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Pak major key link between 26/11 perpetrators

December 08, 2009 15:02 IST
A Lahore-based retired Pakistan army major has emerged as a key link between the Mumbai terror attack suspect David Coleman Headley and his Pakistani handlers who guided him in planning and plotting strikes in India.

Retired Major Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, also known as Pasha or Major, has been charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a Chicago court on two counts of conspiring terror attacks in association with Headley, the US national of Pakistani-origin, and two other Pakistan-based terrorists.

Abdur Rehman coordinated with Harkat-ul-Jihadi-al-Islami leader Ilyas Kashmiri and a Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative to commit terrorist acts involving murder and maiming outside the US, and conspired within and outside the US to provide material support to that conspiracy, the FBI said in its 42-page charge sheet.

Headley, arrested on October 3, 2009, has been charged with criminal conspiracy in Mumbai terror attacks and having links with Rehman who liaised between him and terror groups including LeT and HuJI, according to the FBI charge sheet.

Rehman has also been charged with participating in planning a terrorist attack in Denmark, and coordinating with Headley in his surveillance of the intended targets.

According to the FBI charge sheet, Rehman corresponded with Headley beginning late 2008 by email or telephone in coded language regarding the 'Micky Mouse Project' -- their plot to attack the facilities of a Danish newspaper.

After travelling to Copenhagen, Headley visited Pakistan wherein Rehman took him to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas region in northwestern Pakistan to solicit Kashmiri's participation in the plot.

Following his return from Pakistan, Headley communicated with the LeT leader, who now had shifted his plan from Denmark to India, which has referred as 'new investment plan.'

The FBI has also released transcripts of a series of telephone calls between Headley and Rehman on reports of Kashmiri's death in a drone attack in FATA.

In his conversation, Rehman assured 'Individual A' (Headley), telling him that 'this is business sir; these types of things happen,' the FBI says.

Kashmiri has been referred to as 'doctor' in these recorded conversations.

Rehman was arrested by the Pakistani authorities in the summer of this year, but was later released.

Lalit K Jha in Washington, DC
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