With the acquittal of 26/11 accused Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin, Indian investigators need Lashkar operative David Headley more then ever.
The Mumbai police had alleged that both Ansari and Ahmed had conducted a recce of Mumbai and provided maps to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which were ultimately used in the 26/11 attacks.
However, the special court handling the 26/11 terror attacks case stated on Monday that the maps procured from Ansari and Sabahuddin were too immature to be used for planning a terror attack.
The Indian investigation agencies will now heavily rely on Headley who, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had shot images and had made detailed maps of the targets and passed them on to the LeT.
Intelligence Bureau officials said India could now press harder for access to Headley as the two men (Ansari and Ahmed) had been let off the hook.
Also, the trail in 26/11 case will incomplete without the without Headley's statements on the details of planning the attacks.
A team of Indian agencies will be visiting the US to interrogate Headley soon, investigation officials said.
No terror case can be complete until the man who provided the logistics is brought to book, said IB sources.
Although Headley has confessed to the FBI that he had conducted a recce of the targets in Mumbai, this is will not be enough to nail him in India. Only if Headley confesses the same details to Indian agencies can the confessions be used in the 26/11 case in India, said investigators.
A magistrate might accompany the Indian investigation team to record Headley's statements, which will be submitted to the special court that is trying the case.
Although an Indian court can convict Headley, he cannot be punished in India as it would amount to double jeopardy as per the Indian jurisprudence, said sources.
Investigators will also interrogate Headley on the Indian contacts he had when he had conducted a recce in Mumbai.
"We are sure that there were men of Indian origin involved in this case and Headley would be able to throw more light on the same," said an official.