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Headley Chase Contd.

On at least two occasions Headley appears to have brought a GPS instrument into India and taken it back to Pakistan without being detected by the Indian customs.

Headley Chase Contd.
Headley Chase Contd.
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

On January 14,2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) filed before Judge Harry D.Leinenweber of the Northern District Court of Eastern Illinois Division a charge-sheet (indictment) relating to the the role of David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana of the Chicago cell of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in the Mumbai terrorist strikes of 26/11 of 2008 and in a planned terrorist attack on the office of a Danish newspaper in Denmark, which had published cartoons of the Holy Prophet in 2005.

The charge sheet projects the Mumbai attacks as a joint operation of the LET and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) involving, among others, four members of the LET and Major Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha, who acted as an intermediary between Headley and Rana on the one side and the Waziristan-based Ilyas Kashmiri, the head of the 313 Brigade of the HUJI.

The charge sheet does not identify the four members of the LET based in Pakistan on whose behalf Headley was acting. They are merely referred to as Lashkar Member A, Lashkar Member B, Lashkar Member C and Lashkar Member D. None of them is cited as a co-accused (co-defendant), indicating thereby that the FBI does not propose asking for their arrest and extradition by Pakistan to face trial by the Chicago court.This could be an indicator that the four unidentified LET members are among the seven presently in custody in Pakistan and being prosecuted before an anti-terrorism court of Islamabad for their role in the Mumbai conspiracy. Since they are already facing trial in Pakistan, the FBI does not feel the need for prosecuting them on similar charges in Chicago.

Indian investigators should be able to identify these four members of the LET from the following tell-tale evidence in the charge-sheet:

  • “Lashkar Member A” was a resident of Pakistan "associated with the LET who supervised others associated with the LET and served as a “handler” for Headley and others."
  • “Lashkar Member B” was a resident of Pakistan "associated with the LET who trained others in combat techniques for use in terrorist attacks."
  • “Lashkar Member C” was a resident of Pakistan and "one of the LET commanders."
  • “Lashkar Member D” was a resident of Pakistan and "one of Lashkar’s commanders. "
  • "During the course of the attacks in Mumbai, the attackers were in telephonic contact with Lashkar Members A, B and C, all of whom were then located in Pakistan. More specifically, during the course of the attacks, the attackers were advised to, among other actions, kill hostages and throw grenades. Lashkar Member A also sought to arrange the release of a hostage in exchange for the release of a captured attacker." ( My comments: Kasab)

The charge-sheet also refers to a “Person A”, a resident of Pakistan", "who participated in planning and funding attacks carried out by the LET. " It does not describe him as a member of the LET. By going through the charge-sheet, one could infer that Person A is most probably Major (retd) Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha. It was he who allegedly gave US $ 25,000 to Headley in July 2006 for his expenses in India, another sum of US $ 2000 in Indian rupees in September 2007 and a third amount of US $ 1500 in Indian rupees in June 2008. In March 2008, Lashkar Member A gave him US $ 1000 in Indian rupees.

While no Pakistani resident has been cited as a co-accused in connection with the Mumbai attacks, Ilyas Kashmiri and Major Abdur Rehman have been cited as co-accused in connection with the planned terrorist attack on the Danish newspaper office. The FBI has thus reserved to itself the option of demanding that Pakistan should arrest and extradite them to the US for trial. According to the charge-sheet, the Denmark attack was also envisaged as a joint LET-HUJI (313 Brigade) operation, but the LET withdrew from it in March 2009 following the action taken against some of its members by the Pakistani authorities in connection with the Mumbai attacks. Thereafter, it was planned as a purely HUJI attack. Earlier in February 2009, when Headley met Ilyas Kashmiri in Waziristan along with Maj.Abdur Rehman, Ilyas Kashmiri informed him that he would arrange the manpower for the Denmark attack and that the participation of the LET was not necessary.

Headley made six visits to India in September 2006, February 2007, September 2007, April 2008, July 2008 and March 2009. The first five visits were to collect operational details and video recordings for the Mumbai strike. The March 2009 visit was for the collection of details for a future attack. During his visit to Pakistan in September 2007, Lashkar Member A showed him a styrofoam mockup of the Taj Mahal hotel.

