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Pune blast: An execution of Headley's plan?

Source: PTI
February 14, 2010 20:50 IST
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Security agencies today did not rule out the possibility of execution of plans by Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Tayiba of the places recced by David Headley, an American terror suspect, arrested in the United States last October.

The areas around Bhaba Atomic Research Centre in Trombay, film studios, NTPC cold storage are among some of the places where Headley had conducted reconnaissance till March last year, official sources said.

The last visit of the US terror suspect was already believed to finalise synchronised terror strikes on Jewish houses located in five cities at the instance of Lashker-e-Tayiba.

Headley, born to a Pakistani father and whose earlier name was Daood Gilani, has been charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for conspiring in the audacious 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, which left over 160 dead, including six foreigners.

Headley had carried out recce of Israeli airlines -- El AI-- office located at Cuffe Parade in March this year before moving to the national capital where he chose to stay in a small hotel at Pahargunj area adjacent to a Chabad House, barely 300 metres from the hotel -- De Holiday Inn, they said.

He later travelled to Pushkar in the outskirts of Ajmer in Rajasthan where he insisted on a room opposite a Jewish prayer centre claiming he was a Jew and wanted 'holy sight.'

Headley later moved to Goa where he stayed at a guest house located in Anjuna village along the coast of Arabian sea before proceeding towards Pune where he recced the area around Koregaon Park -- a place where the blast took place last night.

It is also believed that he wanted to target the foreigners coming to the Osho Ashram. Headley later left for Mumbai where he again went to the Cuffe Prade area and apparently firmed up some loose ends in targeting the Israel Airways office before flying to Pakistan from the Chatrapati Shivaji airport.

While tracing Headley's movements in Mumbai, sleuths had found that he had conducted a proper reconnaissance of not only BARC but also of some Bollywood studios in the north-eastern suburbs of the city.

49-year-old Headley had travelled to Chembur and Trombay several times and filmed the exit and entry points of BARC besides the movement of employees, investigators said.

The terror suspect had also taken video shots of the nuclear facility by hiring a boat from Gateway of India. The rear side of the BARC, located on a hill top, can be seen from the Arabian Sea.

The security around the nuclear installation has been tightened and efforts were on to ensure proper cover in the mangroves, the sources said. Security of NTPC's cold storage plant in the area was also being reviewed as the security agencies were apprehensive that while filming BARC, Headley may have conducted recce of it as well.

The terror suspect is known to have been trained by LeT in the clandestine filming of vital installations.

For more on the Pune blast, click here!

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