On the fourth day of David Coleman Headley's video deposition before the Mumbai court and after Thursday's explosive revelations, everyone will likely be watching proceedings like hawks. But nothing compared to Headley naming Ishrat Jahan on Thursday and confirming that she indeed was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative.
Testifying via video-link from the US, Headley on Friday spilled the beans on the 19-year-old Mumbra girl and picked up her name when quizzed by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam about a "botched up operation" mentioned to him (Headley) by LeT commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.
On Friday, he admitted that the ten 26/11 terrorists were using Indian cell phones, and were getting directions from a control room in Karachi, ANI reported.
Headley told the special court on Friday that LeT was unhappy that Mumbai airport was not selected and included as one of the targets in 26/11 terror attack. LeT leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi emphasised that surveillance for 26/11 attacks should be done properly as this was a chance "to take revenge for all bomb blasts India had done in the past" in Pakistan, Headley told the Mumbai court.
He added that he had, in fact, discouraged LeT from selecting Siddhivinayak temple and the Naval air station for the strike as then the 10 attackers would have to concentrate on those targets only.
The Lashkar operative told the court that he was interested in developing close relations with a Shiv Sena member as he thought that LeT would be interested in future to either attack Sena Bhawan or assassinate its head. Headley also met Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul Bhatt at body building competition, CNN-IBN reported.
"I met Rajaram Rege at Shiv Sena headquarter in Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai's Dadar because I was interested in accessing the building. I developed a close friendship with him Rege. I wanted to access the building in case LeT is interested in attacking the building in future."
"I met Rahul Bhatt, through a person called Vilas, during a body-building competition. Vilas was the in-charge of Moksha Gym," Headley added.
The Pakistani-American terrorist told the court that Chabad House was selected by LeT as a target as it was an international location where Jewish and Israeli people were staying. Headley had purchased red and yellow sacred threads from Siddhivinayak temple as a cover for the 10 attackers so that people would think they were Hindus.
"ISI wanted to recruit the BARC staffers for future; to get classified information from them," Headley, 56 said from a US jail where he is undergoing a 35-year sentence.
He had handed over the videos to his main contact in LeT Sajid Mir and ISI's Major Iqbal and also carried out surveillance of the famed Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Dadar and the Naval Air Station.
"Major Iqbal asked me to survey the Naval Air Station in Mumbai, which I did and then discussed about it with LeT operatives."
But that wasn't all. Headley claimed that Major Iqbal told him to recruit some employees of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) — which Headley had visited and videographed in July 2008 — to work for ISI in the future.
Exposing plans to subvert the Indian nuclear establishment, Pakistani-American terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley on Friday said that the The Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) eyed staff of the sensitive BARC in Mumbai to procure "classified information" from them.
As more information surfaces about how the brazen Mumbai attacks were planned, Headley's role as a crucial planner of the attack becomes clearer. The Pakistani, who looks like an American, went through intricate details while planning the brazen attacks.
It should be kept in mind that no questions can be asked about his life as a double agent (as a drug smuggler and an insider of LeT) in America. CNN-IBN pointed out that is the part of the plea bargain where Indian authorities cannot talk about his role as a double agent.
With inputs from PTI
First Published On : Feb 12, 2016 12:56 IST