Mumbai: Special public prosecutor in the 26/11 case, Ujjwal Nikam, on Monday said that David Coleman Headley’s deposition has revealed that there is a close nexus between the Inter-Services Intelligence( ISI) and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), adding that it is for the Government of India to take a call on the evidence provided by Headley.
“It is clearly seen that there is a close nexus between the ISI and the LeT, as per revelations made by Headley in his deposition. He also revealed that prior to the Mumbai terror attack, the LeT had made two unsuccessful attacks in September and October 2008. Those attacks were unsuccessful on the count of accident to the attackers,” Nikam told reporters here.
“This is a very crucial case. It is for the Government of India to take call on the evidence of Headley. I am absolutely satisfied as to what David Headley has revealed in today’s deposition. I may quiz Headley on certain aspects, which were never asked by the FBI,” he added.
Nikam further stated that Headley changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Coleman Headley in America after joining the LeT in order to hide his identity from the Indian law enforcing agency.
“I did ask him as to when you applied for visa to the Indian Consulate of Chicago, did you disclose the true information in the visa application. He said that I did not disclose the two information, except my date of birth and nationality. We asked him as to what prompted you to give false information, he said that in order to suppress my real purpose of visit I did not disclose,’ he said.
Nikam added that Headley in his deposition has revealed that he had joined the LeT militant organisation to take training in handling sophisticated weapons like AK-47 rifle.
“I asked him what your intention of LeT was. He said that LeT’s intention to liberate Kashmir from India and therefore to commit various terrorist activities in Pakistan. I asked him whether he knows Major Iqbal. He said he(Major Iqbal) is an ISI guy,” Nikam said.
“He further said that in one of the occasion, he was apprehended by the Pakistan Police on the ground that he being a foreigner and he possessed certain Indian images. Later on, he was discharged with the intervention of Ali. Ali had introduced him with Major Iqbal. Now it has come under record that Ali and Iqbal are ISI guys. They allowed him to be free from that case,” he added.
“He said Hafiz Saeed and Jakiurm Rehman Lakhvi taught him. They said that they should do the Jihad. I specifically ask him the meaning of ‘Jihad’. He explained to fight against the Indian army.”
Nikam further stated that Headley’s revelation pointed out that there were two failed attempts to carry out 26/11 sort of terror strikes before the attack in Mumbai.
He had also visited Mumbai once after the terror attack. There were seven instances when he visited Mumbai between 2003 to 2008 to carry out planning for the attack.
“He said that the first group was of ten attackers. The same group had tried for the second attack. The same group was successful in attacking Mumbai,” he said.
Headley is currently serving 35 years in an American prison after being convicted of being involved in the planning and execution of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, in which 166 persons were killed and 300 injured.
The deposition of David Coleman Headley would continue at a special Mumbai court from 7 a.m. tomorrow. The deposition of Headley began before a special Mumbai court today where he revealed the sequence of events and planning behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
In his revelation today, Headley said that two attempts were made prior to the final attack on November 26, 2008.
According to Headley, the first attempt was made in September 2008, which failed because the boat hit some rocks in the ocean. The people on board were saved as they were wearing life jackets. However, the weapons and explosives were lost.
He said that the second attempt was made after a month in October 2008.
Senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani told the media that Headley has told the special court that he acted on the advice of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed.
Headley, one of the main conspirators in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, deposed as a witness in the case and admitted that he had come to the city with a false identity at the behest of his colleague and handler Sajid Mir, a Lashkar-e-Taiba ( LeT) operative.
He said he had visited Mumbai seven times prior to the attacks on November 26, 2008. He even visited Delhi in March 2009 after the attacks.