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    De vraag is of de Wet op de Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdiensten moet blijven groeien naar de behoeften van de inlichtingendiensten, of juist een kader moet stellen.

    Halverwege de jaren ’50 van de vorige eeuw sloeg het 105 Verbindingsverkenningsbataljon zijn kamp op in Gorinchem. Met ruim tachtig kroegen een lustoord ‘waar de meisjes niet schuw waren voor de wapenrok’, aldus de toenmalige bataljonscommandant. Deze eenheid van de Koninklijke Landmacht was belast met het afluisteren en onderscheppen van berichten van radiozenders van het Sovjetleger en het peilen van zijn troepenbewegingen in het kader van de Koude Oorlog.

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    Die BND-Affäre und die Schweiz: BND und NSA sollen Swisscom-Kunden ausspioniert haben

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Der deutsche Geheimdienst BND habe Daten aus der Schweiz an die NSA weitergeleitet: Das sagt ein österreichischer Politiker gestützt auf neu aufgetauchte Dokumente.
    KOMMENTARE
    Der österreichische Grünen-Politiker Peter Pilz präsentiert in mehreren europäischen Städten Enthüllungen über Spionagepraktiken der NSA – am Mittwoch auch in Bern.
    Der österreichische Grünen-Politiker Peter Pilz präsentiert in mehreren europäischen Städten Enthüllungen über Spionagepraktiken der NSA – am Mittwoch auch in Bern. (Bild: Imago)
    Der Abhörskandal um den deutschen Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) und die amerikanische NSA betreffe auch Schweizer Privatpersonen und Firmen. Das sagt Peter Pilz, grüner Abgeordneter im österreichischen Nationalrat, gestützt auf angebliche Geheimdokumente. Am Mittwoch präsentierte Pilz die Dokumente in Bern – zusammen mit der Co-Präsidentin und dem Fraktionschef der Schweizer Grünen, Regula Rytz und Balthasar Glättli.

    Mit den Dokumenten glaubt Pilz belegen zu können, dass der BND Internetdaten aus der Schweiz ausspioniert und an die NSA weitergeleitet habe. Passiert sei das im Rahmen der «Operation Eikonal», die deutsche Medien im Oktober 2014 publik gemacht haben. Neu ist jetzt der Bezug zur Schweiz. Pilz präsentierte eine mit vielen technischen Details versehene Liste von über 250 Daten-Transitleitungen durch Deutschland. Dabei handle es sich um eine Prioritätenliste jener Leitungen, die der BND zwischen 2004 und 2008 im Auftrag der NSA ausgespäht habe. Neun der 250 Transitleitungen kommen aus der Schweiz und führen nach Prag, Sydney, Tokio, Seoul, Luxemburg, Warschau und Moskau. Auf Schweizer Seite wurden diese Leitungen laut Liste von der Swisscom betrieben. In Frankfurt, wo sich der grösste Internetknotenpunkt der Welt befindet, soll die deutsche Telekom dem BND Zugriff gewährt haben. Der BND habe die Daten an die NSA weitergegeben, gestützt auf ein Memorandum aus dem Jahr 2002.

    Grüne planen Strafanzeige

    Wenn die Liste authentisch ist, wäre die Schweiz eines von 64 Ländern, die vom BND/NSA-Lauschangriff betroffen wären. Der Zugriff auf die Leitungen stützt sich laut Pilz auf einen Vertrag zwischen BND und deutscher Telekom von 2004. Diesen Vertrag hat Pilz vor ein paar Tagen in Österreich veröffentlicht. Der Vertrag regelt die Aufklärung von «kabelgestützten leitungs- und paketvermittelten Fernmeldeverkehren, die ihren Ursprung und ihr Ziel nicht in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland haben (‹Transit›)». Über die Herkunft der Dokumente äussert Pilz sich unter Berufung auf den Quellenschutz nicht. Er habe ihre Echtheit jedoch zweifelsfrei verifiziert, sagt Pilz. In Österreich ist der 61-Jährige eine bekannte Grösse. Seit über 20 Jahren gehört er dem Parlament an. Einerseits ist er wegen seiner Streitbarkeit umstritten, andererseits ist er über die Parteigrenzen hinaus respektiert für Verdienste bei der Aufdeckung mehrerer Skandale – etwa bei der Eurofighter- und der Lucona-Affäre.

    Im Unterschied zu anderen Grünen – notabene auch zu vielen Schweizer Grünen – hält Pilz Nachrichtendienste und Armee grundsätzlich für notwendig. Warum er sich trotzdem gegen die flächendeckende Überwachung wehrt, begründet Pilz ironisch mit einem Zitat der deutschen Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel: «Ausspähen unter Freunden – das geht gar nicht.» Derzeit befindet sich Pilz mit seinen Geheimdokumenten auf einem Medien-Marathon durch Europa. In Wien und Berlin ist er bereits vor den Medien aufgetreten; ein weiterer Auftritt ist in Brüssel geplant.

    Den Schweizer Grünen spielt Pilz damit einen politischen Steilpass in der Debatte um das Nachrichtendienstgesetz zu, das der Ständerat am 11. Juni berät. Das Gesetz soll dem Schweizer Nachrichtendienst genau das erlauben, was der BND in Frankfurt gemacht haben soll: die Kabelaufklärung. Die Grünen bekämpfen diese Kompetenzausweitung für den Nachrichtendienst. Sie verlangen auch, dass «die offizielle Schweiz» gegenüber den deutschen Behörden dezidiert auf die mutmassliche Ausspionierung reagiere. Zudem bereitet die Partei laut Glättli vorsorglich eine Strafanzeige bei der Bundesanwaltschaft wegen Spionage vor.

    «Keine Garantien abgeben»

    Die Swisscom erklärt, sie habe von der möglichen Abhöraktion nur aus den Medien Kenntnis. Die Firma weist darauf hin, dass sie die Kommunikation nur innerhalb der Schweiz schützen könne. «Swisscom kann deshalb für Daten, die das Swisscom-Netz verlassen, keine Garantien abgeben.» Die von Pilz erwähnten neun Leitungen «gehören gemäss unserem Kenntnisstand aktuell nicht uns», teilt die Swisscom mit. Um die Situation vor zehn Jahren zu klären, würde man weitere Angaben brauchen.

    Der Nachrichtendienst des Bundes (NDB) reagiert mit einer generellen Stellungnahme. «Der NDB untersucht die Veröffentlichungen betreffend die nachrichtendienstlichen Aktivitäten technischer Natur von ausländischen Nachrichtendiensten, die potenzielle Zusammenhänge mit der Schweiz haben könnten», sagt eine Sprecherin sibyllinisch. Zurzeit seien Abklärungen im Gange, «um Verbindungen zu unserem Land zu prüfen». Präziser wollte die Sprecherin nicht werden.

    von Markus Häfliger, Bern27.5.2015, 21:42 Uhr
    Find this story at 27 May 2015

    Copyright https://www.nzz.ch

    David Headley: ISI Paid Me for Recon of 26/11 Targets

    A U.S. citizen convicted for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks told an Indian court on Thursday that the Pakistani intelligence service ISI paid him directly for reconnaissance of target for the 26/11 attacks (CNN-IBN). In his testimony given through video link from the United States, Headley claimed that he was given one hundred thousand Pakistani rupees to scout National Defence College, Chabad House, and other places in Mumbai. Last month, Headley also told the court that he had visited India seven times prior to the attack, on behalf of the banned Pakistani militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to gather information scouting potential target locations in Mumbai ahead of the attacks. Headley, 52, was captured in 2013 in the United States and plead guilty to charges of working with LeT and his involvement in the attacks, to avoid the death penalty and extradition to India. The November 2008 attacks in Mumbai were a coordinated set of strikes on the railway station, luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural center, and claimed 166 lives along with nine attackers.

