26/11: Headly confessions put spotlight on ISI’s role in anti-India terror


In a series of damning disclosures, David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, has revealed that Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI provided financial, military and moral support to anti-India terror outfits like LeT, Jaish e-Mohamed and Hizbul Mujahideen.

During a Mumbai court hearing which began on February 8, Headley also revealed via videoconference from an undisclosed location in the US that attacks planned prior to 26/11 did not succeed.

“Headley can’t depose due to a technical snag. The problem is from the American side but they have promised us that they will allow us to question Headley for an extra hour or more than that. Technical problem wasn’t from Indian side. Tomorrow the deposition will start from 7 am till 1.30 pm. The duration can even be extended,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.

In the previous hearing on February 9, Headley said that he had met Major Iqbal, one of the co-conspirators of the attack, for the first time in Lahore. “In this meeting, a colonel from the Pakistan Army was also present,” he said.

Headley also spoke about how he was tasked with luring spies from the Indian Army to work for Pakistan’s ISI.He also made a revelation claiming that in 2003 he had met retired major Abdul Rehman Pasha. Mr Pasha was also accused of being a handler, at a mosque in Lahore.

While several statements implicating the Pakistan army have been reported in the past, Headley’s statements assume significance as they have been made before a court of law and are admissible as evidence.

Speaking about the planning for the  November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, he said that the plan to attack a conference hall at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba was called off for ‘logistical reasons.’ When asked to explain what ‘logistical reasons’ meant, Headley said that it referred to getting ‘personnel and weapons.’

Making a startling revelation which vindicates India’s stand, Headley said that Pakistan’s ISI funds Lashkar to carry out its activities. He also said that ISI provides support to other terror groups like Jaish-e- Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen. 

Elaborating his role in the 26/11 attacks, Headley said: “I did surveillance of multiple places like the Taj Hotel, Naval air station and the Maharashtra State Police Headquarters in south Mumbai. I also selected landing sites for the terrorists.” However, he also said that he was not given any money by the ISI or LeT.

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