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'Headley selected landing sites for 26/11 terrorists'

By Yoshita Singh
March 19, 2010 10:31 IST
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Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative David Coleman Headley had taken boat trips around the Mumbai harbour in April 2008 and stored information of possible landing sites in a global positioning system (GPS) device later used by the LeT to carry out the 26/11 terror attacks, court documents have revealed.

In a meeting with co-conspirators in Pakistan in March 2008, Headley discussed potential landing sites in Mumbai for a team of attackers that would arrive by sea, according to a plea agreement that was submitted in a Chicago court. Headley had pleaded guilty to all 12 terror charges against him in the court on Thursday.

"Following the discussion, Headley returned to Mumbai with a GPS device and performed the surveillance, including taking boat trips in and around the Mumbai harbour and entering locations in the GPS device," the agreement read.

After returning to Pakistan, Headley again met with various co-conspirators and, among other things, he advised them about the potential landing sites.

During these meetings, he learned that attack plans were being delayed, in part, "to wait for when the sea was calmer".

Back in Chicago, Headley shared all this information with co-accused Tahawwur Rana.

Headley returned to Mumbai in July 2008 and conducted extensive video surveillance of various targets, "including but not limited to the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Oberoi Hotel, the Chabad House, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station, the Leopold Cafe, as well as potential landing sites for the team of attackers", the document said.

An LeT member also informed Headley that a team of "attackers was being trained in a variety of combat skills, they would be traveling to Mumbai by sea and using the landing site recommended by the defendant, the team would be fighting to the death and would not attempt to escape following the attacks. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station would be one target of the attacks, and the team would be using a GPS device and remain in telephonic contact with Lashkar Member A during the attacks," the agreement said.

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