Mumbai: Pakistani-American LeT operative David Headley today told the court via video-link that terrorists from Pakistan had attempted to attack Mumbai twice, but had eventually failed, before the successful 26/11 strikes that had killed 166 people. This disposition was the first of its kind, for an act of terror, from foreign soil.
The deposition began at 7 AM. Headley had stated that he was an ardent follower of the Let and had visited India on recce missions seven to eight times before the deadly strike in 2008; and even once after that.
Headley who was declared an approver in the 26/11 case had mentioned about Sajid Mir, another accused, as his contact at the LeT.
He told the court that the two unsuccessful attempts were made in September and October respectively. The final strike was on November 26th, 2008.
Headley had also stated that he was highly influenced by Hafiz Saeed, the head of Lakshar-e-Toiba, and had joined their first course in 2002 at Muzaffarabad.
He had changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley in 2006. This was meant to give him a better chance of setting up a business in India. Currently, Headley is serving his 36-year prison term in the US for his role in the terror attacks.
“I applied for the change in name on February 5, 2006, in Philadelphia. I changed my name to David Headley to get a new passport under that name. I wanted a new passport so that I could enter India with an American identity” said David Headley.
“After I got a new passport I disclosed it to my colleagues in LeT of which one of them was Sajid Mir, the person with whom I was dealing with. The objective of coming to India was to set up an office/business so that I can live in India. Before the first visit, Sajid Mir gave me instructions to make a general video of Mumbai,” he had told the court.
He had also mentioned about his visa application, wherein all the details furnished were incorrect to protect his original ID.