    PDP and BJP alliance government to be set up in Jammu and Kashmir

    The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) announced on Friday that it will continue its support to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state legislature of Jammu and Kashmir, and nominated Nirmal Singh to be the deputy chief minister in the state (Hindu, IBT). The PDP-BJP coalition came to power in 2014, but earlier this year PDP Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed died at the age of 79. The state has been under governor rule since Jan. 8 and talks between PDP and BJP regarding the coalition have broken down a number of times over the past few weeks. But after a meeting last week between Sayeed’s daughter Mehbooba Mufti and Prime Minister Modi, the PDP on Thursday announced Mehbooba Mufti as the chief ministerial candidate.
    — Shuja Malik

    Pakistan

    Pakistan arrests purported Indian intelligence officer

    On Friday, Pakistani officials announced that they arrested an Indian intelligence officer in Balochistan (AP, ET, Dawn). Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry alleged that the man was involved in violence and lodged a complaint with India. A spokesperson for the ministry commented, “Kul Yadav Bhoshan, a commander-ranked officer in Indian Navy was working for RAW and was in contact with Baloch separatists and terrorists fueling sectarian violence in Pakistan and Balochistan.”

    Pakistan debuts Chinese helicopter

    On Wednesday, during a military parade for Pakistan Day, Pakistan debuted its acquisition of the Chinese made CAIC Z-10 helicopter gunship as well as its Shaheen III ballistic missile (DefenseNews). The Z-10 gunship had been under evaluation in Pakistan for the past year and reportedly received impressed reviews from the Pakistani military. On Wednesday, Pakistan also announced that the Z-10 was in service.

    BY SHUJA MALIK
    Find this story at 25 March 2016

    Copyright http://foreignpolicy.com/

    Headley denies part of his statement given to NIA about Ishrat Jahan

    Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley on Saturday claimed that LeT commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi had told him about Ishrat Jahan ‘operation’ though he had also learnt about the case through the media.

    Deposing via video conferencing from the U.S. before Judge G.A. Sanap in the 26/11 trial against Abu Jundal, one of the alleged plotters of the Mumbai attacks David Coleman Headley told the court that he didn’t have any first hand knowledge about Ishrat Jahan who was killed in a police encounter.

    Headley denied part of his statement given to NIA about LeT operative Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter. He clarified that LeT does not have women’s cell but has women’s wing for women’s social welfare and not for combat or fighting in India and Kashmir.

    Headley said he told NIA that before Sajid Mir, Muzammil was the head of the group (LeT).

    Talking further about the social cell, he added that the cell looks into women’s education and health and also looks after widows and provides religious education including Quranic classes.

    Headley said that he believed that U.S., Israel and India were enemies of Islam. He also added that it is not true that he wanted Islamic rule for India.

    Headley’s four days of cross examination concludes today.

    MUMBAI, March 26, 2016
    Updated: March 26, 2016 16:58 IST
    Find this story at 26 March 2016

    Copyright© 2016, The Hindu

    Ishrat Jahan was a LeT member, Headley tells court

    Nineteen-year-old college girl Ishrat Jahan was killed in 2004 in an encounter by the Gujarat police.

    The Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, deposing for the third day on Thursday, told the special court here that Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an encounter in 2004 by Gujarat police, was working for LeT. The 19-year-old college girl and three others were killed in 2004 in an encounter by police in Gujarat.The four were accused of being involved in a plot to assassinate the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

    Headley, in the deposition, also said Lakhvi told him about the botched up operation in India by Lashkar operative Muzzabil Butt. He was told that a woman named Ishrat Jahan was killed in the shootout. He also stated that LeT has a women’s wing.

    Headley, currently lodged in a U.S. prison, has been deposing as an approver through a video link in the November 2008 terror attacks case.

    The police had claimed that Ishrat, a resident of Mumbra near Mumbai; Javed Sheikh, son of Gopinath Pillai of Kerala; and Pakistani citizens Amzad Ali Rana and Jishan Jauhar were connected with the LeT and were coming to Gujarat to assassinate Mr. Modi to avenge the 2002 communal riots.

    However, a probe by Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate, S.P. Tamang, has ruled that the June 2004 killing was case of “fake encounter,” by Gujarat policemen including ‘encounter specialist’ D.G. Vanzara.

    Mr. Tamang’s report said the Crime Branch police “kidnapped” Ishrat and the others from Mumbai on June 12, 2004 and brought them to Ahmedabad. The four were killed on the night of June 14 in police custody, but the police claimed that an “encounter” took place the next morning on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. That rigor mortis set in between 11 p.m. and midnight the previous night clearly pointed to the fact that the police pumped bullets into Ishrat’s lifeless body to substantiate the encounter theory.

    Mr. Tamang said there was no evidence to link Ishrat Jahan and another victim, Javed Sheikh, with the Pakistan-based terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. Neither was there anything to establish that they had “come” to Gujarat to kill Mr. Modi.

    Read: First day of deposition

    Read: Second day of deposition

    Here are some important highlights from today’s deposition:

    >> Headley tells court that Ishrat Jehan was a member of LeT.19-year-old college girl Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in 2004 in an encounter by cops in Gujarat.

    >>Headley said Lakhvi told him about the botched up operation in India by Muzzamil Butt. He was told that a woman named Ishrat Jahan was killed in the shootout. “I don’t know any suicide bomber and I can’t name any,” he said. “Ishrat was an indian national and not a Pakistani and an LeT operative.”

    >>He also said that LeT has a women’s wing.

    >> LeT handler Sajid Mir gave Headley Rs 40,000 Pakistani Rupees.

    >> He said that he knew Muzzamil had planned the attack at Akshardam temple at Gujarat. Muzzamil told him that after Babri Masjid was demolished it was allowed for them to attack Indian temples.

    >> LeT handler Abu Khaffa’s nephew was one of the 10 terrorists involved in the 26/11 attacks.

    >> Hazi Ashraf is in charge of finance wing of LeT at Lahore and his nephew was killed in Akshardam temple attack.

    >> Then Major Iqbal gave Rs 3500 and also gave Headley counterfeit Indian currency once or twice.

    >> Major Pasha also gave him Rs 80,000.

    >> The RBI rejected Headley’s application to open an office in A/C market.

    >> Headley paid Rs 13,500 per month as rent in 2006.

    >> Dr. Tahuvurr Rana (was dr in military) who came to receive Headley and helped opened the office knew of his involvement with LeT.

    >> Headley advised Dr Rana to leave Mumbai and return back to USA before the attacks.

    >> Major Iqbal told Headley to vacate the office in January 2009.

    Ishrat Jahan case: timeline


    June 15, 2004:
    Ishrat Jahan and three others killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Police claim they were Lashkar members planning to kill Narendra Modi.


    September 2009:
    Ahmedabad judge S.P. Tamang terms encounter ‘fake’. Mr. Tamang’s report said the Crime Branch police “kidnapped” Ishrat and the others from Mumbai on June 12, 2004 and brought them to Ahmedabad. The four were killed on the night of June 14 in police custody, but the police claimed that an “encounter” took place the next morning on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. That rigor mortis set in between 11 p.m. and midnight the previous night clearly pointed to the fact that the police pumped bullets into Ishrat’s lifeless body to substantiate the encounter theory.Read more


    September 2010:
    The Gujarat High Court constituted a new three-member Special Investigation Team for a fresh probe into the alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan in 2004. Read more


    January 28, 2011:
    SIT member Satish Varma files affidavit stating it was a ‘fake’ encounter. Read more



    November 2011:
    SIT tells court the encounter was staged


    December 2011:
    High Court orders CBI probe.Read more


    July 2013:
    The CBI’s first charge sheet in the encounter case stated that the unlawful killing was a joint operation of the Gujarat police and the Intelligence Bureau and named seven Gujarat police officials as the accused. Read more


    July 2013:
    CBI court grants P.P.Pandey (an accused in the case) anticipatory bail for 48 hours after a hearing that lasted for over four hours. Read more


    August 2013:
    SC denies senior bail to Pandey. Read more


    October 2013:
    CBI quizzes BJP leader Amit Shah in connection with ‘fake’ encounters. Jailed IPS officer D.G. Vanzara who was later held in the Ishrat Jahan case, had alleged in his resignation letter that the government closely monitored every police action involving ‘terrorists’ during his tenure. Read more


    March 2014:
    A special Central Bureau of Investigation court here issued notices to Amit Shah in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. Read more


    May 2014:
    A Gujarat CBI court dismissed a plea seeking arraignment of Amit Shah and ex-police commissioner of Ahmedabad K.R. Kaushik as accused in the case. The plea was filed by Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh who was among the four victims.Read more


    May 2014:
    CBI gives a clean chit to Amit Shah. “There is no sufficient evidence against him. Hence CBI has not chargesheeted him,” CBI PI Vishwas Kumar Meena said in an affidavit filed before the special CBI court in Ahmedabad.Read more

    February 2015:
    Gujarat revokes suspension of P.P.Pandey.

