|NIA arrests Bihar youth leader for Lashkar-e-Taiba links|
|[FINANCIALEXPRESS] The National Investigation Agency (NIA) a Bihar student leader for his alleged links with banned terror outfit , officials said. An NIA team arrested the youth leader named Dhannu Raja, 23, from Patna, and an official close to the development said Raja was suspected of being in constant touch with a few LeT terrorists.|
“He was arrested for his involvement in harbouring, providing logistics and other assistance to Shaikh Abdul Naeem, an LeT operative,” said the NIA official. Naeem, 37, was arrested from Lucknow on Tuesday and is being called ‘Headley-II’ for his reconnaissance skills. He is also skilled in planning terror attacks. Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, who conspired with the LeT in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attack, is currently in jail in the US.
“Raja is a local student leader from Gopalganj, Bihar. He was arrested in Patna on December 1 and was produced before the NIA Special Court in Patna. It granted his transit remand till December 5,” the official said. Raja has been brought to New Delhi and will be produced before NIA Special Court here on or before December 5, the official added. The official also said that Raja was earlier associated with the Congress student wing, National Students Union of India.
|Ex-Pak PM visited Headley’s house|
|[Daily Excelsior] In a new twist, Pak-American terrorist David Coleman Headley today testified before an anti-terror court that the then Pakistain Prime Minister had visited his house few weeks after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008 to condole the death of his father.|
Deposing before the court for the cross-examination on the third day, Headley also said he had nurtured a "hatred feeling" towards India since childhood after his school was bombed in 1971 during the Indo-Pak war.
|Donated 60-70 lakh Pakistan rupees to LeT, says David Headley|
|[Indian Express] Convicted American terrorist David Coleman Headley told a special court Wednesday that he donated 60-70 lakh |
Appearing in the special TADA court via video conferencing from in US, Headley told defence advocate Abdul Wahab Khan that he made the donation in 2006. Asked if the money was used to fund the Mumbai attack, Headley replied, "It was donated by me for many things, different things."
When Khan put the question to him in other forms, he said: "That would be impossible because the last donation was made in 2006 and the attacks had not been planned then."
Asked if he had disclosed this to the US government, he said, "I don’t remember... Maybe."
After having established that Headley visited Pakistain once for drug smuggling between 1992 and 1998, Khan asked him how he invested the proceeds of the criminal activity.
"I had purchased a few shops in the UAE in 2004," Headley said.
Headley lost his cool briefly when Khan suggested that he invested in real estate using his income from the LeT. "I never received any income from the LeT. I gave LeT funds myself," he said.
After Headley admitted to investing in property in Pakistain, Khan asked again, "Did you invest in Pakistain using income from the LeT or the drug business?"
"Urdu mein samjhaaon aapko?," bristled Headley.
"Punjabi mein samjhao," Khan smiled back.
Headley shot back. "Your client is fighting for his life. You have to be serious... It is not a joke."
When Khan repeated the question, Headley said: "My answer is that it is nonsense."
Khan complained to Judge G A Sanap, who admonished Headley. "You have to be very polite," he said.
"I am telling him in the language he understands," replied Headley.
Nikam objected to the question, "He is irritating the witness," he said.
Earlier, Khan took Headley back to 1988, when he was first for drug smuggling. He had entered into a plea bargain and served three-and-half years in prison.
In 1998, Headley was again arrested by Drug Enforcement Authority while attempting to smuggle narcotics into the US from Pakistain. Headley deposed that he entered into a plea bargain once more and served 15 months in jail.
The second jail term was followed by five years of supervised release. Headley said he had violated terms of the plea agreement to not indulge in criminal activity by joining LeT.
Asked whether 26/11 attack convict Dr Tahawwur Rana had been in touch with LeT prior to 26/11, Headley replied, "I don’t remember. I will refer to the notes tomorrow and let you know."
Headley deposed that he had told Rana about his involvement in the attacks conspiracy "4-5 months before the end."
Headley also told court that Rana’s chief concern was that terror activities should not be carried out from his office in Tardeo, which Headley was running.
|26/11: Headley's cross-examination may run for 4 days: court|
|[Daily Excelsior] Key 26/11 plotter Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal's lawyer today informed a court here that he wanted to cross-examine Pak-American terrorist David Coleman Headley for four days.|
Also, Judge G A Sanap today directed Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam to contact US authorities, check their availability for Headley's second round of deposition and inform the court by February 25.
