WASHINGTON: The US Department of Justice, following a judge’s ruling on the matter, has released two clips of 26/11 conspirator and Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley being interrogated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
David Headley had turned witness for the prosecution and pleaded guilty to planning the 26/11 attacks and being involved in a plot to bomb a Danish newspaper’s office. Headley claims the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) trained him while he was part of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, and that his handlers were former ISI operatives.
The move came after a suit was filed by various news outlets including ProPublica to release the clips, which had been played during Tahawwur Rana’s trial earlier this year in Chicago. Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian-Pakistani citizen and a childhood friend of Headley’s, had been accused of helping Headley in planning the attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people on November 26, 2008.
In the two clips dated from October 2009, David Headley is being interrogated by US officials shortly after his arrest. In the first clip, Headley appears to be asking the officials why they have yet to make any more arrests based on the evidence and testimony that Headley has given them. Referring to a Sajid, presumably Sajid Mir, a senior militant in Lashkar-e-Taiba, Headley says, “That’s what I’ve been thinking about this thing with Sajid…maybe if nothing works out and all of this stuff is just sitting here.”
In the second clip, Headley, in a confident tone that belies the legal problems that he is facing at the time, asks the official, who is not visible in the frame, “Do you have any plans to nab these guys or no plans…still working on it?” The official replies, “Still working on it. You do realise there are some things we can’t share with you.”
In response, Headley says, “I understand that, I’m not saying what plans, just are we working on this, that’s probably going to be a plus for me and for you.”
In June this year, a federal jury in the US district court in Chicago found Pakistani-born Canadian citizen Tahawwur Rana guilty on two counts: providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, and participating in a conspiracy to attack Jyllands-Posten, a Denmark newspaper that had published cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), that had sparked outrage in the Muslim world. However, Rana was acquitted on the third count of providing material support in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Rana had entered a plea of not guilty in the trial.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2011.
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