al-Qaeda Wanted To Attack Delhi Post 26/11: Headley

12/02/2016 10:19 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Firefighters try to douse fire started by terror attack at Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel in Mumbai.

In a chilling testimony, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley said on Friday that the al-Qaeda was in touch with him to attack Delhi's National Defence College and unravelled the plot by LeT and ISI to target Mumbai airport, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Naval air station here.

Headley also told Special Judge G A Sanap via video-link from the US that he attempted to develop close relations with a Shiv Sena member as he thought Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT), a Pakistan-based terror outfit, would be interested in either attacking the Shiv Sena Bhawan in Mumbai or assassinate its head (late Bal Thackeray).

Continuing his deposition for the fourth day, Headley claimed he discouraged the LeT about Naval air station and Siddhivinayak temple as targets for the attack as they were heavily guarded.

Headley told the court here that his handlers in Pakistan spy agency ISI and LeT wanted to target Mumbai airport and Naval air station during the terror attack in November 2008.

"Major Iqbal expressed disapproval of certain areas I had recced as targets. I felt that Major Iqbal was unhappy because Mumbai airport was not selected and included as one of the targets for the 26/11 attack," he said.

Headley testified in detail on how the al-Qaeda was also interested in carrying out attacks in India after 26/11 strike.

"After the 26/11 terror attack I met Ilyas Kashmiri (of al-Qaeda) in February 2009 and he asked me to visit India again as they were also interested in carrying out terrorist activities in India. He mentioned few places like the NDC (National Defence College) which was their primary target," he said.

He also said NDC was a high-value target as it housed senior military officers, from Brigadier to General rank.

"Abdul Rehman Pasha (Al-Qaeda member) said that if this attack is successful then we would be able to kill more Brigadiers and Generals than any killed in the wars between India and Pakistan in the past," said the 55-year-old, who recently turned approver in the 26/11 terror attacks case.

He told the court that as per Kashmiri's orders, he also visited the Chabad houses located in Pushkar, Goa and Pune as they were secondary targets of the terror outfit.

He said he had videographed BARC at Trombay in Mumbai in July 2008 and that LeT had asked him to recruit some employee of BARC who would work for ISI.

"I also visited and videographed BARC. Major Iqbal told me that in some future date I should recruit some employee of BARC who would give us classified information and would be ready to work for the ISI," he said, adding that he had handed over the video to Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal.

Headley also testified on his interaction with a Shiv Sena member.

"I met Rajaram Rege (PRO of Uddhav Thackeray) inside Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar. I was interested in accessing the building at that time and I attempted to develop closer relations with Rege as I thought the LeT would be interested in future to attack the Sena Bhavan or assassinate its head," Headley told the court.


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