    February 2015:
    DG Vanzara walks out of the Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad eight years after he was jailed in connection with a series of encounter cases in Gujarat.Read more

    David Headley arrest: Chronology of events

    October 18, 2009: Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, a resident of Chicago and an accomplice of Headley, arrested by the FBI.
    October 27, 2009: FBI files affidavit in a Chicago court alleging that Pakistan—based terror group Lashkar—e—Taiba was planning to use Headley to carry out a major terror attack in India and Danish newspaper ‘Jyllands—Posten’
    November 30, 2009: Tahawwur Rana categorically denies any involvement in the Mumbai attacks. The detention hearing of Headley scheduled for December 4 at a Chicago court indefinitely deferred.
    December 7, 2009: Headley charged in a Chicago court with criminal conspiracy in Mumbai terror attacks and having links with a retired Pakistani army Major who liaised between him and terror groups including LeT and HuJI.
    December 8, 2009: US President Barack Obama says indictment of Headley, is an “important day” in his effort to protect the people from terrorists.
    December 9, 2009: Headley pleads not guilty before a Chicago court where he was produced. Next hearing postponed till January 12.
    December 14, 2009: Headley turns into FBI informant to avoid death penalty. FBI says the Somnath temple in Gujarat, Bollywood stars and Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai were also the targets of LeT, which was planning to carry out strikes with the help of Headley and Rana.
    December 29, 2009: FBI classifies arrest of Headley as its second biggest case for the year 2009.
    January 11, 2010: The status hearing of Headley postponed till Feb 23.
    January 15, 2010: Ilyas Kashmiri, the dreaded Pakistani terrorist, belonging to the Harakat—ul Jihad Islami, indicted in a U.S. court for the first time in connection with the plot to target the Danish newspaper.
    January 26, 2010: Tahawwur Rana pleads not guilty to the charges of helping arrange the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and making plans for an attack on the Danish newspaper.
    January 27, 2010: Headley pleads not guilty to all the charges of helping arrange the attack on targets in Mumbai and on the Danish paper.
    February 23, 2010: A U.S. court adjourns till March 23 the status hearing of Headley.
    March 10, 2010: Headley, who pleads guilty to 12-count of terror charges, including plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks at the behest of Pakistan-based LeT and conspiring to target a Danish newspaper, escapes death penalty.
    January 24, 2013: U.S. federal court sentenced Headley to 35 years in prison for his role in the Mumbai attacks.
    July, 2015: Mumbai police seeks to take a deposition of Headley by video-conference to provide evidence against Zabiuddin Ansari (Abu Jundal).
    December 10, 2015: Mumbai court pardons David Headley, makes him an approver in 26/11 case.

    Updated: February 12, 2016 13:06 IST

    Find this story at 12 February 2016

    Copyright© 2016, The Hindu

    David Headley deposition: Diclosures and revelations

    Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley deposed before a special court in Mumbai regarding his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Headley, appearing from an undisclosed location via video conferencing, spilled the beans on LeT’s involvement with the 26/11 terror attacks.

    Headley, who is serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks, spoke about the role of Saeed, another LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as well as his handler in the outfit Sajid Mir.

    In his depositions till now, Headley has revealed important information about the planning behind the terror attacks and his role in the same.

    Who is Headley? He was born Daood Gilani. His parents — the Philadelphia socialite Serill Headley and Pakistani poet and diplomat Syed Salim Gilani — divorced soon after they moved to Islamabad in 1960. Mrs. Headley returned to Philadelphia. Headley was admitted to a boarding school, where he first met Rana, but then moved to the United States in 1977. He rebelled against his mother’s heavy drinking and multiple sexual relationships by expressing a loathing for all non-Muslims.

    Marital life Apart from Shazia Gilani, records show that he was married to Faiza Outhalla, a Lahore-based medical student. Headley divorced her to evade pressure from his family and then married her again after she filed a complaint with police in Lahore that led to his incarceration for several days.He also had another bigamous marriage with a New York-based make-up artist, Portia Gilani, ich ended in divorce in 2005.

    His other life Headley married Shazia Gilani, daughter of a retired Pakistan soldier, in 1999. Ms. Gilani moved to the United States in 2008, along with their four children — Haider, Osama, Sumya and Hafsa.

    Psychological problems Evidence also emerged that Headley was diagnosed in 1992 with multiple personality disorder — a condition which includes the possession of multiple mannerisms, attitudes and beliefs. His personal life could provide an explanation for why he sought psychological counselling..

    26/11 Mumbai attacks Viewing the terror strikes unfold in Mumbai on television, David Headley’s first wife Shazia used code words like “I am watching cartoons” to convey to him that he had “graduated”, a term she used for success of the 26/11 strikes.“I’ve been watching these cartoons (attacks) all day and I am proud of you,” Ms. Shazia wrote in an email to 50-year-old Mumbai accused during the strikes.

    Important revelations

    “Ishrat was an Indian national and not a Pakistani and an LeT operative,” declares Headley

    “The LeT made a mock of the Taj Hotel. However, the meeting of Indian Defence Scientists was cancelled ”

    “Sajid Mir was a high-ranking officer in the Pakistani Army and apparently also was in the ISI”

    Ishrat Jahan case: timeline


    June 15, 2004:
    Ishrat Jahan and three others killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Police claim they were Lashkar members planning to kill Narendra Modi.


    September 2009:
    Ahmedabad judge S.P. Tamang terms encounter ‘fake’. Mr. Tamang’s report said the Crime Branch police “kidnapped” Ishrat and the others from Mumbai on June 12, 2004 and brought them to Ahmedabad. The four were killed on the night of June 14 in police custody, but the police claimed that an “encounter” took place the next morning on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. That rigor mortis set in between 11 p.m. and midnight the previous night clearly pointed to the fact that the police pumped bullets into Ishrat’s lifeless body to substantiate the encounter theory.Read more


    September 2010:
    The Gujarat High Court constituted a new three-member Special Investigation Team for a fresh probe into the alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan in 2004. Read more


    January 28, 2011:
    SIT member Satish Varma files affidavit stating it was a ‘fake’ encounter. Read more


    November 2011:
    SIT tells court the encounter was staged


    December 2011:
    High Court orders CBI probe.Read more


    July 2013:
    The CBI’s first charge sheet in the encounter case stated that the unlawful killing was a joint operation of the Gujarat police and the Intelligence Bureau and named seven Gujarat police officials as the accused. Read more


    July 2013:
    CBI court grants P.P.Pandey (an accused in the case) anticipatory bail for 48 hours after a hearing that lasted for over four hours. Read more


    August 2013:
    SC denies senior bail to Pandey. Read more


    October 2013:
    CBI quizzes BJP leader Amit Shah in connection with ‘fake’ encounters. Jailed IPS officer D.G. Vanzara who was later held in the Ishrat Jahan case, had alleged in his resignation letter that the government closely monitored every police action involving ‘terrorists’ during his tenure. Read more


    March 2014:
    A special Central Bureau of Investigation court here issued notices to Amit Shah in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. Read more


    May 2014:
    A Gujarat CBI court dismissed a plea seeking arraignment of Amit Shah and ex-police commissioner of Ahmedabad K.R. Kaushik as accused in the case. The plea was filed by Gopinath Pillai, father of Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh who was among the four victims.Read more


    May 2014:
    CBI gives a clean chit to Amit Shah. “There is no sufficient evidence against him. Hence CBI has not chargesheeted him,” CBI PI Vishwas Kumar Meena said in an affidavit filed before the special CBI court in Ahmedabad.Read more

    February 2015:
    Gujarat revokes suspension of P.P.Pandey.

