Given below are extracts from the affidavit filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US in the district court of the Northern district of Illinois on October 11, 2009, justifying its decision to arrest David Coleman Headley, originally known as Dawood Gilani till 2006. These extracts relate to the three Pakistan-based ring leaders of the conspiracy to carry out terrorist strikes in Denmark and India.
As already reported, while the FBI identifies one of the ring leaders by name as Ilyas Kashmiri of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) and gives his detailed background, it refrains from identifying the two other ring leaders, who are merely referred to as Individual A and Lashkar-e-Toiba member A. However, a perusal of the extracts given below would show that the FBI must be aware of their identities. Why is it coy about identifying them? Has it at least told the Indian agencies about their identities? Has it asked the Government of Pakistan to arrest them and hand them over to the FBI for further interrogation? If not, why not?
A perusal of the extracts indicates the following:
- Headley had two channels of communications in Pakistan-- with Individual A and LET member A.
- He had no direct contact with Ilyas Kashmiri. All his communications with him were through Individual A.
- Individual A was arrested by the Pakistani authorities in connection with the investigation of the November 2008 murder of Maj-Gen.Amir Faisal Alvi, formerly of the Special Services Group (SSG), who was the brother of Lady Naipaul, wife of writer Sir V.S.Naipaul. But he was subsequently released. He was close to Maj.Haroon Ashiq, the principal accused in the murder, who reportedly confessed that he and other accomplices murdered Alvi on the instructions of Ilyas Kashmiri. Why did they murder Alvi? Did he play any role in the SGG's commando action in the Lal Masjid of Islamabad in July,2007?Are all of them, including Individual A, former officers of the SSG, as Ilyas was? If so, did these ex-SSG officers train the LET team that attacked Mumbai on 26/11? These questions need the attention of the Indian investigators.
Extracts from the affidavit
After visiting Denmark in January 2009, Headley travelled to Pakistan to meet with Individual A. During this trip, Headley traveled with Individual A to the Federally-Administered Tribal Area (FATA) region in north-western Pakistan and met with (Ilyas) Kashmiri. Headley returned to Chicago in mid-June 2009. Following Headley's return from Pakistan, Headley communicated by email with Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A regarding the status of the Northern Project. Because Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A responded that he had "new investment plans," coded language for the planning of a different attack, Headley and Individual A began to focus on working with Kashmiri to complete the attack on the newspaper.
In late July 2009, Headley traveled again to Copenhagen, Denmark, and to other locations in Europe. When Headley returned to the United States, he told a Customs and Border Patrol inspector that he was traveling on business as a representative of an immigration business. Headley's luggage contained no papers or other documents relating to such business. Following Headley's return to Chicago in August 2009, Headley used coded language to inquire of Individual A on multiple occasions regarding whether Individual A had been in touch with Kashmiri regarding planning for the attack. Headley expressed concern that Individual A's communications with Kashmiri had been cut off.
In early September 2009, Individual A called Headley to report that Kashmiri might be dead. Headley expressed dismay and concern, and said that Kashmiri's death means "our company has gone into bankruptcy then," and that "the projects and so forth will go into suspension." Shortly after initial press reports that Kashmiri had been killed in a drone attack in Pakistan, Headley and Individual A had a series of coded conversations in which they discussed the reports of Kashmiri's death and the significance of Kashmiri's death for the projects they were planning. Individual A sought to reassure and encourage Headley, telling him, among other things, that " this is business sir; these types of things happen."
On or about September 17, 2009, Headley discussed with Individual A the need, in light of Kashmiri's reported death, to turn back to Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A and another individual, to complete the planning for the attack on the newspaper. On or about September 20, 2009, Headley told a family member in a recorded telephone conversation words to the effect "that the main thing is the business must go on." Headley also stated words to the effect that it does not matter for which company he works. On or about September 30, 2009, Headley was told by Individual A that Kashmiri was still alive. When Headley asked whether he would meet Kashmiri on his trip, Individual A advised that Kashmiri had been asking about Headley. Headley stated in intercepted communications that he intended to travel to Pakistan in early October 2009 to meet with Individual A and Kashmiri. Headley had a reservation to fly from Chicago, Illinois to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 3, 2009, and indicated in intercepted communications that he intended to travel on to Pakistan.
Headley was arrested by FBI agents on October 3, 2009, as he prepared to board a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia. After being advised of his rights, Headley made statements to FBI agents. Among other things, Headley stated that beginning prior to 2006 Headley worked at various times with Lashkar-e-Taiba (an organization he knew to be a designated foreign terrorist organization) and that he received training from Lashkar-e-Taiba. Headley also stated that at times he worked with Ilyas Kashmiri, including in connection with planning the Denmark attack.
Headley changed his name from "Daood Gilani" in or about 2006. In an August 2009 interview with Customs and Border Patrol, Headley advised that he changed his name so as to raise less suspicion when he traveled. Headley at times has claimed to be a consultant with or representative of an immigration business. Surveillance of Headley's activities, as well as Headley's phone conversations and email exchanges, reflect that Headley performs few services for such business. Headley has no known or reported employment other than with such business. His residence in Chicago is an apartment leased to an individual who is deceased. Notwithstanding his apparent lack of financial resources and substantial employment, Headley has engaged in extensive international travel since at least 2006, including multiple trips to Pakistan, India, Denmark, and other countries in Europe. Records reflecting the locations of internet protocol addresses used by Headley to send emails indicate that Headley has spent substantial time in Pakistan and elsewhere during the last several years - often for months at a time.
Emails between Headley and third parties reflect that Individual A was arrested by Pakistani authorities in Summer 2009 and later released. As noted above, Individual A is associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organization, and with Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of Harakat-ul-Jihad-Islami ("HUJI"), a Pakistani-based terrorist organization, among other entities.
Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A, whose identity is known to the government, is an individual with substantial influence and responsibility within Lashkar-e-Taiba.
International news media reports have identified Kashmiri as the operational chief of the Azad Kashmir section of Harkat-ul-Jihad-Islami ("HUJI) with links to al Qaeda. In April 2006, the United States Department of State issued the 2006 "Country Reports on Terrorism," which listed a number of designated "foreign terrorist organizations" and also listed "other selected terrorist groups also deemed to be of relevance to the global war on terrorism." HUJI was listed in the latter category. The report noted the group's "links to al Qaeda," and that "HUJI's operations in Kashmir were led by Commander Ilyas Kashmiri, a former commander in the Afghan jihad, .... [who] was arrested in October on charges of attacks against President Musharraf in 2003." In September 2009, international news media reported that Kashmiri had been killed in a drone attack in the Waziristan region of Pakistan.
On September 18, 2009, Headley reviewed an article concerning Kashmiri's reported death, entitled "Pakistani Kashmiri militants now fighting NATO forces" which contained a number of details relating to Kashmiri, including the following:
a. Kashmiri was the ameer [leader] of the Azad Kashmir chapter of HUJI.
b. Kashmiri was considered to be one of the most dangerous al Qaeda-linked Pakistani commanders;
c. Kashmiri was no. 4 on the Pakistani Ministry of Interior's Most Wanted List;
d. Kashmiri had established a training camp in the Razmak region of Waziristan;
e. Kashmiri was named in a 12-page charge sheet filed by the Islamabad police in an anti-terrorism court for his role in the November 2008 murder of retired Major General Amir Faisal Alvi, the former General Officer Commanding of the Pakistan Army's Special Services Group. The charge sheet identified three people in the Alvi murder, including retired Major Haroon Ashiq, and alleged that the murder was carried out on the instructions of Kashmiri, who also had provided funds and weapons; and f. Kashmiri also was named in a charge sheet relating to the October 2008 kidnapping of a renowned film producer and distributor. Major Haroon Ashiq was one of the kidnapers. This same article reported that, following his arrest, Major Haroon Ashiq had told interrogators that Haroon, along with his younger brother Captain Khurram, had "joined hands" with Kashmiri in early 2008. The article stated that, according to Haroon, Kashmiri had tasked Haroon with kidnapping affluent people living in urban areas in order to raise money for Kashmiri's group.
On or about September 19, 2009, Headley spoke by telephone to a family member and, using coded language, brought up the subject of Kashmiri's reported death.Headley asked the family member if the family member had learned anything about "doctor," and stated words to the effect of: "[h]e was your Pir Sahib [spiritual guide], where I and you went, we went to Samanabad and we did Baiat [an oath of allegiance]." After the family member responded, "[y]es sir, absolutely, absolutely," Headley continued "he just had a heart attack ... it has made me very sad." Based on my (FBI agent's) review of Headley's communications concerning Kashmiri's death, I believe that the term "heart attack" in this context to be a coded reference to the reported fact that Kashmiri had been killed.
