MUMBAI: Pakistani-American terror agent David Headley told a special court on Friday that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) cancelled its plan to attack the naval base, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Siddhivinayak temple because the security arrangements at these places were in order.
In his deposition made from the US over video link, Headley said that he tried developing close relations with a Shiv Sena member as he thought LeT would be interested in attacking Shiv Sena Bhavan or assassinating its then head, the late Bal Thackeray.
“(ISI official) Major Iqbal expressed disapproval of certain areas I had recceed. I felt he was unhappy because Mumbai airport was not included as one of the targets. I had visited and videographed BARC. Major Iqbal told me that at some future date I should recruit some employee of BARC who would give us classified information and would be ready to work for the ISI,” he said. Headley claimed he did not know who was living at Chhabad House. “Sajid Mir and Pasha asked me to survey this place and said it was an international location as it had Jewish and Israeli people.”
Headley identified a photograph of Ajmal Kasab, one of the 26/11 attackers. “Rahmatullah Ali (God bless you),” he said, looking at Kasab’s picture. He told the court that Sajid Mir was upset that Kasab had been caught. He said he had met a Shiv Sena worker, Rajaram Rege, at Shiv Sena Bhavan in 2006-07. Rege said the meeting only lasted two minutes. “He wanted to see Shiv Sena Bhavan from inside. I declined,” he told reporters.
Headley told the court that Sajid Mir had got the attackers Indian cell phones so they could be guided during the attack and he had tested the signals at Wagah.
He admitted he had purchased red and yellow wrist bands from Siddhivinayak temple that he handed over to the attackers to wear so they would pass as Hindus.
He also said he had purchased five books from a shop at the Taj Hotel on his last visit. “...I purchased five books. One of the books was ‘Indian Army Vision 2020’. I was interested to know the progress of the Indian Army in the future,” he said.
He also told the court that he had informed his first wife Shazia about the attacks. “On November 28, 2008, Shazia sent me an e-mail congratulating me for the attacks,” he said.