    February 2015:
    DG Vanzara walks out of the Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad eight years after he was jailed in connection with a series of encounter cases in Gujarat.Read more

    David Headley arrest: Chronology of events

    October 18, 2009: Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, a resident of Chicago and an accomplice of Headley, arrested by the FBI.
    October 27, 2009: FBI files affidavit in a Chicago court alleging that Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba was planning to use Headley to carry out a major terror attack in India and Danish newspaper ‘Jyllands-Posten’
    November 30, 2009: Tahawwur Rana categorically denies any involvement in the Mumbai attacks. The detention hearing of Headley scheduled for December 4 at a Chicago court indefinitely deferred.
    December 7, 2009: Headley charged in a Chicago court with criminal conspiracy in Mumbai terror attacks and having links with a retired Pakistani army Major who liaised between him and terror groups including LeT and HuJI.
    December 8, 2009: US President Barack Obama says indictment of Headley, is an “important day” in his effort to protect the people from terrorists.
    December 9, 2009: Headley pleads not guilty before a Chicago court where he was produced. Next hearing postponed till January 12.
    December 14, 2009: Headley turns into FBI informant to avoid death penalty. FBI says the Somnath temple in Gujarat, Bollywood stars and Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai were also the targets of LeT, which was planning to carry out strikes with the help of Headley and Rana.
    December 29, 2009: FBI classifies arrest of Headley as its second biggest case for the year 2009.
    January 11, 2010: The status hearing of Headley postponed till Feb 23.
    January 15, 2010: Ilyas Kashmiri, the dreaded Pakistani terrorist, belonging to the Harakat—ul Jihad Islami, indicted in a U.S. court for the first time in connection with the plot to target the Danish newspaper.
    January 26, 2010: Tahawwur Rana pleads not guilty to the charges of helping arrange the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and making plans for an attack on the Danish newspaper.
    January 27, 2010: Headley pleads not guilty to all the charges of helping arrange the attack on targets in Mumbai and on the Danish paper.
    February 23, 2010: A U.S. court adjourns till March 23 the status hearing of Headley.
    March 18, 2010: Headley, who pleads guilty to 12-count of terror charges, including plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks at the behest of Pakistan-based LeT and conspiring to target a Danish newspaper, escapes death penalty.
    January 24, 2013: U.S. federal court sentenced Headley to 35 years in prison for his role in the Mumbai attacks.
    July, 2015: Mumbai police seeks to take a deposition of Headley by video-conference to provide evidence against Zabiuddin Ansari (Abu Jundal).
    December 10, 2015: Mumbai court pardons David Headley, makes him an approver in 26/11 case.

    Sajid Mir
    Lashkar-e-Taiba commander

    “Sajid Mir was a high-ranking officer in the Pakistani Army and apparently also was in the ISI.”

    Who is Sajid Mir?: Born in 1976, according to documents filed to obtain his Indian visa, Mir grew up in a middle-class ethnic Punjabi home.

    Mir’s father, according to Indian intelligence officials, earned enough working in Saudi Arabia to build a comfortable family home near Lahore airport, set up a small textile business, and put his sons through college.

    He married the daughter of a retired Pakistan army chaplain; the couple are thought to have two sons.

    Role in LeT: Mir was made responsible for training the growing number of western jihadists knocking on the Lashkar’s doors.

    Fluent in English, Urdu and Arabic, he was known to the foreign jihadists as “Uncle Bill” — a reference to Mir’s affable manner.

    Mir and Headley: Intense pressure by the United States led the Lashkar to shut down its camps to foreigners. Headley had arrived at Mir’s camp just after the foreigners were evicted under ISI pressure — and was used to target India alone.

    In an intercepted September 17, 2009 phone conversation with a former Pakistani military officer and military trainer called Abdur Rehman Hashim, Headley railed against Mir who, he asserted, had “rotten guts.” “I am just telling you,” he lectured Hashim “that the companies in your competition have started handling themselves in a far better way.”

    Updated: February 15, 2016 09:06 IST

    Find this story at 15 February 2016

    Copyright© 2016, The Hindu

    Why David Headley’s coming clean puts the Modi government in a serious dilemma

    The disclosures force New Delhi to rethink its strategy in dealing with Pakistan.
    Why David Headley’s coming clean puts the Modi government in a serious dilemma

    The deposition by David Headley, the Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, has not been earth-shaking in its content. We already knew almost everything he said.

    Nonetheless, it was important to hear things from the horse’s mouth.

    Having said that, Headley also puts the Narendra Modi government in a serious dilemma.

    What do we do now with what Headley has told us? That is the core issue. How exactly are we to follow up on his deposition?

    The bureaucratic option is always there – share the contents of Headley’s deposition with the Pakistani authorities through diplomatic channels and seek follow-up action in good faith.

    But it will be a cynical thing to do to rest oars thereafter, since we can be 100% certain that Pakistan will do nothing in the matter and will continue to parry.

    Pakistan cannot and will not cooperate with India. It cannot cooperate with us because its culpability is crystal clear and those responsible for the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai included senior Pakistani military officers.

    The Pakistani top brass’s involvement in terrorism implies that any action on the Indian demarche by their government will bring the roof crashing down on the Inter-Services Intelligence, better known as ISI, and irreparably damage the reputation of their army as an institution.

    It is too much to expect any Pakistani government – or any country for that matter – to indulge in such brutal soul-searching. Those who advocate atonement by Pakistan are either ignorant of statecraft or are simply dissimulating.

    What else can India do? Indeed, a blistering international campaign can be launched with India’s able diplomats firing on all six cylinders to expose the grotesque face of Pakistan to the world community.

    The Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar promised recently to put Pakistan to “shame”.

    Fine. But, where does that take us? For one thing, Pakistan’s reputation is already in the mud but it has been chugging along, nonetheless. Some more mud isn’t going to make any difference.

    Besides, it is sheer naivety to believe we can put Pakistan to “shame”. The international community is not willing to join hands with us on such a track.

    Second, to every fistful of mud we throw at Pakistan, one can be certain that Islamabad will return with an equal fist. And if past experience is anything to go by, Pakistan has a way of getting the better of us in a slugfest.

    Two options

    The real dilemma lies on two other counts. One, how do we handle the relations with Pakistan in the aftermath of Headley’s disclosures?

    True, he didn’t add much to what we already knew. But he did bring the 26/11 attack back into focus.

    The memory was getting jaded in our collective consciousness, which is overcrowded since 2008 with scams, beef-eating, air pollution, gang rapes, et cetera. But the jaded memory got burnished in the past 48 hours. The pain has returned.

    For the government, which also happens to be rooted in nationalist sentiments, it becomes difficult to be seen constructively engaging Pakistan when that country’s enemy image is such a widely-shared public perception.

    Simply put, it is even difficult to defend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s overtures to Pakistan as “statesmanlike”.

    Equally, the Foreign Secretary’s expected trip to Islamabad for talks will not make sense to the Indian public – in a near future, at least. The government might as well roll down the shutter and close shop as if Pakistan never existed. This is one option.

    The other option will be to punish Pakistan in the same coin. The present government unabashedly admires Israel. Ask Israel how best we can punish Pakistan.

    Political assassination is a favourite weapon in the Israeli armoury. Commando raid is another. Outright invasion is yet another.

    Choose the method best suited to our needs and circumstances. And hit Pakistan hard; hit so hard they cry for mercy. This is a second option.

    Both these options are widely recommended by our pundits as mutually reinforcing options, too. But then, there is a catch in all this gung-ho attitude.

    Ignoring Pakistan is actually a non-option, if only because we simply cannot choose our neighbour. And in this case, there isn’t any certainty that Pakistan is in any mood to “ignore” us. It will probably keep reminding us every now and then that it does remember us.

    Again, even assuming we share the Israeli DNA, Pakistan is not Palestine. While Israel can use Gaza and West Bank as punch bags, if we punch Pakistan, make no mistake, it will punch back.

    There is a moral in the story, after all, why Israel ceased to attack Lebanon once it transpired that Hezbollah has a stockpile of 40000 rockets to retaliate. That is the story of all “asymmetric” wars.

    Besides, do we really want to get entangled in a futile war of attrition with Pakistan and make it our way of life?

    India has so much going for it by way of manifest destiny as an emerging power if only it could sustain a high momentum of growth – for which, of course, a peaceful immediate external environment is a crucial pre-requisite. War and conflicts will be a drain on the resources.

    Diplomatic embarrassment

    All in all, therefore, Headley’s disposition poses a diplomatic embarrassment. He is an American citizen. What he divulged would already have been known to the US authorities.

    On the other hand, the US has lately intensified its collaboration with Pakistan by forming an exclusive Quadrilateral Consultative Group to try to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban.

    What emerges is that the US has specific interests to pursue in the region, which demands that Pakistan be cultivated as a key non-NATO regional ally.

    The Obama administration continues to do business with the Pakistani military and the ISI despite their dalliance with Osama bin Laden who was responsible for the death of 2996 people in America.