In the same conversation of September 19, 2009, Headley continued to discuss Kashmiri, noting the press coverage following his reported death. Headley stated words to the effect of: "now many other great things about him have come to surface, his supernatural powers and miracles, from his followers and others, yeah, they have also printed a small paper about him and many other things."
Headley, Individual A, and Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A have used several methods of communication, including in-person meetings, telephone conversations (including calls placed using long distance calling cards) and emails. Headley, in particular, utilized a cell phone, the account for which is the name of a deceased individual. In nearly all of their communications, Headley, Individual A, and Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A have used coded language.
Since the beginning of 2008, Headley has communicated through the use of multiple email accounts. As discussed throughout this affidavit, Headley, Lashkar-e-Taiba' Member A, and Individual A have frequently used coded language and changed their methods of communications in order to conceal the nature and content of their communications. For example, on or about August 28, 2009, in a recorded telephone conversation between Headley and Individual A, Headley spoke in coded language to describe a new account that Headley had created for their continued communications. More specifically, after informing Individual A that he had formed an account on the "same system," Headley instructed him to write his colleague's name and his younger brother's name and write the names without spaces and write 1 with it. On or about August 25, 2009, Headley created such an account with a name blending two first names.
Records of email accounts used by Headley reflect that between in or about August 2008 and December 7, 2008, Headley sent multiple email messages from internet addresses located in the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore. On or about December 7,2008, before traveling from Pakistan to the United States that same day, Headley used one of his email accounts to save a list of items, which was titled "Mickey Mouse."
On or about December 16, 2008, Headley sent an email from Chicago, Illinois to Individual A. Among other statements, Headley told Individual A in this email that "I will be going for the Mickey Mouse project in the north in the middle of next month. Let me know any new info on it."
One week later, on or about December 23, 2008, Headley again communicated with Individual A concerning the Mickey Mouse project. More specifically, in an email sent from Chicago, Illinois, to Individual A, Headley stated: " Send me the info on the Mickey Mouse project later when I tell you. For now, should I leave here early or around the 14th like previously planned. Do that special thing you do and tell me. ...Bye, Dave."
On or about December 24, 2008, Individual A responded to Headley's email from the previous day, telling Headley to "try to go as early as possible to MMP." In response, Headley used code to request Individual A to use a different email address to further communicate with Headley. More specifically, Headley stated: "Planning for MMP. Send me info about it on other mail I gave starting with [the first four letters of one of Headley's email accounts]. If you don't have it I will mail you from it. . . . How is your friend Harry?. Did you check the Lady Naipaul link?.Ok take care.Dave59."
The next day, on or about December 25, 2008, Individual A responded: "I know ur other email address, no need to use that address yet..first u visit MMP then we will discuss and c the concerned person if needed, and if your friends decline , we'll do that ,I have discussed with baray log . . ."
As described further below, Headley departed from Chicago on January 13,2009, before arriving in Copenhagen, Denmark days later. Lady Naipaul is a Pakistani journalist and the wife of the late Lord V. S. Naipaul, a Nobel prize winning author. Lady Naipaul also is the sister of Amir Faisal Alvi, the former Pakistani General killed in November 2008, allegedly by a group that included Major Haroon. Although Pakistani press reports reflect that Haroon was arrested by Pakistani police on or about February 24, 2009 in connection with General Alvi's murder, it is noteworthy that this email reference to Individual A's "friend Harry" in the context of "the Lady Naipaul link" occurred in late December 2008, shortly after General Alvi's murder and well before public reports of Haroon's involvement in the murder, and police action against Haroon. I (FBI agent) understand "Harry" to be a reference to Haroon.
I (FBI agent) believe that from a review of emails before and after this exchange, as well as subsequent telephone conversations between Headley and Individual A, discussed more fully below, that Individual A was instructing Headleyto travel to Copenhagen, then travel to Pakistan to meet with Individual A ("we will discuss") and a third party ("c the concerned person"). Based on my (FBI agent's) review of subsequently intercepted communications, I believe that the "concerned person" was Kashmiri.
