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Headley teed off in Mumbai to get tip-offs

November 27, 2009 18:52 IST

American terror suspect David Headley arrested by the FBI for allegedly plotting terror attacks in India used to visit a golf course in Mumbai frequented by western diplomats and businessmen and is believed to have struck a rapport with them.

According to sources in Mumbai who are privy to the investigations, the 48-year-old arrested from Chicago airport and currently in FBI custody often spent hours with his new-found friends at the Golf course.

Some witnesses, whose statements were recorded by the National Investigating Agency probing the stay of Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Rana in India, told investigators the US national had long chats in the club with Western diplomats.

Headley also attempted to learn golf basics. Headley purchased a golf set ostensibly to pick up the elite sport, but authorities now believe that this was perhaps a camouflage in an attempt to get to know diplomats and business personalities who frequented the club, the sources said.

Headley, earlier known as Daood Gilani and who changed his name in 2006 to avoid any suspicion, was successful in getting friendly with some of the diplomats, the sources added. Pictures of him with some diplomats were also taken, the sources said, adding a copy of which has been kept by the investigators for further probe.

Some of the western countries now fear that their diplomats might have compromised with some security issues inadvertently to Headley, who has not been linked by the FBI with Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Taiba(LeT) yet, the sources said.

They said that some of the business contacts established in the club had helped Headley in doing a survey of some of locations in Mumbai ahead of the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai last year.

Details of Headley's movement in this metropolis prior to the 26/11 attack came on the back of evidence that the US national had stayed at Taj and Oberoi here--the two targeted luxury hotels and entered Nariman House, the Jewish Centre, which was attacked by Lashker militants last year in November. The businessmen had been called for questioning and their statements recorded, the sources said.

 

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