in between 11 p.m. and midnight the previous night clearly pointed to the fact that the police pumped bullets into Ishrat’s lifeless body to substantiate the encounter theory.Read more
The Gujarat High Court constituted a new three-member Special Investigation Team for a fresh probe into the alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan in 2004. Read more
January 28, 2011:
SIT member Satish Varma files affidavit stating it was a ‘fake’ encounter. Read more
SIT tells court the encounter was staged
High Court orders CBI probe.Read more
The CBI’s first charge sheet in the encounter case stated that the unlawful killing was a joint operation of the Gujarat police and the Intelligence Bureau and named seven Gujarat police officials as the accused. Read more
CBI court grants P.P.Pandey (an accused in the case) anticipatory bail for 48 hours after a hearing that lasted for over four hours. Read more
SC denies senior bail to Pandey. Read more
CBI quizzes BJP leader Amit Shah in connection with ‘fake’ encounters. Jailed IPS officer D.G. Vanzara who was later held in the Ishrat Jahan case, had alleged in his resignation letter that the government closely monitored every police action involving ‘terrorists’ during his tenure. Read more
A special Central Bureau of Investigation court here issued notices to Amit Shah in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. Read more
A Gujarat CBI court dismissed a plea seeking arraignment of Amit Shah and ex-police commissioner of Ahmedabad K.R. Kaushik as accused in the case. The plea was filed by Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh who was among the four victims.Read more
CBI gives a clean chit to Amit Shah. “There is no sufficient evidence against him. Hence CBI has not chargesheeted him,” CBI PI Vishwas Kumar Meena said in an affidavit filed before the special CBI court in Ahmedabad.Read more
Gujarat revokes suspension of P.P.Pandey.
DG Vanzara walks out of the Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad eight years after he was jailed in connection with a series of encounter cases in Gujarat.Read more
David Headley arrest: Chronology of events
October 18, 2009: Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, a resident of Chicago and an accomplice of Headley, arrested by the FBI.
October 27, 2009: FBI files affidavit in a Chicago court alleging that Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba was planning to use Headley to carry out a major terror attack in India and Danish newspaper ‘Jyllands-Posten’
November 30, 2009: Tahawwur Rana categorically denies any involvement in the Mumbai attacks. The detention hearing of Headley scheduled for December 4 at a Chicago court indefinitely deferred.
December 7, 2009: Headley charged in a Chicago court with criminal conspiracy in Mumbai terror attacks and having links with a retired Pakistani army Major who liaised between him and terror groups including LeT and HuJI.
December 8, 2009: US President Barack Obama says indictment of Headley, is an “important day” in his effort to protect the people from terrorists.
December 9, 2009: Headley pleads not guilty before a Chicago court where he was produced. Next hearing postponed till January 12.
December 14, 2009: Headley turns into FBI informant to avoid death penalty. FBI says the Somnath temple in Gujarat, Bollywood stars and Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai were also the targets of LeT, which was planning to carry out strikes with the help of Headley and Rana.
December 29, 2009: FBI classifies arrest of Headley as its second biggest case for the year 2009.
January 11, 2010: The status hearing of Headley postponed till Feb 23.
January 15, 2010: Ilyas Kashmiri, the dreaded Pakistani terrorist, belonging to the Harakat—ul Jihad Islami, indicted in a U.S. court for the first time in connection with the plot to target the Danish newspaper.
January 26, 2010: Tahawwur Rana pleads not guilty to the charges of helping arrange the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and making plans for an attack on the Danish newspaper.
January 27, 2010: Headley pleads not guilty to all the charges of helping arrange the attack on targets in Mumbai and on the Danish paper.
February 23, 2010: A U.S. court adjourns till March 23 the status hearing of Headley.
March 18, 2010: Headley, who pleads guilty to 12-count of terror charges, including plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks at the behest of Pakistan-based LeT and conspiring to target a Danish newspaper, escapes death penalty.
January 24, 2013: U.S. federal court sentenced Headley to 35 years in prison for his role in the Mumbai attacks.
July, 2015: Mumbai police seeks to take a deposition of Headley by video-conference to provide evidence against Zabiuddin Ansari (Abu Jundal).
December 10, 2015: Mumbai court pardons David Headley, makes him an approver in 26/11 case.
“Sajid Mir was a high-ranking officer in the Pakistani Army and apparently also was in the ISI.”
Who is Sajid Mir?: Born in 1976, according to documents filed to obtain his Indian visa, Mir grew up in a middle-class ethnic Punjabi home.
Mir’s father, according to Indian intelligence officials, earned enough working in Saudi Arabia to build a comfortable family home near Lahore airport, set up a small textile business, and put his sons through college.
He married the daughter of a retired Pakistan army chaplain; the couple are thought to have two sons.
Role in LeT: Mir was made responsible for training the growing number of western jihadists knocking on the Lashkar’s doors.
Fluent in English, Urdu and Arabic, he was known to the foreign jihadists as “Uncle Bill” — a reference to Mir’s affable manner.
Mir and Headley: Intense pressure by the United States led the Lashkar to shut down its camps to foreigners. Headley had arrived at Mir’s camp just after the foreigners were evicted under ISI pressure — and was used to target India alone.
In an intercepted September 17, 2009 phone conversation with a former Pakistani military officer and military trainer called Abdur Rehman Hashim, Headley railed against Mir who, he asserted, had “rotten guts.” “I am just telling you,” he lectured Hashim “that the companies in your competition have started handling themselves in a far better way.”
Updated: February 15, 2016 09:06 IST
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