David Headley: Terrorist or CIA agent? May be both?By A Khokar • Dec 23rd, 2009 • Category: Politics • No Responses
U.S. citizen David Headley, aka Daood Gilani, who was arrested in connection with last year’s Mumbai terrorist attacks, may have been a double agent for the CIA at the time of the incident, according to U.S. journalists.
More than 160 people were killed in the financial hub of Mumbai in three days of attacks by a group of 10 gunmen, beginning on November 26, 2008.
Headley had allegedly helped plan the attack by conducting reconnaissance missions in Mumbai.
More than two months after Pakistani-American jihadist David Headley was held in Chicago, India’s intelligence services are divided on whether they were told the whole truth about the so called Lashkar-e-Taiba clandestine agent’s operations orchestrated by CIA.
Many in the intelligence services even suspect that owing to the CIA involvement the United States is less than committed to letting the whole truth be known.
Public debate has focused on claims that Headley—who served as a Drug Enforcement Administration informant after being arrested with two kg of heroin in 1988—may have been planted by U.S. covert services inside Lashkar after his release in 2002.
“If this David Headley was working for the CIA all along, which is a very plausible conclusion,” says writer and journalist Webster Tarpley, “It means that the CIA implicated and was running and masterminding the Mumbai terror attack of 2008.”
David Headley of Chicago – aka Daood Gilani – was formally charged with involvement in planning last year’s terrorist attacks on 26/11/08 in Mumbai, India, says the US Justice Department.
Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006 and resides primarily in Chicago, was arrested on Oct. 3, 2009, by the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) at O’Hare International Airport before boarding a flight to Philadelphia, intending to travel on to Pakistan.
Also, Tahawwur Hussain Rana – aka Tahawar Rana - a native of Pakistan and citizen of Canada who also resides in Chicago, was arrested on Oct. 18, 2009, at his home by federal agents. Rana is the owner of several businesses, including First World Immigration Services, which has offices in Chicago, New York and Toronto. He was charged with conspiracy to provide support to a foreign terrorism conspiracy that involved Headley and other individuals in Pakistan.
On Dec. 7, United States Attorney’s office unsealed additional charges, reading in parts:
“New federal charges filed today allege that a Chicago man, who was arrested in October for planning terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper and two of its employees, also conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the November 2008 terrorist attack on India’s largest city that killed approximately 170 people, including six Americans, and injured hundreds more. The defendant, David Coleman Headley, a U.S. citizen, earlier this decade allegedly attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan maintained by Lashkar e Tayyiba (Lashkar), and conspired with its members and others in planning and executing the attacks in both Denmark and India…..”
According to the charges, “He made five extended trips to Mumbai — in September 2006, February and September 2007, and April and July 2008 — each time taking pictures and making videotapes of various targets, including those attacked in November 2008…..”
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, commented on the investigation saying: “This case illustrates the importance of continued global cooperation to combat terrorism around the world. The FBI continues to strengthen relationships and to foster collaboration with our international partners to best ensure our collective ability to identify and disrupt international terror networks.”
It is also reported that American-born terror suspect David Headley had not only actively played a role in conducting reconnaissance of targets in Mumbai but was also present in a control unit in Pakistan along with the masterminds of the attacks to carry out 10 Lqashkar e taiba terrorists to carry out strikes in the megapolis.
Sources privy to the investigations of the terror suspect’s trail in India said 48-year-old Headley was very much present in the room
-4 from where the 10 LeT terrorists were being guided to various locations during the 26/11 attacks.
The investigators re-visited the intercepts and found that there were specific instructions being given to terrorists about entry and exit including that they had taken more time before reaching their final targets which included Taj Mahal hotel, Oberoi and Trident towers and Nariman House.
India has asked for a voice sample of Headley from the FBI to match with a voice which was unidentified so far for the security agencies. This voice was giving information on exact surroundings of the targets attacked by Lashker-e-Taiba militants. However, there was no firm response from the FBI on provididng the sameto Indian investigators, the sources said. (Ed. note: I wonder if this is because Headley is being said to be cooperating with the FBI?)
Other places that Headley was able to get into using his connections as an American?
“… (Headley) had used the service of many prominent individuals in the city to conduct a proper recce of the places which also included Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC). Israeli Embassy in Cuffe Parade and Israeli airlines offices located in the World trade centre.”
This is in addition to the actual Mumbai targets: Nariman House, the Taj Mahal hotel, Leopold Cafe, Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Oberoi-Trident hotels.