26/11: David Headly's big revelations before Mumbai court

INDIA-MUMBAI/ (File) Smoke coming from Taj Hotel in Mumbai on November 27, 2008 after the attack | Reuters

Pakistani-American LeT operative David Headley on Monday deposed before a court here via video-link after being made an approver in the 26/11 case and said he came to India seven times before the 2008 terror attacks and that his main contact in LeT was Sajid Mir, also an accused in the case. This is the first time that Headley deposed before the court.

Here are the major revelations he made

♦ Headley joined LeT after being influenced by its head Hafeez Saeed. He underwent his first training with the terror outfit in 2002 at a camp in Muzaffarabad, which is in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

♦ LeT made two unsuccessful attempts to carry out terror attacks before finally striking in November 2008. In the first attempt to strike Mumbai in September 2008, the terrorist's boat hit some rocks in the Arabian Sea, resulting in loss of weapons and ammunition, but those on board survived. The second attempt was made the following month, in October, with the same persons involved as in the first one, but that also failed for unknown reasons.

♦ Headley, 56, said he was born on June 30, 1960, in the US and shifted to Pakistan later where his name was Daood Sayeed Gilani.

♦ He was a "true follower of LeT" and came to India eight times—seven before the terror attack on November 26, 2008 and once after that. The trips included seven via Pakistan and one via the UAE.

♦ Headley drew maps, took video footage and scouted several targets for the attacks including the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Nariman House.

♦ Headley also said he changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley in 2006 so that he could enter India. "I applied for change in name on February 5, 2006 in Philadelphia. I changed my name to David Headley to get a new passport under that name. I wanted a new passport so that I could enter India with an American identity,” he said.

♦ Headley said the objective for coming to India was to set up an office/business so that he can live in India.

♦ Sajid Mir was the LeT person who Headley was dealing with. Before the first visit to India, Sajid Mir gave him instructions to make a general video of Mumbai.

♦ Headley named one person named Raymaond Sanders as a visa consultant who helped him procure the Indian visa.

♦ He also revealed that most of the information on his visa application was false—except his birth date and place, mother's name and nationality and the passport number —so that he would not blow his cover.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Topics : #26 11 attacks

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