For two of his visits to India in April 2008 and July 2008, Lashkar Members A and B gave him a Global Positioning System (GPS) instrument and asked him to record in it the location of the possible landing sites for the boat and other targets. On both the occasions, Headley would appear to have brought the GPS instrument into India and taken it back to Pakistan without being detected by the Indian customs.

Rana has been cited as a co-accused in respect of two charges "Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorism in India" and the planned attack in Denmark. In respect of the planned Denmark attack, Ilyas Kashmiri and Major Abdur Rehman are also co-accused. In respect of all other charges relating to the Mumbai attack, Headley is the only accused. No one else has been cited as co-accused.

Salient points of the charge sheet are annexed.


B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai.


ANNEXURE
Salient points from the charge-sheet

Headley attended LET training camps in Pakistan "which began in or around February 2002, August 2002, April 2003, August 2003 and December 2003." Headley assisted senior LET personnel in planning and preparing for terrorist attacks.

First World Immigration Services (“First World”) was an immigration services business with its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. First World used the business name “Immigrant Law Center,” and also maintained offices in New York City, Toronto, and elsewhere. Tahawwur Hussain Rana owned First World and controlled its operations. He is a long-time associate of Headley.

An individual referred to in the indictment as “Lashkar Member A” was a resident of Pakistan associated with the LET who supervised others associated with the LET and served as a “handler” for Headley and others.

An individual referred to as “Lashkar Member B” was a resident of Pakistan associated with the LET who trained others in combat techniques for use in terrorist attacks.

An individual referred to as “Lashkar Member C” was a resident of Pakistan and one of the LET commanders.

An individual referred to as “Lashkar Member D” was a resident of Pakistan and one of the LET commanders.

An individual referred to as “Person A” was a resident of Pakistan who participated in planning and funding attacks carried out by the LET.

Between late 2005, and till his arrest on October 3, 2009, Headley "conspired with Lashkar Members A, B, C, and D, and others known and unknown to the grand jury, to deliver, place, discharge and detonate explosives and other lethal devices in, into and against places of public use, state and government facilities, public transportation systems, and infrastructure facilities in India, with the intent to cause death and serious bodily injury, and with the intent to cause extensive destruction of such places and facilities and where such destruction would likely result in major economic loss."

Around late 2005, Lashkar Member A, Lashkar Member B, and Lashkar Member D told Headley that he should travel to India to carry out surveillance of potential targets for attack by the LET, and that he should take steps to conceal his association with Pakistan and his Muslim religion during his travels in India.

In February 2006, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Headley changed his original name of “Daood Gilani” to “David Coleman Headley” in order to facilitate his activities on behalf of the LET by enabling him to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani.

In the spring of 2006, Lashkar Member A and Lashkar Member D discussed with Headley the idea that he could open an immigration office in Mumbai, as a cover for his surveillance activities in India.

In June 2006, Headley traveled to Chicago, advised Tahawwur Hussain Rana of his assignment to perform surveillance for potential targets in India, and obtained Rana’s approval for opening a First World office in Mumbai, as cover for these activities. Rana directed an individual associated with First World to prepare documents to support Headley's cover story. Rana also advised Headley on how to obtain a visa for travel to India. In applying for his visa for travel to India, Headley misrepresented his birth name, father’s true name, and the purpose for his travel.

In July 2006, Person A provided to Headley approximately $25,000 to, among other purposes, establish and operate the Mumbai office of First World and pay for living expenses while he carried out his assignments for the LET in India.

In September 2006, February 2007, September 2007, April 2008, and July 2008, Headley traveled to Mumbai for extended periods for conducting surveillance of possible targets of attacks by the LET, using his association with First World as cover for his travels. Prior to Headley's departure for each of these trips, Lashkar Member A, Person A and others, instructed Headley regarding locations where he was to conduct video surveillance in and around Mumbai, as well as other locations in India. After each trip, Headley traveled to Pakistan, where he met with Lashkar Member A, Person A and persons associated with the LET to report on the results of his surveillance, and provided Lashkar Member A and Person A with photographs and videos from the surveillance.