    Suffice it to say, the only option open to India too will be to remain engaged with Pakistan, to lower the tensions in the relationship and work toward eliminating the root causes behind this “asymmetric” war.

    by MK Bhadrakumar
    Published Feb 10, 2016 · 11:30 am. Updated Feb 11, 2016 · 04:35 pm.

    Find this story at 10 February 2016

    Copyright http://scroll.in/

    2008 Mumbai Attacks Plotter Says Pakistan’s Spy Agency Played a Role

    The Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai was ravaged by fire, gunshots and grenade explosions during the 2008 terrorist attacks. Credit Arko Datta/Reuters
    NEW DELHI — A Pakistani-American man who helped plot the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai told an Indian court on Monday that he had met throughout the process with two handlers from Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, an Indian prosecutor said.

    India has long sought to depose the man, David C. Headley, in hopes of establishing a direct link between the Pakistani government and the assaults in Mumbai, which left more than 163 people dead.

    Mr. Headley gave the deposition via teleconference from an undisclosed location in the United States, where he is serving a 35-year sentence for his role in the attacks. The questioning, by Ujjwal Nikam, the Indian public prosecutor, will continue in the coming days.

    India hopes to present evidence of official involvement in the attacks, in part to generate pressure on the Pakistani government to take action against the conspirators. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a commander with the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba who is believed to have overseen the Mumbai attacks, has been free on bail in Pakistan since 2014.

    The group’s founder, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, lives openly in Lahore, in northern Pakistan, and moves freely throughout the country, impervious to the $10 million reward offered by the United States for information leading to his arrest.

    Mr. Headley, who identified his contacts at the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate of Pakistan, or ISI, as “Major Ali” and “Major Iqbal,” has linked the terrorist plots to that agency before. He previously told American prosecutors that Lashkar “operated under the umbrella of the ISI” and that an agency official had offered in 2006 to pay him to carry out reconnaissance trips to India before the attacks. He has made similar statements to Indian investigators who have interviewed him in the United States.

    A few revelations emerged from Mr. Headley’s questioning on Monday, part of a case against a Lashkar operative, Zabiuddin Ansari. One is that the 10 gunmen who paralyzed Mumbai starting on Nov. 26, 2008, had botched two previous attempts on the city, one in September and one in October, in one case swimming back to shore after their boat hit a rock and their arms and ammunition sank.

    Mr. Headley also said that on the advice of his contact in Lashkar, he had changed his birth name, Daood Gilani, to a more American-sounding one so that he could more easily enter India. He visited India seven times before the attacks, recording hours of video of the city for his handlers in Pakistan.

    Mr. Headley, 55, the son of a Pakistani poet and diplomat, Syed Saleem Gilani, and a Philadelphia socialite, A. Serrill Headley, carved out a byzantine double game for himself during the years after the Sept. 11 , 2001, attacks in the United States. Convicted of distributing heroin in the United States, he made a deal with officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration to travel to Pakistan in 2002 to gather information on heroin trafficking.

    He was swiftly picked up by the Pakistani authorities and decided to work with him.

    In 2002, while he was still working as a D.E.A. informant, he began training with Lashkar. Three women — a girlfriend and two former wives of his — approached American officials over the course of several years, saying they suspected him of sympathizing with terrorist groups, but no action was taken.

    Mr. Headley was arrested in 2009, when he was caught carrying plans for a terrorist attack on a Danish newspaper. On the basis of his cooperation with investigators, United States officials shielded him from the death penalty at his trial in 2011 and reduced his life sentence to 35 years. Counterterrorism officials have described him as “dangerously engaging,” and they warned about the need to guard against “being sucked into his mind games.”

    The United States’ failure to act on warnings about Mr. Headley has been, at times, a source of tension between Washington and New Delhi. Mr. Headley’s appearance as a witness “gives the United States an opportunity to play the observer role in what is a South Asian conversation about terrorism and security,” said Shamila N. Chaudhary, a South Asia fellow at the New America Foundation.

    Correction: February 8, 2016
    An earlier version of this article misspelled the middle name of David C. Headley’s mother. She was A. Serrill Headley, not Serill.

    By ELLEN BARRY and HARI KUMARFEB. 8, 2016

    Find this story at 8 Februari 2016

    © 2016 The New York Times Company

    26/11 attackers made two failed attempts, lost guns at sea: David Headley

    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.

    AMERICAN national and 26/11 scout David Coleman Headley, who deposed before an Indian court on Monday, said that the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008 had attempted to carry out the strike earlier on two occasions, but failed to execute it.
    He said the first attempt was made in September 2008 but it failed as the boat hit some rocks and the terrorists lost all the arms and ammunition at sea.
    “The boat disintegrated. The men had life jackets on and came to shore. The weapons and explosives were lost in the ocean,” Headley told the court. He said he does not remember what happened during the second attempt, but it was made “a month or so later”.
    “I don’t know exactly where the boat started from, but probably outside Karachi,” he told the court.

    Headley told the court that Lashkar-e-Taiba member Sajid Mir had told him to change his name in 2005, and to set up an office in Mumbai and make a “general video” of the city. Headley also said one Major Iqbal, an agent of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), had told him that he could be “useful” for “intelligence work” in India.

    Headley’s diary names Pak Army officers,26/11 attack handlers
    In New Delhi, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said, “The difference between the state and non-state actors will come to an end after this statement. It is known who all were involved. Headley’s statement will lead to a logical conclusion. It will help us.”
    Government sources said India will give Pakistan details of Headley’s testimony regarding Hafiz Saeed’s role as the LeT’s ideologue, and the involvement of ISI officers in training and directing the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
    “While Pakistan has claimed that Saeed is associated with Jamaat ud Dawa, Headley’s testimony is evidence on record of Saeed’s role as an ideologue and indoctrinator for LeT,” said a government official.
    Headley said Mir was his “main contact” in the LeT. Headley, originally named Dawood Geelani by his parents, had applied to have his name changed in Chicago in 2005. In 2006, his name was officially changed and he obtained a new passport so he could enter India under an American identity, he said.
    Headley deposed via video-link from an undisclosed location in the US in the presence of lawyers Robert Seeder and John Theis and Assistant US Attorney Sarah Streicker.
    Asked by special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam about the purpose of the office Mir wanted him to open, Headley said, “He did not specify at that time. He specified later what his intention was. Before my first visit, he gave me general instructions to make a general video of Mumbai.”
    Headley’s questioning began at the Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court at 7.30 am, three-and-a-half hours before it officially opens, to accommodate the Americans. This comes nearly two months after the court framed charges against him in the ongoing trial of Zabiuddin Ansari, an accused in the 26/11 attack.
    Headley, who was handed a 35-year jail term by a court in the US in 2013 for his role in the 26/11 attacks, had signed a plea agreement with the government there, under which he is bound to testify in a foreign court or face the death penalty.
    Also Read | David Headley wanted to fight against Indian Army in Kashmir
    Dressed in a grey sweater, Headley leaned back in his chair, looking into the court from a large television screen, facing another TV screen on which Ansari was visible, seated in Mumbai Central Prison.
    Nikam addressed the 26/11 scout as Mr Headley throughout. When he referred to the LeT as a “military organisation”, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Atulchandra Kulkarni corrected him, “Nikam saheb, military nahi militant, militant.”
    Headley, born in Washington DC, deposed that he had come into contact with an ISI agent named Major Ali after he was arrested in Landi Kotal in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Region (FATA), near the border with Afghanistan, on suspicion of being a foreigner.
    While entry of foreigners is prohibited there, Headley was discharged after he produced a Pakistani identity card. “I was carrying in my possession literature about India which I was studying,” he said.
    Accompanied by a former Pakistan Army Major named Abdur Rehman Pasha, Headley said he had ventured to FATA to meet a drug smuggler named Zaid Shah. “It had been suggested that Shah could smuggle weapons into India,” Headley said.
    Headley said he was interrogated there by Ali, who works for the ISI in Landi Kotal. Headley said that when he disclosed to him that he planned to visit India, Ali introduced him to another ISI agent named Major Iqbal because “he thought I could be useful to him in some intelligence work there”.
    Prior to the 26/11 attacks, Headley travelled to India on eight occasions — seven times to Mumbai and once to Delhi. “Most of those visits had been made from Pakistan. Only once or twice I arrived from the UAE or Dubai,” he said. He told the court that he visited India only once after the attacks, on March 7, 2009.
    The applications he had submitted to the Consul General of India in Chicago to twice obtain visas contained personal information that was falsified “for the purpose of protecting my cover”, he said.
    Dr Tahawwur Rana, a childhood friend of Headley, who was sentenced to 14-year imprisonment by a US court in 2013, had helped him obtain a five-year business visa to India in 2007. They had studied together for five years at a college in Pakistan’s Punjab Province.
    In Mumbai, Headley set up a safe house “to live in an enemy country” and posed as an immigration consultant to “maintain my cover”.
    In the two years that Headley trained with the LeT, he undertook five to six courses in paramilitary training, handling weapons, ammunition and explosives, and intelligence, at Muridke near Lahore and Muzaffarabad in “Azaad Kashmir”, he said. Training also included a leadership course in which Saeed and senior commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi delivered “religious speeches”, he said.
    Towards the end of the day’s questioning, Headley told Nikam that he wanted to fight the Indian Army in Kashmir but was denied by Lakhvi, who said he was “too old” for it.
    Soon afterwards, he was informed by Ali that a suitable task would be found for him, he said.
    Nikam, who had started the day with the announcement that his examination of Headley would take at least two days, ended by asking him to identify seven LeT trainers. Headley admitted to knowing Abu Furkhan, Sanaullah, Abu Hanjala Pathan, Abu Usman, Abu Saeed and Abu Fahadullah.
    He rejected Nikam’s suggestion that all trainers had served in the Pakistan Army in the past. “No, not at all, some of them could barely read and write,” Headley said to laughter in the courtroom.
    Nikam went on, asking Headley if the men could handle sophisticated weapons. He replied: “If you can call an AK-47 a sophisticated weapon, then yes.”

    Written by Srinath Rao | Mumbai | Updated: February 9, 2016 5:17 am

    Find this story at 9 February 2016

    Copyright © 2016 The Indian Express [P] Ltd.

    American says he visited Mumbai 7 times before 2008 attack

    NEW DELHI (AP) — A Pakistani-American who helped plan a 2008 attack on India’s financial hub told a court Monday that he traveled to India seven times to scout potential targets for a Pakistan-based militant group.

    David Coleman Headley gave the Indian court in Mumbai details of his role in planning the attack, in which more than 160 people were killed over three days when a group of 10 men rampaged across the city.

    Headley repeated statements that he has made earlier that Pakistan’s main spy agency was deeply involved in planning the attack’s preparations and execution.

    FILE- In this Nov. 29, 2008, file photo, an Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battle between Indian military and militants i…
    FILE- In this Nov. 29, 2008, file photo, an Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the hotel in Mumbai, India. A Pakistani-American who helped plan a 2008 attack on India’s financial hub has told a court in India that he traveled to India seven times to scout potential targets for a Pakistan-based group. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)

    Headley said he supplied his handlers in the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba with videos and maps of luxury hotels, a Jewish center and the city’s main railway station that were attacked, Prosecutor Ujwal Nikam told reporters after Monday’s five hours of testimony.

    Headley testified that Lashkar-e-Taiba had tried to launch attacks in India twice earlier without success, said Nikam, who questioned him. The third attempt was the November 2008 attack, Headley said.

    Nikam said Headley told the court that in one attempt, a boat in which the men were traveling overturned after hitting rocks and their weapons were lost at sea.

    Headley said he joined Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2002 and he and other recruits underwent many years of training in Pakistan, where they were taught the use of weapons and bomb making.

    Headley, born of a Pakistani father and an American mother, told the court that his name was Dawood Gilani, but he changed it to David Coleman Headley in 2006 to facilitate his travel to India.

    Nikam said Headley used his U.S. passport to travel frequently to India without raising suspicion and was able to give Lashkar-e-Taiba information that was used to plan and carry out the attack.

    He said Headley told the court that officials from Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence were involved. Pakistan insists that ISI has no links to Lashkar-e-Taiba and denies any connection to the Mumbai violence.

    Nikam told reporters that “Headley has given us valuable information,” but declined to comment on the testimony about ISI, saying it was up to the government of India to take it up with the government of Pakistan.

    Headley testified by video conference from an undisclosed location in the United States, where he is serving a 35-year prison term for his role in the Mumbai attack.

    The Mumbai court investigating the attack gave Headley a conditional pardon in December, which allowed him to become a witness.

    ___

    This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    By ASSOCIATED PRESS
    PUBLISHED: 10:33 GMT, 8 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:33 GMT, 8 February 2016

    Find this story at 8 Februari 2016

    © Associated Newspapers Ltd

    David Headley: Mumbai plotter ‘visited India’ before attacks

    A US man convicted for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks has told an Indian court that he visited Mumbai seven times in advance to gather information.
    David Headley gave details of the planning to a court in Mumbai on Monday through a video link from a prison in the US.
    Headley, 52, pleaded guilty and co-operated with the US to avoid the death penalty and extradition to India.
    More than 160 people were killed by gunmen in the November 2008 attack.
    Headley is serving a 35-year jail term in the US for his role in the attacks.
    Indian prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said that “this was for the first time that a foreign terrorist” had appeared through a video link in an Indian court to testify.
    “This is a very crucial case… I am absolutely satisfied as to what David Headley has revealed in today’s deposition. I may quiz Headley on certain aspects, which were never asked by the FBI,” he added.
    Mumbai’s Taj Mahal hotel under attack in November 2008Image copyrightAFP
    Image caption
    The Mumbai attack targeted a railway station, luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural centre
    Mr Nikam added that Headley’s questioning would continue on Tuesday.
    The Mumbai court gave him a conditional pardon in December and allowed him to turn witness.
    Headley was sentenced in the US in 2013 on 12 counts, including conspiracy to aid militants from the Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which India blames for carrying out the attacks.
    After initially denying the charges, he eventually pleaded guilty and co-operated with the US to avoid the death penalty and extradition to India.
    He admitted to scouting potential target locations in Mumbai ahead of the attacks.
    Headley was born Daood Gilani to a Pakistani father and American mother but changed his name to David Coleman Headley in 2006 “to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani”, US prosecutors had said.
    Headley is alleged to have told US prosecutors that he had been working with LeT since 2002.
    He was arrested by FBI agents in Chicago in October 2009 while trying to board a plane for Philadelphia.
    The 60-hour assault on Mumbai began on 26 November 2008. Attacks on the railway station, luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural centre claimed 166 lives. Nine gunmen were also killed.
    The only attacker captured alive, Pakistani Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, was executed in India in 2012.

    8 February 2016

    Find this story at 8 February 2016

    Copyright © 2016 BBC

    Mumbai attack: David Headley deposes before Mumbai court; says failed in 2 attempts before 26/11 attack (2016)

    Mumbai attack: In the first deposition on a terror act from foreign soil, Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley today told a court here via video-link that Pakistani terrorists attempted to attack Mumbai twice before the 26/11 strikes that killed 166 people but failed both times.

