Revealing more startling facts about ISI ‘s activities in India,terrorist David Coleman Headley said Pakistan’s intelligence agency provided “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen.
Headley testified before a court for the second day via video-link from the US, said he was working for Pakistan Army and ISI besides LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and that he knew about ISI official Brigadier Riyaz being the handler of LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who was key man responsible for the November 26,2008 attacks in Mumbai
He also revealed that LeT had planned an attack at a conference of Indian defence scientists at Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes and had even prepared its dummy
But the plan was dropped because of logistical reasons, like difficulty in smuggling weapons and failure to know the schedule of the meet, he said
Headley told the Special Judge G A Sanap that he was also working for ISI and had met many people from the Pakistan Army and also visited India seven times to scout for targets and conducted a recce of the famous Siddhivinayak Temple and Naval air station
He said his assessment was that ISI and LeT were coordinating with each other
“ISI provided financial, military and moral support to terror outfits Jaish-e-Mohammed, LeT and Hizbul Mujaideen,” he said and went on to claim that his opinion was formed on the basis of hearsay
When Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam asked him if he was paid by LeT and ISI, he replied in the negative and said, “There is no basis for this question.”
Headley, who had on Monday told the court that he was a “true follower” of LeT, on Tuesday said ISI official Brigadier Riyaz was the handler of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. When shown a photograph of Lakhvi, the LeT operative identified him
The 55-year-old, who has turned approver in the case, said LeT had planned to attack Indian defence scientists at a conference in Taj Mahal Hotel a year before the 26/11 strikes
The “plan to attack the conference hall in Taj was cancelled due to logistical reasons, like it was not possible to get weapons and personnel to the hall,” he said, adding another reason for dropping of the plan was that he could not get details about the schedule of the conference.
“In November-December 2007, the LeT held a meeting in Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) which was attended by (LeT operatives) Sajid Mir and Abu Kahfa. In this meeting, it was decided that terror attacks would be conducted in Mumbai,” he said.