Prior to Headley's surveillance activities in India starting in September 2006, Lashkar Member A and Person A instructed him to get settled in India, including by opening the business and obtaining an apartment, and to take photographs and make videos of various locations of public significance in India, including but not limited to, the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai.

In November 2006, Headley opened the Mumbai office of First World for the purpose of providing cover for his travel and activities in India on behalf of the LET.

In September 2006, Headley conducted surveillance on behalf of the LET, including taking pictures and making videotapes, of various targets in India, including but not limited to, the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai

Following these initial surveillance activities, Headley traveled to Pakistan, where he met with Lashkar Members A and B and Person A and provided them with accounts of his surveillance. Headley provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to Lashkar Member A and Person A.

Prior to Headley's surveillance activities in India starting in February 2007, Lashkar Member A and Person A separately instructed him to conduct surveillance of the second floor of the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, specifically including the conference rooms and ballrooms.

In February 2007, Headley conducted surveillance on behalf of the LET, including taking pictures and making videotapes, of various targets in India, including but not limited to the Taj Mahal hotel (where he made detailed videos of the second floor conference rooms and ballrooms), and the Oberoi hotel, both in Mumbai.

Following these surveillance activities, Headley traveled to Pakistan, where he met with Lashkar Members A, B and D, and Person A, and provided themwith accounts of his surveillance. Headley provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to Lashkar Member A and Person A.

Prior to Headley's surveillance activities in India starting in September 2007, Lashkar Member A and Person A separately instructed him to conduct further surveillance of the second floor of the Taj Mahal hotel, specifically including the conference rooms, and to obtain schedules of future conferences at the hotel.

In September 2007, Headley conducted surveillance, including taking pictures and making videotapes, of various targets in India, including but not limited to the Taj Mahal hotel. In addition, Headley attempted to obtain a schedule of conferences to be held at the Taj Mahal hotel.

Following these surveillance activities, Headley traveled to Pakistan, where he met with Lashkar Member A and Person A, and provided them with accounts of his surveillance. Headley provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to Lashkar Member A and Person A. During one of Headley's meetings with persons associated with Lashkar, Lashkar Member A displayed to Headley a styrofoam mockup of the Taj Mahal hotel. During a meeting with Person A, Headley was provided with approximately $2,000 worth of Indian currency for expenses in connection with Headley's activities in India.

In March 2008, Headley met with Lashkar Members A and B and other persons associated with Lashkar, and discussed potential landing sites for a team of attackers who would arrive in Mumbai by sea. In March 2008, Lashkar Member A and other persons associated with the LET instructed Headley to take boat trips in and around the Mumbai harbor and to take surveillance video of various locations. Lashkar Member A also provided Headley with approximately $1000 worth of Indian currency to use for his expenses in Mumbai.

In March or April 2008, Lashkar Members A and B provided Headley with a global positioning system (GPS) device. Lashkar Members A and B showed Headley how to enter locations into the GPS device and instructed him to use it to record the locations of possible landing sites.

In April 2008, Headley conducted surveillance of the Mumbai harbor and surrounding areas, using the GPS device and making videotapes. Headley also conducted surveillance of, among other locations, the Chhatarapati Shivaji Terminus train station, using the GPS device and making videotapes.

Following these surveillance activities, Headley traveled to Pakistan, where he met separately with Lashkar Member A and Person A, and provided them with accounts of his surveillance, as well as with his recommendations as to which landing sites the attackers should use. Headley provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to these same persons, and the GPS device to Lashkar Member A.

Prior to Headley's surveillance activities in India starting in or about July 2008, Lashkar Member A instructed Headley to conduct further surveillance of various locations in Mumbai using the GPS device, which was returned to Headley. Lashkar Members A and B discussed with Headley the need to do further surveillance of the Taj Mahal hotel and landing points for the attackers, including videotaping the route from a police station to the Taj Mahal hotel. Both Lashkar Member A and Person A separately instructed Headley to conduct videotape surveillance of the Chabad House, a Jewish community center located in Mumbai.

