26/11 Mumbai Attacks National Security News

Court Pardons David Headley, Accepts Him As 26/11 Witness

Former FBI agent and Lashkar operative David Headley on Thursday offered to be an approver in the 26/11 case before a sessions court in Mumbai. Headley was produced before Special Judge GA Sanap via video conferencing from an undisclosed location in the US.

As reported by The Hindu:

“I have revealed the charging documents filed against me in this (Mumbai) court. It charges me with the same conduct for which I was charged in the US. I plead guilty in the past to the charges in the US and I admitted I was a participant in these charges. I accepted responsibility for my role in those offences in my plea agreement. I have also agreed to make myself available as a witness in this court. I appear here ready to answer questions regarding these events if I receive a pardon from this court. That’s all. Thank you,” Headley said in a statement he made to the court.

Headley, who was arrested by the US authorities, confessed to them about his role in the 26/11 attacks in 2010. 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.

As per fresh reports the Court has pardoned David Headley and accepted him as a witness in the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks case.

However our analysts at GreatGameIndia would like to point out that David Headley the main accused was involved in not just the 26/11 Attacks but others as well. Headley’s wife told US officials that he was involved in 2007 Samjuta Express train blasts. Also interestingly Shiv Sena parliamentarian Vivek Pandit has said on record that Headley was involved in 1993 bomb blasts as well. Headley was a Drug Enforcement Agent working closely with the CIA. He was caught many a times in Germany, Pakistan, US for drug smuggling. Infact his Canadian wife had filed a petition for immigration to US in which she had described Headley’s training with the terrorists; still the US authorities didn’t take any action. Now for 26/11 he did the entire reconnaissance of Mumbai during which time he was friends with Mahesh Bhatt’s son Rahul Bhatt. The US never disclosed to India who funded for all those trips and Indian investigators never bothered to pursue it demand it from them.

Moreover, as explained in our 26/11 Series there were 2 parallel and distinct operations that were carried out during the 2008 Mumbai Attacks.

  1. The attack on Taj, Oberoi, Trident, Leopold and Nariman House along the seashore.
  2. The attack at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Cama Hospital and Rangbhavan Lane in the heart of the city.

These two attacks were different in all respects as already explored in our report titled 26/11 Mumbai Attacks – A High Profile Meet & An Assassination.

The two targets, the ATS Chief and the three buildings that were selected, are diagonally opposite in nature and texture. The former is definitely not in favor of either the underworld or the foreign intelligence agencies that want to penetrate into India using the cover of rightwing militant organizations.

The latter mentioned targets, Taj and Oberoi hosted ‘distinguished guests’ during the last week of November 2008. Most of them were coordinators of intelligence in South Asia. Few names that resided there being, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and elite members of President Elect Barack Obama’s Global Economic Team in India attending the “American Foreign Policy After Elections Conference” organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Aspen Institute India in Mumbai.

The purpose of this conference in India at Taj was to advocate for the planned Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. Though strongly opposed by the Bush Administration and Pakistan’s ISI Intelligence Service in the past, Obama had planned on making it a ‘centerpiece’ towards his goal of achieving peace in Southeast Asia, and to which Kissinger had stated: “The pipeline will be a natural thing to do and I expect the new administration [to be headed by Obama] to begin discussions with Iran.”


Were these distinguished guests rethinking how to save falling western economies with the aid of India? As often, history makes it a habit to repeat itself; in the last 200 years whenever the West was in trouble, the East India Companies (EIC) or subsequent managing partners of EICs plundered India’s human and natural resources for their survival. In this ‘Great Game’ they kept other geo-political players at bay. Since more than the last decade, under UPA and NDA administrations, Indian foreign policy and domestic economic policy is veering dangerously closer to US-British-Israeli economic interests, viewed by other geo-political players as an encroachment. Did other geo-political players view this meeting as a penetration of their turf?

The area of intelligence, counter-intelligence and the protection of national economic resources is not a game for all. India is just waking up to it whereas the west and other geo-political players are veterans. It is a game played by the rules of these veteran players and we cannot define them, but have to understand and play by them.

 “The Art of War” written by TsunZu, which is considered to be the bible of strategy by many says “Expect what your enemy wants you to do and do exactly the opposite to win the war”. The quote sounds deceptively simple but has far reaching implications on the survival of empires and governments.

In that light it would be unwise to yield to the enemy trap be it the recent Paris Attacks or Mumbai Attacks of 2008. As is the case with many of the terrorist groups, they are controlled not only by the states that sponsor terrorism but by the nations that sponsor the states that sponsor such terrorism too. So though all evidence eventually leads to the North Western frontier of India, to learn who instigates these groups, their actions, their modus operandi and their previous track record would guide us in doing what we as a third world neutral sovereign country should do. We hope to make a beginning in this new direction.

GGI News Analysis