    Mumbai attack, Mumbai terror attack, Mumbai attack 26/11, Mumbai attack mastermind, 26/11 attack, David Headley, David Headley latest news
    Mumbai attack: David Headley reportedly visited India many times between 2006 and 2008, drew maps, took video footage and scouted several targets for the 26/11 attack including the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Nariman House. (PTI)
    Mumbai attack: In the first deposition on a terror act from foreign soil, Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley today told a court here via video-link that Pakistani terrorists attempted to attack Mumbai twice before the 26/11 strikes that killed 166 people but failed both times.
    In his deposition which began at 7 AM, David Headley said that he was a “true follower of LeT” and came to India eight times – 7 before the terror attack on November 26, 2008 and once after that.
    Headley, who was made an approver in the 26/11 attack case, said that his main contact in LeT was Sajid Mir, also an accused in the case.
    He told the court that LeT made two unsuccessful attempts to carry out terror attacks before finally striking in November 2008, once in September and another in October.
    David Headley said that he joined LeT after being “influenced” by its head Hafeez Saeed and took his first “course” with them in 2002 at Muzaffarabad.
    David Headley, who is currently serving 35 years prison sentence in the US for his role in the terror attacks, also said he changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley in 2006 so that he could enter India 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. Before the first visit, Sajid Mir gave me instructions to make a general video of Mumbai,” David Headley told the court here.
    Headley also said that in his Indian visa application he had furnished all “wrong” information “to protect his cover”.
    He reportedly visited India many times between 2006 and 2008, drew maps, took video footage and scouted several targets for the attacks including the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Nariman House.
    His reconnaissance provided vital information for the 10 LeT terrorists and their handlers, who launched the attack.
    Speaking to reporters, Headley’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani said has “he (David Headley) has confirmed that he joined LeT after being influenced by Hafeez Saeed. He told the court that two unsuccessful attempts to carry out terror attacks were also made before 26/11″. He has not explained the role of LeT in attacks”.
    The court is currently trying key plotter Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, who is facing trial for his alleged role in the terror attacks, which held the city to ransom for three days.
    The deposition of David Headley, assumes significance as it may unravel the conspiracy behind the brazen terror strike, which left 166 people dead.
    The court had on December 10, 2015, made David Headley an approver in the case and directed him to depose before the court on February 8.
    He had then told Special Judge GA Sanap that he was “ready to depose” if granted pardon.
    Judge Sanap had then made Headley an approver, subject to certain conditions and granted him pardon.
    Last year, the Mumbai Police had on October 8 moved an application before the court saying that Headley deserves to be tried by this (Mumbai) court together with 26/11 key plotter Abu Jundal in the case as both of them are conspirators and abettors behind the dastardly act.
    In the application, the Mumbai Police said that from the judgement passed by the US court against Headley, it was clear that he was a member of LeT and he had played an active role in the criminal conspiracy in the terror attack.
    The application also said that Headley had entered into a plea agreement with US in 2010 and thereby willingly and voluntarily agreed that he had conspired.
    It is evident, the police had said, that Headley has committed the offences of conspiring with LeT for committing illegal acts in India; waging war against the government of India and offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
    He has also been accused of intentionally aiding and abetting the LeT in Pakistan for committing illegal acts in Mumbai, mischief by fire with intent to destroy Hotel Taj, Oberoi and Nariman House, offences under Explosives Act and Explosives Substances Act as also under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
    “This is for the first time in the Indian legal history that a ‘foreign terrorist’ will appear before an Indian court and testify,” Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had said yesterday.

    By: PTI | Mumbai | Updated: February 8, 2016 12:38 PM

    Find this story at 8 February 2016

    Copyright © 2016 The Indian Express [P] Ltd.

    David Headley writes memoir in prison, reveals details of 26/11 attack (2015)

    In one of the passages in the memoir, Headley writes about his first encounter with LeT militants in October 2000.
    In one of the passages in the memoir, Headley writes about his first encounter with LeT militants in October 2000.
    NEW YORK: Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headley, serving 35 years for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, has written a memoir in prison detailing how Lashkar’s “dedication” to the cause of the “liberation of Kashmir” inspired him to join the terror group.
    American public affairs TV programme Frontline was given access to a draft of the memoir Headley, 54, wrote in jail.
    Excerpts from the draft offer a “unique window” into Headley’s turn towards extremism, his training with Lashkar-e-Taiba and his preparations for the Denmark attack against the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
    In one of the passages in the memoir, Headley writes about his first encounter with LeT militants in October 2000.
    “On one of my trips, October 2000, I made my first contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), quite by accident. I attended their annual convection in November. I was very impressed with their dedication to the cause of the liberation of Kashmir from Indian occupation,” Headley writes.
    READ ALSO: Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi released from Adiala jail
    He writes that for the terror attack on Mumbai, the plan was to capture an Indian fishing vessel that would not raise alarm with the Indian Coast Guard as it transported the LeT terrorists to Mumbai’s shores.
    “The plan was to capture an Indian fishing vessel, which constantly strayed into Pakistani waters, and commandeer it all the way to Mumbai. The hope was that the Indian Coast Guard would not notice an Indian vessel. The boys would carry a GPS device which would guide them directly to the landing site, I had selected earlier,” he writes.
    Headley also writes in detail about his decision to join Lashkar “full time” following the 9/11 attacks, and says that by 2002 the group asked him to take “the Daura Aamma, the basic military training course offered by LeT.”
    In 2005, Lashkar asked him to change his name from Dawood Gilani to a “Christian sounding name” so that he could travel easily between the US, India and Pakistan and make it difficult for intelligence agencies to track his activities.
    “Finally, in June, my immediate superior, Sajid Mir, instructed me to return to the US, change my Muslim name to a Christian sounding name and get a new US passport under that name. He now informed me I would be going to India, since I looked nothing like a Pakistani in appearance and spoke fluent Hindi and Urdu it would give me a distinct advantage in India,” he said.
    Describing the training he got at Lashkar camps, Headley writes “we hid most of the day in caves and under trees, while we were given instructions on various lessons.”
    He says most of the “practical aspects” of the lessons were carried out at night and during the course, he was trained in “infiltration, survival, camouflage, raid/ambush tactics, hide out, hiding and retrieving weapons caches, more than a dozen night marches, target practice with AK-47 and 9 mm pistol, RPG, grenades, among other training.
    “We also went through an extensive indoctrination process and were required to study many Quaranic Chapters and Hadith,” Headley writes.
    READ ALSO: David Headley involved in plot to attack Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten’s office
    In the memoir, he recalls the time in 1999 when after serving his sentence for drug trafficking, he had “decided to turn over a new leaf.”
    “To make amends for my unrighteous ways I worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). I had spent the past fifteen years frequenting the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, on heroin procuring expeditions,” he says.
    Headley writes that the “lawless land” had remained the same, “frozen in time”, since the 18th century. He started leaning more about his religion “as part of my change.”
    Headley says he had not been a practicing Muslim for the past fifteen years, “but the seeds of Islam sown in me by my father and in school had never completely died out.”
    Another change Headley made was to break away from his Canadian girlfriend, whom he had been planning to marry.
    He agreed to an arranged marriage in Pakistan and he kept visiting the country “four times a year, without the knowledge of the DEA or my Probation Officer” to see his new wife, who he had decided to keep in Pakistan.
    On his decision to marry a second time, Headley says that “polygamy was aggressively encouraged” by Lashkar and “they were really happy to see me take this step.”

    “I was definitely ‘one of the guys’ now,” he writes. On the plans to attack the Danish newspaper, he says that after the 26/11 Mumbai attack he was told to “lay low.”
    Instead, he eventually connects with al Qaida and with the assistance of a contact he has inside the organization he travels to Denmark to scout the Jyllands-Posten newspaper for a possible strike.
    Headley’s contact took him to North Waziristan in 2009, where he met the “al Qaida number four” Ilyas Kashmiri.
    “He gave me a further pep talk on the Denmark Project, saying that, both, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri had stressed upon him the need to conclude this matter quickly. I agreed and assured him of my best effort,” Headley writes.
    Headley says since he was “short on manpower” for the Denmark project, he decided to “modify the operation” and instead of assaulting the newspaper building, “just take out the cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, and do this deed myself.”
    He said all he needed to carry out the operation was a handgun, which he knew he could find in Europe.

    Headley was arrested in October 2009 at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on his way back to Pakistan.

    PTI | Apr 22, 2015, 07.18 PM IST

    Find this story at 22 April 2015

    Copyright © 2015 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd

    The Memoir of an “American Terrorist” (2015)

    David Coleman Headley is not exactly a household name, but his is one of the more unnerving terrorism cases in the post-9/11 era. White male. Government informant. American citizen. In other words, he had the perfect cover.

    It was under the safety of that cover that Headley — a former drug smuggler turned informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration — helped stage the November 2008 siege in Mumbai, an audacious attack that left 166 people dead, including six Americans. Working with the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Headley used his U.S. passport to travel to India, scout locations for the plot, film them and even find a landing site for the plot’s attackers.

    Within weeks of Mumbai, Headley was working on another plot — this time working for Al Qaeda, planning an assault against a Danish newspaper that had published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The plan: A group of attackers would take hostages at the paper, shoot them, behead them and then throw their heads out the window. Again, Headley worked reconnaissance for the mission until his eventual arrest by the FBI at O’Hare International Airport in 2009.

    Today, Headley is serving 35 years for his role in Mumbai. His case, however, has hardly gone away. In the aftermath of the Edward Snowden revelations about NSA surveillance, U.S. intelligence officials pointed to the Headley case as an example of how bulk data collection can thwart a terrorist attack. But tonight, in American Terrorist, ProPublica and FRONTLINE investigate that claim.

