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– FBI MISSED LEADS TO AVERT MUMBAI 2008 ATTACK

 

 

Media in USA reported, on Saturday 10/16/2010, that 3 years before Pakistani terrorists struck Mumbai in 2008, federal agents in New York City investigated a tip that David C. Headley was training in Pakistan with the group that later executed the Mumbai Carnage

 

The previously undisclosed allegations against David Coleman Headley came from his wife after a domestic dispute that resulted in his arrest in 2005. 

 

In three interviews with federal agents, Headley’s wife said that he was an active militant in the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba – LeT, had trained extensively in its Pakistani camps, and had shopped for night vision goggles and other equipment, according to officials and sources close to the case. 

 

The wife, whom ProPublica is not identifying to protect her safety, also told agents that Headley had bragged of working as a paid USA informant while he trained with the terrorists in Pakistan, according to a person close to the case. 

 

Federal officials say the FBI “looked into” the tip, but they declined to say what, if any, action was taken. Headley was jailed briefly in New York on charges of domestic assault, but was not prosecuted. 

 

In the four years between the wife’s warning and Headley’s capture, Lashkar-i-Taiba sent Headley on reconnaissance missions around the world. During five trips to Mumbai he scouted targets for the attack, using his U.S. passport and cover as a businessman to circulate freely in areas frequented by Westerners. He met in Pakistan with terrorist handlers, including the Pakistani Maj Sajid Mir, accused of helping direct and fund his missions, according to court documents and anti-terror officials. 

 

It is known that U.S. anti-terror officials warned Indian counterparts several times in 2008 about a possible attack on Mumbai, according to USA and Indian officials. The warnings included details such as a threat to the iconic Taj Majal hotel, which became a target, officials say. 

 

But the handling of the Headley case calls into question the progress of American law enforcement and intelligence agencies in improving their coordination and ability to “connect the dots” and deter attacks. It also raises questions about a complicated relationship between American authorities and a confessed terrorist. 

 

Court records and interviews show that Headley served as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration starting in the late 1990s. But a former senior U.S. law enforcement official said Headley’s work as an informant ended before the Mumbai attacks were launched in 2008. He could not say whether Headley was working for the drug agency during the years when he was helping to plan the attack. The information suggests that it was possible that FBI was protecting David Headley assuming he was working for the Americans in Pakistan (see  – American-Way ).

 

There are many similarities between David C. Headley and the case of Ali Mohammed, the Al Qaeda spy in USA in the late 90s’, both were informants for the US and used their position to manipulate the American system.

 

In the meantime Indian National Investigation Agency – NIA has secured, on 10/07/2010, an Interpol Red Corner Notice against five accused persons, including two serving Pakistani Army majors, for their alleged role in the Mumbai Carnage of 2008 (see – Mumbai-carnage investigation ).

The Interpol issued the Red Corner Notice after securing a non-billable warrant from the court Additional Sessions Judge here.

The warrants were issued on the basis of disclosures made by American national and Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist David C. Headley, who was extensively questioned by the NIA officials in June this year.

The Red Corner Notice has been issued against Major Sameer Ali, and Major Iqbal, both serving in the Pakistani Army, Ilyas Kashmiri, an LeT terrorist, Sajid Majid and Syed Abdur Rehman Hashim.

The security agencies have already secured Red Corner notice against Lashker’s founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and his close aide Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in connection with the Mumbai attacks that left over 160 people dead (see also – PK Mumbai Indictment).
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These people, according to NIA officials, had worked in close coordination with Headly in executing the nefarious plans of the LeT for carrying out terror strikes in Mumbai.

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