Bal Thackeray was on LeT hit list: Headley
American terrorist David Headley told a court that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) wanted to eliminate Bal Thackeray, but the person who was assigned to do the job was arrested. He disclosed this fact during a cross-examination by Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal. He added that after his arrest in 1998, the US Drug Enforcement Authority financed his trips to Pakistan.
In the 26/11 attacks (26 November, 2008), 10 Pakistani members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic militant organisation, carried out a series of 12 coordinated shootings and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai. The attack left 166 people dead and atleast 308 injured.
David Coleman Headley is an American citizen of Pakistani origin who conspired with the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Pakistani intelligence officers in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks. He was a former drug smuggler turned informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration of the US. Using his US passport, Headley travelled to India to scout locations for the plot, film them and find landing site for plot's attackers.
David Coleman Headley was sentenced by a US federal court to 35 years in prison for his part in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. During his interrogation after his arrest in 2009, Headley allegedly revealed that three senior Pakistani army officers played a prime role in the 26/11 attacks. He pleaded guilty and admitted to scouting potential target locations in Mumbai.
Under the plea bargain agreement Headley struck with the US government, Headley escaped execution and dodged life imprisonment. He also got protection against extradition.
Mumbai Police filed an application before the sessions court requesting that Headley be tried alongside jailed fellow terror attack plotter Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal. The police have also asked the court to write to the US Dept. of Justice to have Headley attend court via video conference. The application was filed by special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam under Section 319 of CRPC.
Abu Jundal is an Indian national Islamic fundamentalist/terrorist belonging to Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba. He allegedly served as the handler of the 10 LeT terrorists during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Arguing that David Headley be made co-accused in the trial of Abu Jundal, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam contended that Headley had not been tried under Indian law for criminal conspiracy before his conviction in the US in 2013. Nikam said that the US court was not competent to try offences under the Indian Penal Code. On 4 Nov, charges were framed against Jundal.
A special court granted permission to the Mumbai police to make David Coleman Headley, Pakistan-born American terror operative, an accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case. The court said that Headley be produced in the 26/11 case on December 10 by video-conference. The court had issued summons to the authorities in the US where Headley is serving time for his role in attacks.
The TADA court (Mumbai) condoned David Headley after he agreed to become "an approver" in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case on the provision of getting an exemption from penalty. The court accepted Headley's request on condition that he will furnish details of 26/11 offensive and role of other terrorists in it. The subsequent hearing of the matter will take place on 8 February 2016.
26/11 attacks conspirator turned approver, David Headley, deposed before a special Mumbai court via video-link from the US. He said the attackers made 2 failed attempts to carry out the attacks, in September and in October. He said he visited India once after the attacks in 2009. He also identified one Major Iqbal of the ISI, who 'recruited' him for intelligence activities in India.
Continuing his string of revelations on the 26/11 case, David Headley told the special court in Mumbai that the ISI funds outfits like the LeT and JeM in Kashmir. He added that he worked for the ISI, and was rewarded to attempt to recruit spies from the Indian Army. He also named several high ranking officers of Pakistan's army involved in terror funding.