On January 24, 2009, Headley departed from Frankfurt, Germany to the United Arab Emirates. From there, as discussed below, he subsequently traveled to Pakistan. Records of email accounts reflect that between in or around late January and early March 2009,Headley sent multiple email messages from locations in Pakistan. As described earlier, on December 25, 2008, prior to Headley's departure for Denmark, Individual A instructed Headley as follows: "First u visit MMP then we will discuss and c the concerned person if needed." Further, on December 26, 2008,Headley responded that he would get a "feel of the property" and "return by middle of next month to you [Individual A]." In a later email with the "abdalians" Yahoo group, Headley confirmed his trip to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas ("FATA") region in northwestern Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan, a region in Pakistan in which various terrorist organizations operate. More specifically, on or about May 4, 2009, a member of the group sent an email to the group discussing a recent survey concerning drone attacks in that area.
The member's email stated in relevant part:... "a think tank of researchers and political activists from the NWFP and FATA, conducts research, survey and collects statistics on various issues concerning the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorism and human security there. Their research teams go deep inside Taliban and al-Qaeda-occupied areas of FATA to collect information. Most of the areas are not accessible to journalists. Between last November and January [the think tank] sent five teams, each made up of five researchers, to the parts of the FATA that are often hit by American drones, to conduct a survey of public opinion about the attacks. The team visited Wana (South Waziristan), Ladda (South Waziristan), Miranshah (North Waziristan),Razmak (North Waziristan) and Parachinar (Kurram agency). According to the email, one of the conclusions of the survey was that the notion that a large majority of the local population supports the Taliban is inaccurate. Further, the sender of the email stated his personal view that the majority of the residents of the FATA saw the enemy as the Taliban and al Qaeda and viewed the drone attacks as not violating the sovereignty of Pakistan.
Headley's sharp response confirmed that he had been to the area occupied by the Taliban and al Qaeda. He stated:"This "survey" is the biggest crock of S ... I was there on some business recently and I assure you this dude is not even close .. I even doubt the ability of the surveyors to conduct this "research" in Miranshah or Razmak. I even challenge [the identified individual who posted the survey article] to just walk around the bazaar in Miranshah. This bazaar is bustling with Chechens,Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russians, Bosnians, some from EU countries and of course our Arab brothers.According to MY survey, the foreign population is a little less than a third of the total. Any Waziri or Mehsud I spoke to seemed grateful to God for the privilege of being able to host the "Foreign Mujahideen."
On or about June 11, 2009, Headley returned to Chicago. In or around mid Summer 2009, Headley became aware that Pakistani authorities had detained Individual A. In that time frame, Headley emailed a contact living in Pakistan. Headley indicated in this email that Individual A had been arrested, and that Headley wished to know whether Individual A would be available to continue working with Headley and Headley's associates.
On or about July 26, 2009, Headley traveled to Europe, visiting various countries enroute to Copenhagen, Denmark. As described further below, during Headley's second visit to Copenhagen, Headley took surveillance video of several locations in Copenhagen Denmark, including the office of the Jyllands-Posten in King's Square in Copenhagen. On or about August 5, 2009, Headley arrived in Atlanta, Georgia, on a flight from Copenhagen, Denmark. An officer with Customs and Border Patrol interviewed Headley upon his entry. Headley stated that he traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, and elsewhere in Europe for business. Headley claimed to be a consultant for an immigration business. An examination of Headley's luggage revealed no papers,flyers or any documents relating to such business.
Following his return from his second visit to Copenhagen, Headley received an email in response to his inquiry about the arrest of Individual A. The sender wrote, "your friend that u asked about has reached home yesterday. How r u and what r the plans?" Headley replied to the email and stated "thank you. I spoke with him after his arrival." I (FBI agent) understand that when Headley indicated that he "spoke with him after his arrival, "Headley was referring to Individual A. Phone records for Headley's cell phone revealed call the day before he received the above referenced email with a Pakistani phone number.
Following his return from his second visit to Copenhagen, Headley exchanged emails with Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A, regarding, among other topics, his trip to Copenhagen. On or about August 7, 2009, Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A sent an email asking Headley why he had not been responding. That same day, Headley responded:
"Sorry, l just don't check my mail daily if I don't expect anyone will write me. I am working at a restaurant owned by [a named associate of Headley's] and his friend as a manager. Last week they sent me to Germany to buy some Butchery equipment and guess where else I went for 3 days (just for a vacation )"
I (FBI agent) understand that in this message Headley is referring to his recently completed trip to Copenhagen (inaccurately referenced in the email as Germany) as a "vacation," the same term that he used in his January 23, 2009 email during his first trip to Denmark.