Once the availability is checked, the court will fix dates for Headley's deposition.
Jundal's lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan also moved applications objecting to Headley being made an approver in the 2008 terror attacks case besides making pleas seeking copies of certain documents and CDs.
Earlier on February 13, the day on which Headley's week-long deposition ended, the court had adjourned the case for cross-examination by Jundal's lawyer for a future date.
Headley, who is serving a 35-year jail term in the US in connection with the terror attacks case, had made some damning disclosures about LeT and Al-Qaeda's planned to target India, during his testimony which began on February 8.
He spilled beans on how Pakistain's intelligence agency ISI provides "financial, military and moral support" to terror outfits LeT, and Hizbul Mujahideen and how LeT had planned and executed the 26/11 attacks and the role played by ISI officials, involving him too.
He also revealed that LeT had planned an attack at a conference of Indian defence scientists at Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes and had even prepared its dummy.
Deposing via a video-link from the US, the 55-year-old terrorist had the court that --Ishrat Jahan--who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2004 in --was an operative of LeT.
Headley had also revealed that Al-Qaeda was in touch with him to attack Delhi's National Defence College and unravelled the plot by LeT and ISI to target Mumbai airport, BARC and the Naval air station here.
He also visited the Indian Army's Southern Command headquarters at Pune in 2009 on the instructions of ISI's Major Iqbal, who wanted him to recruit some military personnel to get "classified" information, the court was told.
|ISI, LeT funded terror operations in India: Headley|
|[Daily Excelsior] Making fresh disclosures on the brazen 26/11 attacks, Pak-American terrorist David Coleman Headley today exposed how ISI and LeT majorly funded terror operations in India and financed him from time to time and that Pakistain native Tahawwur Rana visited Mumbai before the terror strikes.|
Resuming his deposition before a court here today via video-link after a day's break due to a technical glitch at the US end yesterday, the LeT operative also said that RBI has turned down a request to open a bank account for their office in India.
Giving details of his funding, he said, "Before coming to India in September 2006, he received USD 25,000 from ISI's Major Iqbal."
|Headley illustrates LeT carried out 26/11 attacks with ISI help|
|[Daily Excelsior] Pak-American terrorist David Coleman Headley, a key LeT operative, today illustrated how his outfit had planned the 26/11 attacks and executed it after two s and gave details of the role played by ISI whose three officials he named.|
Headley, who is serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks, spoke about the role of LeT founder , another LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as well as his handler in the outfit Sajid Mir.
He gave the sequence of events leading up to the November 26, 2008 assault as he deposed before Special Judge GA Sanap via video link, in the first such case of deposition in an Indian court from foreign land.
The 55-year-old, who has turned approver in the case, revealed details about his training by LeT in Pakistain-Indian e (PoK) and near Islamabad under the guidance of LeT founder "Hafiz Saeed sahab", whose picture he identified in the court, as also Lakhvi, and how he got in touch with three officers of Pakistain's ISI -- Major Ali and Major Iqbal and Major Abdul Rehman Pasha.
Headley told the court that he had changed his name from the original Dawood Gilani after instructions from the LeT commanders, including Lakhvi, and ISI officials to carry out recce in India for an attack, an "adventurous" task for him.
He also revealed that the 10 terrorists, who struck at various places in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 killing 166 people, had planned to carry out the attack twice earlier -- in September and October -- but the attempts failed. Once their boat hit a rock in the seas, because of which they lost all the arms and ammunition and had to go back to Pakistain.
"I used to treat India as my enemy. Hafiz Saeed and LeT operative Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi also saw India as their enemy," he said in his deposition which began at 7 AM.
He said he had joined the LeT after getting "influenced and motivated" by the speeches of "Hafiz Saeed Sahab".
Headley, who described himself as a "true follower of LeT, said he took his first "course" with the outfit in 2002 at Muzaffarabad and had also attended a 'leadership course' which was led by Saeed and Lakhvi.
He said he underwent 5-6 training courses in LeT camps for about two years. "Daura-e-sufa is a study course and is held in Muridke in Lahore while 'Daura-e-aam' is a preliminary military training course held in Muzaffarabad in 'Azad ' (PoK)," Headley said.
In 'Daura-e-Khas, which is a more advanced training, he was taught to handle weapons, arms, explosives and ammunition, the LeT operative said.
He said he was also given 'Daura-e-Ribat' training, an intelligence course in which setting up of safe houses and reconnaissance are taught. The center where it is taught is in Mansera, 40 miles from Abbottabad, a place in Pakistain where former Al Qaeda chief was killed by the US.
Headley said he had wanted go to and fight Indian troops but he was told that he was "too old" for that. "Lakhvi told me that they would use me for some other purpose," he said, adding it was to be more "adventurous" than .
Talking about his travels to India, Headley said, "Before the first visit here, Sajid Mir (his LeT handler and an accused in the case) gave me instructions to make a general video of Mumbai."
He said he visited Mumbai seven times before the 2008 terror attack and Delhi once after the attack in March 2009.
To enter India, he said he changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley in 2006 so that he could travel here with an American identity and set up some business.
"I applied for change in name on February 5, 2006 in Philadelphia. I changed my name to David Headley to get a new passport under that name. I wanted a new passport so that I could enter India with an American identity.
"After I got a new passport, I disclosed it to my colleagues in LeT of which one of them was Sajid Mir, the person with whom I was dealing with. The objective for coming to India was to set up an office/business so that I can live in India," he said.
Headley said he had applied for business multiple-entry visa with the Indian embassy so that he does not have to apply for Indian visa repeatedly.
"My office was established in Mumbai so that I could take cover in India," Headley told the court, adding he wanted the cover so that his real identity would not be known.
He said while applying for the Indian visa, he cooked up a story that he was an immigration consultant and had furnished all wrong information to protect his cover.
"I had discussed it (cover story) with Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal of ISI, and they were very happy to see my Indian visa," Headley told the court.
He said he knew Major Iqbal of ISI and had met him in Lahore after one Major Ali (also from ISI) introduced him to the former.
Special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who examined Headley and will do so again tomorrow, said, "I am absolutely satisfied with what Headley had revealed in today's deposition. Headley has given certain sensational revelations during his deposition. He confirmed that he met Hafiz Saeed and he identified his picture as well."
He said, "He (Headley) revealed a lot about Major Iqbal and Major Ali, both of them were there in ISI. It was Major Iqbal who trained him and he also unravelled names of few LeT trainers before the court."
Nikam said Headley had "joined a leadership course where both Sayeed and Lakhvi used to come and give speeches against India. He completed his education from Hasan Abdal Cadet College in Pakistain but left for America at the age of 17."
Headley's lawyer's Mahesh Jethmalini said he has confessed that he had joined LeT after being influenced by Hafiz Saeed.
Headley wanted to fight actively in against the Indian Army but LeT commander stopped him, saying something more "adventurous" was in store for him.
Giving details about the deposition of Headley which began at 7 AM here, Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told s here that the terrorist said he wanted to fight against the Army deployed in .
Lahvi told Headley that they have something "more adventurous" for him.
|LHC bans Indian film over Hafiz Saeed's complaint|
|[DAWN] A lawyer for Hafiz Mohammed Saeed said on Thursday that a court has banned an upcoming Bollywood movie that 'imagines' his client being assassinated.|
Saeed, who has a $10 million bounty on his head over his alleged involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, had petitioned the Lahore High Court to ban the film "Phantom" in Pakistain, saying it posed a threat to his life and was Indian propaganda meant to hurt Pakistain's image.
"It is absurd to say that (Saeed) is linked to the attacks in Mumbai," said lawyer A.K. Dogar. "We hope the government will take steps to implement the court order."
According to a court document, the government informed the Lahore High Court that it had received no request from the producer of "Phantom" to show the movie in Pakistain.
"Phantom" will be released in India on August 28.
A brief statement from the court announcing the decision did not give its reason for banning the film.
There was no immediate reaction from the film's producer. Director Kabir Khan has been quoted as saying that Saeed is the one who is spreading a hate agenda.
In Phantom, based on the novel "Mumbai Avengers" by S. Hussain Zaidi, Indian spies target those behind the Mumbai siege, a three-day rampage in India's financial capital that left 166 people dead.
But unlike the novel, which used pseudonyms for those accused of plotting the attack, "Phantom" apparently names Saeed, as well as American David Coleman Headley, who was sentenced to 35 years in a US prison for his role in planning the siege.
Authorities in the United States and India blamed the group , which is seen as a front for 's (JuD), for carrying out the Mumbai assault.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Defenders of NSA Surveillance Omit Most of Mumbai Plotter's Story|
|[ProPublica] Officials say National Security Agency intercepts stopped David Coleman Headley's planned attack in Denmark, but sources say a tip from the British led to his capture after the U.S. failed for years to connect multiple reports of terror ties.|
|Headley listed among 5 high-value targets|
|President Barack Obamas top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan has listed convicted key Mumbai terror attack plotter David Coleman Headley among five high-value targets that had been captured with US intelligence support.|
Brennan, Obamas nominee to be the next chief of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), listed Pakistani-American Headley, who was last month sentenced to 35 years of imprisonment by a Chicago court for his role in the Lashkar-e-Taiba staged November 2008 Mumbai attack, in response to questions from a Senate panel.
Since January 2009 when he became Obamas terrorism adviser, dozens of individuals have been arrested, detained, interrogated, and convicted of terrorism-related offences in federal court, he told the Senate Intelligence Committee in written answers Friday.
Individuals arrested here in the United States include David Headley, Mansoor Arbabsiar, Najibullah Zazi, Faisal Shahzad, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Individuals initially taken into US custody overseas include Ahmed Ghailani, Jesse Curtis Morton, Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, and Betim Kaziu, and subsequently brought to the United States for interrogation and prosecution, Brennan said.
In response to other questions, Brennan said setting up a special court to oversee deadly drone strikes against American citizens is worth considering but raises difficult questions over how much authority it would have in decisions currently made by the president.
It would raise some novel, and potentially difficult, questions and furthermore would grant courts authority over decisions that have traditionally been exercised principally, if not exclusively, by the executive branch, he said.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Mumbai attacks plotter faces US sentencing in January|
|[Dawn] A US national who used his Western appearance to carry out surveillance ahead of the deadly 2008 Mumbai siege will be sentenced on Jan 17, a judge ruled Wednesday.|
David Coleman Headley, 52, formally admitted to 12 terror charges in March 2010 after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty or to allow him to be extradited to either India, Pakistain or Denmark to face related charges.
He is expected to be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
The Mumbai siege, which began on Nov 26, 2008 and lasted nearly three days, saw 166 people killed and was the deadliest onslaught on Indian soil since independence.
The United States came under fire in India for reaching the deal with Headley, but prosecutors said it was well worth it given the valuable intelligence he provided in order to save his own skin.
Headley also testified against his childhood friend, Pakistain-born Chicago businessman Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who was convicted on two terrorism charges last year.
Rana, 51, faces up to 30 years in jail for helping the banned group (LT) plan an attack on a Danish newspaper that sparked outrage by publishing blasphemous cartoons.
a jury found there was insufficient evidence that Rana was involved in the Mumbai attacks -- even though Headley described how he had used Rana's immigration services business as a cover while conducting surveillance in India's financial capital. Rana will be sentenced on Jan 15.
|Mumbai terror suspect's taped voice comes to life|
|[Dawn] The voice had long haunted Indian police investigating Mumbai's deadly 2008 terrorist attack. |
They had repeatedly listened to a tape of cell phone intercepts containing chilling words from one of the men guiding 10 through the gun-blazing rampage that killed 166 people in India's financial capital.
"Pass this message to the media--'this is just the trailer; the real film is yet to come,"' the voice said.
Anti-terror police engaged in one of India's largest investigations had no idea who the man was, only that he had a Mumbai accent and used Hindi words unusual for Urdu speakers like the attackers on the ground.
Police believe they finally have the man behind the disembodied voice after ferreting out the suspect from where he was hiding, according to officials close to the investigation. They say he had given himself away to the police by opening a Facebook account under his real name--Syed Zabiuddin Ansari.
Ansari--an Indian citizen whose aliases include Abu Humza, Abu Jindal and Abu Jundal--was at New Delhi airport on June 21 after Saudi Arabia agreed to hand him to Indian officials and put him on a flight home.
Indian told The that Ansari was considered a key player in the plans for attacks on India. They say he was so central to the Mumbai attack plans he was among those giving orders by the minute to the attackers or directing them on their cell phones from a control room in , Pakistain during the Nov 26-28 bloodbath.
The spoke on condition of anonymity because they were disclosing sensitive information.
Ansari's interrogation is expected to bolster the Indian government's accusations -- and accepted as a fact by most ordinary Indians -- that Pakistain was behind the attack, the most brazen terrorist operation on India's soil.
His arrest is a rare piece of good news for a government reeling from economic and political troubles.
"Clearly there was state support for the 26/11 massacre," Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said Friday.