In June 2008, Person A provided to Headley additional funds of approximately $1,500 worth of Indian currency to keep open the First World office in Mumbai, but approved closing that office in the future and opening a new business in Delhi, to be used as cover for future activities by Headley.

In July 2008, Headley conducted surveillance, including taking pictures and making videotapes, of various targets, including but not limited to, the Taj Mahal hotel, the Chabad House, the Chhatarapati Shivaji Terminus train station, the Leopold Café and various landing sites, and entered various locations into the GPS device.

While Headley was in India for conducting surveillance starting in July 2008, Person A communicated with Headley by passing messages to Headley through Tahawwur Hussain Rana.

Following his July 2008 surveillance activities in India, Headley traveled to Pakistan, met at times with Lashkar Members A and B and Person A, and provided them with accounts of his surveillance. Headley provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to Lashkar Member A and Person A, and the GPS device to Lashkar Member A.

In July and August 2008, Lashkar Member B and others were training a number of young men in Pakistan in various skills and tactics to be used in carrying out terrorist attacks in Mumbai, including combat tactics, room entry, hostage rescue, nautical training and swimming.

During the course of the attacks in Mumbai, the attackers were in telephonic contact with Lashkar Members A, B and C, all of whom were then located in Pakistan. More specifically, during the course of the attacks, the attackers were advised to, among other actions, kill hostages and throw grenades. Lashkar Member A also sought to arrange the release of a hostage in exchange for the release of a captured attacker.

Following the November 2008 attacks, Person A advised Headley to avoid contact with him until further notice and to remove any incriminating materials from his home in Pakistan.

In June 2008, Al Qaeda, through As Sahab Media, took credit for an attack on the Danish Embassy in Islamabad and called for further attacks against Danish interests to avenge the publication (and re-publication) of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed.

In August 2008, Al Qaeda released a video (“the al Qaeda video”) through As Sahab Media calling for further attacks in retaliation for the publication of the cartoons. Mustafa Abu al Yazid of Al Qaeda, among others, appeared on the video.

Ilyas Kashmiri was an influential leader of HUJI. Beginning in 2007, Kashmiri based his operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Kashmiri was in regular contact with Al Qaeda and in particular with Mustafa Abu al Yazid, a/k/a “Sheik Said al Masri.”

Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed was a resident of Pakistan and former member of the Pakistani military who was associated with Ilyas Kashmiri and Lashkar Member A.

Between October 2008, and October 3, 2009, Ilyas Kashmiri, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, and David Coleman Headley, conspired with each other, and others known and unknown to the grand jury, to commit acts outside the United States that would constitute the offenses of murder and maiming if committed in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, namely, murder and maiming in connection with an attack to be carried out against the facilities of Jyllands-Posten, located in Denmark, and at least two of its employees.

In October 2008, Lashkar Member A and Headley met in Pakistan and discussed the prospect of an attack on the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which would be preceded by extensive surveillance work to be performed by Headley. Headley recorded and saved notes reflecting the attack plan he discussed with Lashkar Member A.

In October 2008, Lashkar Member A provided defendant Headley with a thumb drive containing information about Denmark, the city of Copenhagen and the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

In late December 2008 and early January 2009, after reviewing with Tahawwur Hussain Rana how Headley had performed the surveillance of the targets attacked in Mumbai in November 2008, Headley advised Rana of the planned attack on the Jyllands-Posten and his intended travel to Denmark for the purpose of performing surveillance of the Jyllands-Posten facilities. Headley obtained Rana’s approval and assistance to identify Headley as a representative of First World, to falsely represent that First World was planning to open an office in Copenhagen, and to gain entry to the Jyllands-Posten's offices by falsely expressing interest in placing an advertisement for First World in the newspaper. Before leaving Chicago, Headley and Rana caused to be made business cards that identified Headley as a representative of the Immigrant Law Center.

In late December 2008 and early January 2009, Headley, while in Chicago, sent emails to, and received emails from Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed in order to continue planning for the attack and coordinate Headley’s travel to Denmark to conduct surveillance.