    In the course of our investigation, FRONTLINE was given exclusive access to a draft of a memoir written by Headley after his arrest. Excerpts from the draft offer a unique window into Headley’s turn toward extremism, his training with Lashkar-e-Taiba and his preparations for the Denmark attack.

    In one passage, for example, Headley writes about his first encounter with Lashkar militants, describing how he was “very impressed with their dedication to the cause of the liberation of Kashmir from Indian occupation. As Headley tells it:

    In 1999, after serving my sentence for drug trafficking, I decided to turn over a new leaf. To make amends for my unrighteous ways I worked … for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) … I had spent the past fifteen years frequenting the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, on heroin procuring expeditions. This lawless land had remained the same, frozen in time, since the 18th century. The British had thought it wise to leave this place alone during their rule of India. I started leaning more and more on my religion as part of my change. I had not been a practicing Muslim the past fifteen years, but the seeds of Islam sown in me by my Father and in school had never completely died out. Another change I made was to break away from my Canadian girlfriend, who I had been planning to marry for the past five years, and agree to an arranged marriage in Pakistan. Still on probation, I kept visiting Pakistan four times a year, without the knowledge of the DEA or my Probation Officer, to see my new wife, who I had decided to keep in Pakistan.

    On one of my trips, October 2000, I made my first contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LT), quite by accident. I attended their annual convection in November. I was very impressed with their dedication to the cause of the liberation of Kashmir from Indian occupation.

    In a later passage, Headley marks his decision to join Lashkar “full time” following the 9/11 attacks, and says that by 2002 the group asked him to take “the Daura Aamma, the basic military training course offered by LT.” It was one of several training programs he writes about. In a separate section, he recalls a second course that he attended:

    We hid most of the day in caves and under trees, while we were given instructions on various lessons. Most of the practical aspects of the lessons were carried out at night. During this course, I was trained in infiltration, survival, camouflage, raid/ambush tactics, hide out, hiding and retrieving weapons caches, more than a dozen night marches, target practice with AK-47 and 9 mm pistol, RPG, grenades, among other training. We also went through an extensive indoctrination process and were required to study many Quaranic Chapters and Hadith.

    By 2005, Lashkar’s plans for Headley are coming into focus. He is trained in explosives, but perhaps most importantly, Lashkar asks him to change the name given to him at birth by his Pakistani father and American mother — Daood Gilani. He chooses David, which is English for Daood; Coleman, which was his grandfather’s name; and Headley, which was his mother’s maiden name. It was a bureaucratic act, but intelligence officials say the change made Headley that much more difficult to track.

    Finally, in June, my immediate superior, Sajid Mir, instructed me to return to the United States, change my Muslim name to a Christian sounding name and get a new U.S. passport under that name. He now informed me I would be going to India, since I looked nothing like a Pakistani in appearance and spoke fluent Hindi and Urdu it would give me a distinct advantage in India.

    As his training continued, so did his embrace of the Lashkar lifestyle. In 2007, for example, Headley takes a second wife. He describes the decision by saying:

    Polygamy was aggressively encouraged by LT and they were really happy to see me take this step. I was definitely “one of the guys” now.

    Around the same time, Headley was conducting regular reconnaissance of targets in Mumbai. On one trip, he checks into the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which would later be the epicenter of the Mumbai attack, with his new wife for a “honeymoon.” As he cases locations on his trips to the city, Headley says he takes “extensive video.”

    The plan was to capture an Indian fishing vessel, which constantly strayed into Pakistani waters, and commandeer it all the way to Mumbai. The hope was that the Indian Coast Guard would not notice an Indian vessel. The boys would carry a GPS device which would guide them directly to the landing site, I had selected earlier.

    After the attack, Headley says he was told to “lay low.” Instead, he eventually connects with Al Qaeda and with the assistance of a contact he has inside the organization he travels to Denmark to scout the Jyllands-Posten newspaper for a possible strike.

    This paper had published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad and was on the top of the hit list for Al Qaeda. The Major told me that the leadership desired the attack to be carried out ASAP on the Newspaper Head Office. I visited Copenhagen in January 2009 and conducted detailed surveillance of the office there as well as their location in Arhus. I was able to make entry into both locations. …

    A few days later he took me to North Waziristan, where I met Ilyas Kashmiri, the Al Qaeda number four. He gave me a further pep talk on the Denmark Project, saying that, both, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri had stressed upon him the need to conclude this matter quickly. I agreed and assured him of my best effort.

    Western intelligence would soon learn of the plot, and close in on Headley. At the end of his draft, he describes the days leading up to his arrest.

    I received final instructions in Denmark and left for the United States. in July 2009, I flew to England from Chicago and met Kashmiri’s friends. … Both of these men were also under surveillance by British Police, as a result of which I too came under surveillance. They forwarded their information to the F.B.I. From England, I checked out Denmark one last time and returned to the United States. I had now reached the conclusion that since I was short on man power, I would modify the operation and, instead of assaulting the newspaper building, just take out the cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, and do this deed myself. All I would need was a handgun, which I knew I could find in Europe … I was finally arrested on 3 October 2009, at O’Hare Airport, on my way back to Pakistan.

    APRIL 21, 2015 / by JASON M. BRESLOW

    Find this story at 21 April 2015
    Copyright http://www.pbs.org/

    Headley writes memoir in prison on 26/11 attacks, Lashkar PTI (2015)

    He writes that for the terror attack on Mumbai, the plan was to capture an Indian fishing vessel that would not raise alarm with the Indian Coast Guard as it transported the LeT terrorists to Mumbai’s shores. File photo
    AP He writes that for the terror attack on Mumbai, the plan was to capture an Indian fishing vessel that would not raise alarm with the Indian Coast Guard as it transported the LeT terrorists to Mumbai’s shores. File photo

    Pakistani-American LeT terrorist David Headley, serving 35 years for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, has written a memoir in prison detailing how Lashkar’s “dedication” to the cause of the “liberation of Kashmir” inspired him to join the terror group.

    American public affairs TV programme Frontline was given access to a draft of the memoir Headley, 54, wrote in jail.

    Excerpts from the draft offer a “unique window” into Headley’s turn toward extremism, his training with Lashkar-e-Taiba and his preparations for the Denmark attack against the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

    In one of the passages in the memoir, Headley writes about his first encounter with LeT militants in October 2000.

    “On one of my trips, October 2000, I made my first contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), quite by accident. I attended their annual convection in November. I was very impressed with their dedication to the cause of the liberation of Kashmir from Indian occupation,” Headley writes.

    He writes that for the terror attack on Mumbai, the plan was to capture an Indian fishing vessel that would not raise alarm with the Indian Coast Guard as it transported the LeT terrorists to Mumbai’s shores.

    “The plan was to capture an Indian fishing vessel, which constantly strayed into Pakistani waters, and commandeer it all the way to Mumbai. The hope was that the Indian Coast Guard would not notice an Indian vessel. The boys would carry a GPS device which would guide them directly to the landing site, I had selected earlier,” he writes.

    Headley also writes in detail about his decision to join Lashkar “full time” following the 9/11 attacks, and says that by 2002 the group asked him to take “the Daura Aamma, the basic military training course offered by LeT.”

    In 2005, Lashkar asked him to change his name from Dawood Gilani to a “Christian sounding name” so that he could travel easily between the US, India and Pakistan and make it difficult for intelligence agencies to track his activities.

    “Finally, in June, my immediate superior, Sajid Mir, instructed me to return to the US, change my Muslim name to a Christian sounding name and get a new US passport under that name. He now informed me I would be going to India, since I looked nothing like a Pakistani in appearance and spoke fluent Hindi and Urdu it would give me a distinct advantage in India,” he said.

    Describing the training he got at Lashkar camps, Headley writes “we hid most of the day in caves and under trees, while we were given instructions on various lessons.”

    He says most of the “practical aspects” of the lessons were carried out at night and during the course, he was trained in “infiltration, survival, camouflage, raid/ambush tactics, hide out, hiding and retrieving weapons caches, more than a dozen night marches, target practice with AK-47 and 9 mm pistol, RPG, grenades, among other training.

    NEW YORK, April 22, 2015
    Updated: April 22, 2015 18:23 IST

    Find this story at 22 April 2015

    Copyright© 2016, The Hindu

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