Headley: India bombed school in 1971, joined LeT for revenge
DEPOSITION Headley claims former Pak PM Gilani visited their house after father’s death in Dec 2008
MUMBAI: Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley’s hatred for India is apparently rooted to a childhood memory of “Indian planes” bombing his school in Pakistan during the 1971 war, which Islamabad lost and a separate country of Bangladesh was carved out.
The incident when he was barely 10 left such an imprint that he later joined the LeT terrorist group to avenge the bombing, the 55- year- old Pakistani-American, who was arrested in 2009 for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, told a Mumbai court on Friday.
“I have this hatred ... towards India since December 7, 1971 . . . when Indian planes had bombed my school. The school was destroyed and many people who worked there had died,” he said via video link from an undisclosed US prison.
He told the court his Pakistani handler Sajid Mir wanted him to talk to the Israeli embassy to get the lone terrorist captured alive in the 26/11 attacks, Ajmal Kasab, released by trading hostages at Nariman House, one of the targets during the carnage. Kasab was hanged in a Pune prison in 2012.
The LeT wanted the Pakistani establishment to honour the nine terrorists killed in the Mumbai attacks with the country’s high- est gallantry award, the Nishane-Haider, Headley said.
Chicago resident Headley alias Daood Gilani, who has been an LeT member since 2002, had travelled extensively across India to scout for targets by masquerading as a representative of Immigrant Law Centre, a dummy company with its office in Mumbai’s Tardeo locality.
The LeT used material from his reconnaissance during the 2008 Mumbai carnage in which 166 people were killed.
He repeated what he had told the NIA in 2010 that former Pakistani PM Yusuf Raza Gilani visited his house weeks after the December 2008 death of his father, who retired as a director general of Radio Pakistan.
CONTINUED ON P11
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