On or about August 9, 2009, Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A responded in pertinent part:
"God You are something... how was visit? Did you buy some thing for me? I heard that [names an associate of Headley and Lashkar-e-Taiba member A] is with Haroon.So be careful please."
I (FBI agent) understand the statement that the associate is "with Haroon" is a reference to this associate's arrest by Pakistani authorities, and the continued detention of Major Haroon by Pakistani authorities. Months before August 2009, Pakistani news reports stated that Haroon had confessed to his role in the murder of General Alvi and provided information about Kashmiri's operations. In fact, on or about April 14, 2009, Headley had posted an article to the "abdalians" Yahoo group regarding Haroon. The article stated in pertinent part that Haroon "confessed that he had assassinated General Alvi," and confessed that he had kidnaped four separate victims in order to get money for militant organizations.
Headley and Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A continued their exchange about the travel to Copenhagen. The following are the pertinent excerpts from their continued exchange:
(Headley, August 10, 2009): "Yes, we bought some abbatoir [animal butchery] equipment from there. I did get you something. The same gift I got for you last time I was there. . . ."
(Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A, August 11, 2009). . ."whatever I am saying, I know deep in my heart is futile.coz its YOU. . . ."
(Headley, August 11, 2009): "I don't understand, what is futile? "
(Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A, August 11, 2009): "Futile are my advices, coz you do what you feel like, matter and situation is not clear. Your skin is dear to me, more than my own."
I (FBI agent) understand that, in the above exchange, Headley is reporting on his travel and the fact that he has additional video surveillance for Lahkar-e-Taiba member A, and Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A is recommending that Headley be careful and expressing some frustration because Headley does not always follow advice.
Throughout the remainder of August and early September 2009, a number of intercepted telephone conversations between Headley and Individual A reveal that Headley continually sought word of whether Individual A had been in contact with Kashmiri regarding their plans.
On or about August 22, 2009, Headley and Individual A spoke by telephone. The pertinent discussion was as follows:
Headley: "First tell me have you spoken to Doctor? "
Individual A: "No friend - there is nothing. "
Headley: "Contact. "
Individual A: "Nowadays, there is no contact.."
*Headley: . . . "about discussion with Mister Doctor, that if this doesn't - for example- along these lines you should, you should consider that - . . .these who are coming to meet."
Individual A: "Hmm."
Headley: - "if they - example what you people had thought about them - in doubt -if they are not fulfilling on it."
Individual A: "Hmm".
Headley: "Then B, there should be something as a B option. "
Individual A: "Okay. "
Headley: "Yeah. "
Individual A: "On the contrary, on the contrary, not B, but there should be B and C as well."
From my ( FBI agent's) review of intercepted communications between Headley and Individual A, I believe that the use of the term "Doctor" in this particular context is to refer to Kashmiri.
Headley: "Yeah, there should be B and C as well. So that's why - about it. Ahm -okay . Secondly I - that - used to make an email - I mean, you, you could write on it every now and then. "
Individual A: "Okay, yes, yes, yes. "
Headley: "So that, I, I mean, had made one more, and I will give it to you sometime -we can do on it too."
Individual A: "Okay. "
Headley: "So, about, so think about it. Because I have a return ticket for October29th, for there, to return. "
Individual A: "okay".
Headley: "Where I came from, recently."
Individual A: "Yes, yes, yes."
Headley: "So for now, do it, delay it, give priority or put at the end, what is its arrangement. And. secondly, I also said that to you, that also find out, that if. that. I mean that what I told you. That".
Individual A: "Yes, yes. That."
Individual A: -" that, understand, I understand."
I (FBI agent) understand that, in the above conversation, Headley discussed developing other options ("B" and "C") if communications with the "doctor" failed. As discussed previously, on or about August 28, 2009, in a telephone conversation between Headley and Individual A, Headley spoke in coded language to describe a new email account created by Headley. Headley and Individual A, in fact, had at least three separate conversations regarding this account, based, in part, on Individual A's confusion over how Headley spelled the names of the persons used to create the account.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine