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

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Charul Shah charul.shah@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.



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