In January 2009, Headley traveled from Chicago to Copenhagen to conduct surveillance of the Jyllands Posten newspaper offices in the cities of Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark.

On January 20, 2009, Headley obtained entry to the Jyllands Posten newspaper office in Copenhagen on the pretext that he was seeking to place an ad on behalf of First World in the newspaper. Headley also scouted and videotaped the surrounding areas.

On January 23, 2009, Headley obtained entry to the Jyllands Posten newspaper office in Aarhus, on the pretext that he was seeking to place an ad on behalf of First World in the newspaper. Headley also scouted the surrounding areas.

On January 29, 2009, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, posing as Headley, sent an email to the Jyllands Posten newspaper pretending to be interested in placing an advertisement in the newspaper on behalf of First World.

In late January 2009, Headley traveled to Pakistan and met separately with Lashkar Member A and defendant Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed concerning the planned attack on the newspaper and provided each with videotapes of his Copenhagen surveillances. Subsequently, in March 2009, Lashkar Member A advised Headley that Lashkar put the attack on the newspaper on hold due to pressure on Lashkar resulting from the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

In January 2009, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed provided the Al Qaeda video to Headley in Pakistan.

In February 2009, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed took Headley to meet Ilyas Kashmiri in the Waziristan region of Pakistan. During the meeting, Kashmiri indicated that he had already reviewed the Copenhagen videotapes made by Headley and suggested that they consider using a truck bomb in the operation. Kashmiri also indicated that he could provide manpower for the operation and that the participation of LET was not necessary.

In or about May 2009, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed and Headley went again to meet Kashmiri in Waziristan. During this meeting, Kashmiri advised that he had met with a European contact who could provide Headley with money, weapons and manpower for the attack on the newspaper. Kashmiri directed Headley to meet with Kashmiri’s European contacts.

In July 2009, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed was arrested by Pakistani authorities. Headley contacted associates in Pakistan in an effort to learn whether he would be able to continue working with Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed.

In July 2009, Headley, from Chicago, sent a messenger to meet with Kashmiri in Waziristan to advise Kashmiri of the arrest of ABDUR REHMAN SAYED and his unsuccessful efforts to contact Kashmiri’s European contacts. Kashmiri sent back word that the planned operation in Denmark should continue and that Headley should continue to attempt to contact Kashmiri’s European contacts at the telephone numbers already provided.

In late July and early August 2009, Headley traveled from Chicago to various places in Europe, including Copenhagen to conduct additional surveillance of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper office and the surrounding area. Headley made approximately 13 additional surveillance videos. During the trip, Headley also attempted to obtain assistance from Kashmiri’s European contacts.

In July 2009, Headley provided the al Qaeda video to Rana in Chicago.

On August 5, 2009, Headley returned to the United States, falsely advising a Customs and Border Patrol inspector at the airport in Atlanta that he had visited Europe for business reasons related to First World.

On August 22, 2009, Headley, from Chicago spoke with Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (who had been released fromcustody) in Pakistan concerning, among other things, the efforts by Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed to contact Kashmiri, and the plans for the operation in Denmark.

In September 2009, Headley sought to pass a message through Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed to Kashmiri concerning suggestions from Headley about changes to the plan for the attack on the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen.

In September 2009, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, from Pakistan, communicated with Headley, in Chicago by telephone and email concerning reports that Kashmiri had been killed in a drone attack and the implications of Kashmiri’s possible death for the plan for the attack on the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen.

In September 2009, Headley and Rana spoke concerning reports that Kashmiri had been killed in a drone attack and the implications of Kashmiri’s possible death for the plan for the attack on the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen.

In late September 2009, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, from Pakistan, communicated with Headley in Chicago by telephone and email to report that Kashmiri had not been killed and that Kashmiri was anxious to move forward with the plan for the attack on the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen.

In the late summer of 2009, Rana and Headley agreed that funds that had been provided to Rana could be used to fund the plot to attack the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Copenhagen.

On October 3, 2009, Headley traveled to O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois, intending to ultimately travel to Pakistan in order to meet with Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed and Kashmiri, and to deliver to them approximately 13 surveillance videos. He was arrested before he could leave.

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