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David Headley's terror mission in Mumbai

By Vicky Nanjappa
November 11, 2009 16:16 IST
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David Headley, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative who was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in October, is proving to be an important link in unraveling the terror network.

Intelligence Bureau agents have informed the Mumbai police that Headley made several visits to the city. The police are now probing Headley's links with the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, IB sources told

According to information available with the IB, Headley visited Mumbai in 2006, 2007 and 2008. He changed his name to David Headley from Daood Gilani around 2006.

Sources say Headley traveled on a business visa; he got in touch with a US firm which specialised in creating fake visas and passports. He located a similar firm in Tardeo, central Mumbai, which helped him procure fake travel documents.

With the help of these fake documents, Headley traveled to India at least five times. During each visit, he made it a point to visit the visa agency.

Headley was present in India when the terror attacks on Mumbai was being planned and he may have been aware of such a plan, the IB sources say.

If investigations reveal that Headley activated a local module to assist the 26/11 attacks, the Mumbai police may file an additional charge-sheet detailing this link, the sources added.

IB agents suspect Headley's brief in Mumbai was to establish a network of sleeper cells to assist terror attacks.

Headley also traveled to other states including Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, using his business visa. The FBI has revealed that Headley had conducted a reconnaissance of the National Defence College in New Delhi where he planned a terror attack.

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru