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Headley’s Real Connections

By Sajjad Shaukat

During her latest visit to Pakistan on July 19 this year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the interrogation of David Headley, a Pakistani-American terror suspect linked to the Mumbai attacks, has thrown up a “revealing set of facts” that have been shared with Pakistani authorities. She further elaborated, “I don’t know the specifics (of the revelations made by Headley) but I know…Headley was “fully cooperative and he was willing to explain in great detail a lot of what he had done over the years.”

Ms. Clinton also revealed that Headley told Indian and American investigators that the Mumbai attacks were carried out by the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba. Clinton maintained that Headley and Faisal Shahzad…responsible for the botched car bomb attack in New York, were radicalised in the US but were “facilitated, directed and operationalised” from Pakistan.

However, in wake of her visit to Islamabad, the main aim to revive the case of David Headley by Hillary Clinton was to please India and to tarnish the image of Pakistan. Notably, we cannot see the Headley drama in isolation, it is part of conspiracy and blame game against Pakistan. In this respect, sometimes American and Indian high officials accuse Pakistan and its intelligence agencies with colse ties with the Afghan Taliban, sometimes they blame them for cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan and now they have linked Headley with them after his admission which itself is part of a plot against Pakistan.

David Coleman Headley 49, a US citizen, American-born Pakistani was accused by US federal authorities in Chicago, in complaints unsealed on October 27, 2009, of plotting against the employees of a newspaper in Copenhagen. Headley was accused of traveling to Denmark to scout the building of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, and a nearby Synagogue for an attack by terrorists.

On December 8, 2009, the FBI additionally accused Headley of conspiring to bomb targets in Mumbai, providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant Pakistani group—besides aiding and abetting the murder of six US citizens in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Headley pleaded guilty to all charges on March 18, 2010.  He faces life in prison and a three million dollar fine when he was sentenced.

Headley was also accused in the FBI complaints of reporting to Ilyas Kashmiri, militant commander associated with both Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Kashmiri was alleged to be a former Pakistani military commando, but he denied this in an interview in October 2009. Headley made contact with al-Qaeda member when he made two trips to North Waziristan in FATA.

An Associated Press story allegdely reported on November 24, 2009 that five Pakistan army officers including a retired brigadier and two active lieutenant colonels had been detained for questioning in Pakistan. They had all been in telephone contact with Headley. But the next day, Pakistan military spokesman Athar Abbas rejected such a fabricated report.

Although American and Indian investigators have used David Headley in order to link him with Pakistan, yet his real connections are concerned with Indian secret agency RAW and American CIA.

As regards CIA, on 27 November 2009, under the caption: Is Headley an American agent who turned rogue?, The Times of India, while connecting David Headley with CIA pointed out, “It is a plot that could be straight out of the bluff-and-double-bluff worlds created by John le Carre and Frederick Forsyth. Only, it seems to have played out in real life to the tragic misfortune of hundreds of innocent people. The tantalising possibility that David Coleman Headley may have been a US undercover agent who turned rogue is vexing many here as American authorities keep the US-based Lashkar jihadi out of the reach of Indian investigators. The paper wrote that Headley was used to infiltrate the Lashkar…he may have continued to give information to his American handlers”. The Time also indicated, US agencies were perhaps aware that Headley was in India…during his interactions in India, Headley frequently introduced himself as a CIA agent.”

It is mentionable that The Newyork Times disclosed in a profile in 1998 that Headley was convicted of conspiring to smuggle heroin into US from Pakistan. It reported, “Court records show that after his arrest, he provided so much information about his own involvement with drug trafficking which stretched back more than a decade and about his Pakistani suppliers that he was sentenced to less than two years in jail and later went to Pakistan to conduct undercover surveillance operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).”
Without any doubt, this proves that Headley had a deal with the American authorities which allowed him to get away with mild punishment in exchange for a promise of cooperation. It also means that he was a known entity to the counter-terror and drug enforcement authorities in the US.

It is of particular attention that in the beginning, Washington had refused to give Indian investigators access to David Headley as American CIA wanted to conceal some facts about him. But afterwards, access was allowed because the CIA had given temptation to Headley with the promise to release him.

Meanwhile, to a query on the perception in New Delhi that Washington was not cooperating with India on the Mumbai terror investigations, a US official refused to agree with the view and pointed out to the Headley case, saying: “the cooperation is exceptional” between the two countries on the Mumbai attacks and it would continue to make progress. He further explained, “your home minister P Chidambaram had a very successful visit to the US and as a result of that visit we are proceeding in a number of directions to expand our consultations on specific cooperation.”

The fact of the matter is that Mumbai terror attacks were collaboration between RAW, CIA and Hindu terrorists. While In this respect, David Headley was doing his assigned job in connection with that catastrophe. He had to infiltrate the RAW-trained fundamentalists and CIA-insturcted groups so as to promote attacks that could then be blamed on Pakistan. Besides, another major aim of those attack was to arrest the suspected Muslims in some western country and to distort the image of Pakistan in the western countries through a deliberate propaganda campaign.

Nontheless, David Headley who has now been used to implicate Pakistan by Hillary Clinton and other officials had, in fact, his real connections with Indian RAW and American CIA.

Sajjad Shaukat is a regular contributor to www.opinion-maker He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations.

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  1. Dr.A.K.Tewari says:

    @ Sajjad , If it is a fact that 26/11 event is a plot of RAW and CIA to defame Pakistan then it is clear that they got success in realizing their desired goal and now in their future operations they will openly weed out terrorists present in Pakistan without having any consideration of respect of its sovreignity . In fact we are witnessing that Drone can target any location in Pakistan without having any fear of existing international rules and regulations . So be careful while posting such fabricated stories as it will go against the interests of Pakistan .

  2. neel123 says:

    The article is just another example of the Pakistanis in total denial….. another attempt to justify state sponsored terrorism.

    The author thinks this David Hadley ( aka Doud Gilani ) saga is a conspiracy to tarnish Pakistan’s image.

    For over three decades, Pakistani Army is engaged in breeding terrorists and using them as instruments of foreign policy …. albeit with American blessings ….. !

    The good thing is, now the Americans are tightening the screw on Pakistan ……. past sins of several decades is finally catching up with Pakistan…… there is no escape this time ……. !

  3. Dr.A.K.Tewari says:

    Foolish attempts are beingt made to confuse the world through conspiracy theory about the 9/11 and 26/11 episode to justify the action of terrorists by authors having Jehadee mentality .In fact they are still not satisfied with the sufferings of their community and trying to instigate the U.S to use the ultimate weapon to eradicate all of them in one stroke . If the misadventure continued further there will be no hesitation to use such weapons to ensure victory in the on going war .

  4. Captain Nemo says:

    First many in Pakistan claimed the Mumbai attacker was an Indian. Proof? A thread on his wrist, nevermind his father in Pakistan had already identified him. Then they claimed terrorists in Pakistan were Indians masquarading as Jihadis. Proof? SUpposedly the d*** in a small pic of some large dead guy. Now that that Alert! website is not so popular, we have this more reasonable looking website where such “proof” would not look decent. So write something quoting here and there so that it seems you are up-to-date on events, and then just make assertions “the fact is this … the fact is that”.

    I mean, really. Fifteen years back people were arguing on the internet that Pakistan had won the 1971 war. Pointed out to them the before and after maps of Pakistan, and the logic shifted to “our airforce had a higher kill ratio”, as if wars are fought on a per-capita basis. Then they argued Pakistan was actually secular and does not discriminate against anyone because anyone who insults Islam is punished. Whew. And in the meantime, after years of proudly hosting jehadis and singing the praises of their depth in strategery
    now it is a fact that Indians are carrying out false flags in Mumai to be able to defame Pakistan. Perhaps all the attempt at creating trouble didn’t work out so its time to start trying our hand at PR?

    ‘Thought one half was arab.
    The other half was Turk
    Went fighting for the Taleebaaj
    Turned out a basic dhak.

  5. This is all theater folks. Kabuki to keep people distracted while the hidden goal of engineering the world towards a catastrophe of un-imaginable proportions continue apace.

    Everywhere, the divide and rule play is becoming more and more obvious, yes? All th e”divides” are becoming more and more pronounced.

    Rich/poor, developed/undeveloped, black/white……etc….

    The fact that India and Pakistan are divided at all is the biggest tragedy.

    The rest is just tamasha.


  6. Richard says:

    Oh for heaven’s sake, none of these terrorists are “agents gone rogue”. They are working for exactly who they are supposed to be working for. The CIA.

  7. Casper Mascarenhas says:

    There’ll be more and more blows and they will persist till this stupid veil of denial is lifted voluntarily and the horrible reality is forcibly made seen.
    Till then, persist with crooked logic and twisted arguments. The LORD sees the Truth, but waits till the right time.

  8. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  9. nice post. thanks.

  10. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article


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