Indian say Ansari has already told them that Pak intelligence officials were in the control room during the 60-hour siege -- corroborating testimony by American terrorist suspect David Coleman Headley, who said during his Chicago trial last year that Pak intelligence officials were involved.
Ansari has also told he fled India in 2006 across the border to Bangladesh, escaping from a police raid in the western Indian town of Aurangabad on an illegal cache of weapons and explosives intended for future attacks within India, the officials said.
The assault was like no other India had experienced. Bombs and grenades went off at the famed Taj Mahal and Trident hotels. Then, 10 trained fanned out through the hotels and through the main train station and a Jewish cultural centre and people in their paths.
The attack went on for three days, as Indian police scrambled to keep up with the who were receiving detailed instructions by cell phone.
Eventually all but one of the were killed.
The survivor, Ajmal Kasab, told a special Indian court he and the others were tutored by a man named Abu Jindal on how to speak with a Hindi accent to avoid detection in India and confuse police about their origins.
Police are now looking for a second man who is heard on the tape from the control room. That man, who police believe is Muzammil Butt, based on testimony from other suspects, is heard cutting the attackers off as they exclaimed about the size of the television screens and the luxury fittings in the five-star hotels.
At one point, he is heard saying: "How hard is it to throw a grenade? Just pull the pin and throw it."
Investigators had been looking for Ansari for years after he was implicated by other suspects in the Mumbai attacks, but they never knew his exact role in the attack, said officials close to the investigation.
India learned Ansari was living in Saudi Arabia on a Pak passport, officials said.
Both India and Pakistain then began lobbying for his release into their custody, but India clinched the arrest by providing DNA samples from Ansari's Indian family members, who live in the western state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, the officials said.
Intelligence agents are now interrogating Ansari in a secret location on the outskirts of New Delhi.
Ansari told Indian he had gone to Saudi Arabia to raise funds and recruit more Indians as s. Investigators say groups routinely try to recruit Indians from among the two million Indians living in Saudi Arabia or the millions who visit the country to perform the Haj.
He might have remained in the shadows had he not opened a Facebook account in his real name to find new recruits, the officials said. The Times of India reported last week that Ansari also used the account to contact accomplices, who may have been under global scrutiny by intelligence agencies.
Indian followed his electronic trail to Riyadh, and this week used voice recognition tests to match Ansari's voice with the man on the tape. While the Hindi he spoke is similar enough to Urdu that speakers understand each other, there are many words that differ.
The man recorded giving instructions to the attackers used a few Hindi words an Urdu speaker would not use, such as "prashasan" for "administration," officials said. The Urdu word would be "intizamiya."
Investigators have sent the voice samples to a lab for further analysis, newspaper reports said.
Saudi Arabia's decision to hand Ansari over to India, rather than Pakistain, appeared to surprise Indian officials.
Foreign Ministry Syed Akbaruddin described the arrest as something "rather new" in Saudi-Indian relations.
"Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is expanding in a variety of ways."
Analysts said Riyadh's decision marked a significant shift.
"It is a signal to Pakistain that it will get isolated if it thinks state sponsorship of terrorism can be a viable policy option," said Ajit Doval, former chief of India's Intelligence Bureau.
|Tried to prevent Mumbai attacks, but US authorities didn't bother: David Headley's ex-wife|
|The estranged wife of admitted Pakistani American terrorist David Coleman Headley claims she tried to prevent the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack by going to US authorities abroad, but they did not bother.|
"So I went to them and I then started saying
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Headley, who has confessed to his role in scouting targets for the Mumbai in a plea deal with the US government was an avowed terrorist when he married Outalha, according to the television station that tracked her to Morocco.
"I'm covering my face right now, yes, because I'm afraid that people really could look at, see my face and pursue me or come and try to harm me," she was quoted as saying.
"It was love at first sight, you know, and we just married and, you know, it was so quick," Outalha said. "He betrayed me in every way, many lies, he's been lying to me, I mean the marriage, he fooled me to this marriage."
Headley, alias Daood Gilani, claims he worked with officials from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency to survey attack sites in India, even while on a Mumbai honeymoon with his new wife.
Indian authorities have sent a formal request to Morocco to hand over Outalha in the continuing investigation of the Mumbai attacks. If she cooperates, they hope that Outalha will offer information about the LeT founder and leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, for whose successful prosecution US announced a $10 million bounty two weeks ago, WLS-TV said.