Headley’s diary proves his ISI handlers are not ghosts

Headley’s diary submitted as evidence by US prosecutors shows that his ISI handler Major Iqbal has a working Pakistan and New York telephone number.

hidden May 25, 2011 08:04:04 IST
Headley’s diary proves his ISI handlers are not ghosts

By Uttara Choudhury

New York: Pakistan has shrugged off Mumbai attack plotter David Headley’s allegations saying he is a drug-dealing charlatan making up tall tales about the ISI. Who the hell after all is Headley’s ISI handler Major Iqbal? Does he even exist or is it a name pulled out of a hat? Well, turns out that Major Iqbal is not a ghost — he even has a working Pakistan and New York telephone number.

Much to Pakistan’s discomfort, US prosecutors on Tuesday submitted two pages ripped from Headley’s handwritten diary as evidence in the terrorism trial of Tahawwur Rana in Chicago. The pages list the Pakistan phone number for Major Iqbal from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) and one Major 'SM,' apparently a code name for Sajid Mir.

According to Headley’s testimony, Major Iqbal became Headley’s handler and worked separately but in coordination with Lashkar chiefs, directing Headley’s reconnaissance in India and providing $25,000 to fund his mission.

Headleys diary proves his ISI handlers are not ghosts

David Headley's diary submitted as evidence by US prosecutors provides the telephone numbers of his Pakistani handler. PTI

To back-up Headley’s allegations, Justice Department prosecutors also displayed hard evidence of his e-mail exchanges and phone calls with Iqbal. Headley testified that Iqbal had also acquired a phone number with a New York area code and told him to call it while in Mumbai scooping out potential targets to avoid detection “because all calls, almost, from India to Pakistan are monitored.”

The diary also allows you to dial up prominent Pakistani terrorists in the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which carried out the Mumbai attacks, and its charitable front — the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Headley has obviously been calling up JuD leader Abdur Rahman Makki’s well-thumbed phone number. Makki is a deputy for India’s wanted man LeT founder Hafiz Saeed.

The diary also has the phone number of Pakistani terrorist Wasi identified by one name. Wasi’s voice was caught on a telephone intercept on November 26, 2008 directing the Mumbai massacre. At one point Wasi asked another person in the control-room; “Do you want them to keep the hostages or kill them?”

Headley's diary also contained a telephone number for film-maker Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul, listed only as Rahul B. When PTI contacted Bhatt, he confirmed that the mobile number listed in Headley's diary belonged to him. He said he surrendered the number due to “personal reasons" three months ago. The number now belongs to a different Mumbai resident.

Two Dubai-listed numbers are included in Headley’s diary although most of the phone numbers are from Pakistan.

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