A sessions court finally allowed police’s plea to try Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley as an accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case. Headley double crossed Pakistan as well as America. Since he was deployed by the USA, there might be some sort of understanding of protection between him and the American spy agencies, in case of an arrest like situation. He should have been made an accused and faced trial. The Mumbai police on October 08 had moved an application before the court saying that Headley (who is currently serving 35 years in an American prison for his role in the terror attacks) deserves to be tried by this (Mumbai) court together with 26/11 key plotter Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal as both of them are conspirators and abettors behind the dastardly strikes on November 26, 2008.
The court will decide if he is a culprit after completion of trial. Headley, who was arrested by the US authorities, confessed to them about his role in the 26/11 attacks. In 2013, a US court sentenced him to 35 years’ imprisonment for a dozen federal terrorism crimes related to his role in the Mumbai attacks. A special court allowed the prosecution’s plea to make Pakistan-born American terror operative David Coleman Headley an accused in the November 26, 2008, terror attacks. Headley will be produced before the court on December 10 via video conferencing. The court has issued summons to the authorities in the US where Headley was convicted and imprisoned for his role in the attacks.
Headley is charged with conducting reconnaissance of target locations. Posing as an American, he made five extended trips to Mumbai — in September 2006, February and September 2007, and April and July 2008 — each time making videotapes of various potential targets, including those attacked in November 2008. After these trips, he travelled to Pakistan to meet Lashkar members and hand over his surveillance material. The court directed that Headley be produced via video-conferencing on December 10.
Headley is an American terrorist of Pakistani origin, and a spy who conspired with the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organization and Pakistani intelligence officers in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks. It has been alleged that, between 2002 and 2005, Headley made several trips to Pakistan for Lashkar training while simultaneously working as an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, but this is disputed. Under the direction of Lashkar chiefs, Headley performed five spying missions in Mumbai to scout targets for the attacks, which killed 168 people. The following year, he performed a similar mission in Copenhagen to help plan an attack against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which had published cartoons of Muhammad. He was arrested at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago while on his way to Pakistan in October 2009.
The Indian public has followed Headley’s story closely, considering him to be their equivalent of Osama bin Laden. U.S. authorities gave Indian investigators direct access to Headley, but some in India have questioned why the U.S. had not shared suspicions about him with Indian authorities before the Mumbai attacks. At the trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, an alleged co-conspirator, Headley gave detailed information about the participation of Pakistan’s Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in carrying out the attacks. Since his arrest and guilty plea, Headley has cooperated with U.S. and Indian authorities and given information about his associates.
The police had pleaded that the (Mumbai) court may kindly issue a letter of request to US district court of Illinois to produce Headley before this (Mumbai) court through video-conferencing. The offences with which Headley is likely to be charged by this court are distinct and separate than the offences with which he had been charged and punished in USA. The police had prayed that court may proceed (the trial) against Headley after taking cognizance of the offences committed by him. In the application, the Mumbai police had said that from the judgement passed by the US court against Headley, it was clear that he was a member of LeT and he had played an active role in the criminal conspiracy in the terror attack. The application also said that Headley has entered into a plea agreement with US in 2010 and thereby willingly and voluntarily agreed that he has committed the conspiracy. He has also been accused of intentionally aiding and abetting the LeT in Pakistan for committing illegal acts in Mumbai, mischief by fire with intent to destroy Hotel Taj, Oberoi and Nariman House, offences under Explosives Act and Explosives Substances Act as also under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. A native of Beed district of Maharashtra, Jundal was interrogated after he was brought here from Delhi where he had been arrested following his deportation from Saudi Arabia in June 2012. According to Jundal’s confession, LeT training camps enjoyed full support from local, federal police and paramilitary organisations in Pakistan.
As per the chargesheet, after fleeing Maharashtra, Jundal entered Bangladesh in May 2006, where he was received by an ISI agent. He then used a boarding pass issued in a fictitious name to fly PIA flight to Pakistan. In Maharashtra, Jundal is also accused of involvement in Aurangabad arms haul case, 2010 German Bakery blast case in Pune, and Nashik police academy attack conspiracy case. In the case Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was caught alive and later he was tried in court and was executed. Let’s see, one by one India will succeed in eliminating terrorists.
(With inputs from agencies)