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Evidence links Pak major to Headley: India
New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS):
Published on 11 Dec. 2009 12:52 AM IST
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There is “some evidence” to link a retired Pakistan major to David Coleman Headley, the Pakistani-American accused of conducting reconnaissance missions for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said here Thursday. Pillai also said India would like to interrogate and seek to extradite Headley, who is in US custody and has been charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with planning the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans. “We will seek access for interrogation and extradition of Headley once NIA (National Investigation Agency) completes its own probe into his links to the Mumbai attacks,” Pillai told reporters at a defence function here. Asked about the role of Abdur Rehman Hashim, a retired major in the Pakistan Army accused of playing a link between Al Qaeda and Headley, the official said: “There is some evidence about this. An FBI team is already in Pakistan.” An FBI chargesheet says Hashim coordinated the activities of Headley. The official said India’s NIA had been investigating Headley’s role in planning the Mumbai carnage blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. The FBI Monday charged Headley, alias Daood Gilani, with conducting “extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years” preceding the 26/11 terrorist attack. The accused has denied the charges. The home secretary rebutted Headley for pleading not guilty to charges that he planned the Mumbai terrorist attack. “Obviously David Headley won’t confess. We have evidence of his links with 26/11 attacks.” Pillai said the FBI team that visited India had shared with NIA evidence about Headley’s role in the attack. Headley pleads not guilty in Chicago Chicago, Dec 10: Pakistani-American David Headley, the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative arrested by FBI, pleaded not guilty on all the 12 counts against him in a Chicago court, reported NDTV. About six feet tall, white skinned with salt and pepper hair, he walked in to a crowed court room on Wednesday in leg shackles, and appeared calm and confident. On first glance, Headley looked surprisingly Anglo Saxon with almost no trace of his Pakistani parentage. “He is not guilty and we have to assume innocence until proven guilty,” said Headley’s lawyer Attorney John Theis. US says Headley is cooperating with investigators - a strategy that has worked to his advantage before. In 1998, Headley was convicted of conspiring to smuggle heroin into the US from Pakistan. According to reports, he served only 15 months after providing information to authorities. His co-defendant got 10 years. When asked what are the chances that Indian authorities will get to interrogate Headley, his lawyer John Theis said: “That is some thing we will have to look at. I cannot assess the chances. If they make a request we will deal with it at that time.” So far, Indian authorities have not been allowed access to Headley or his co-conspirator Tawahar Rana. US officials have blamed bureaucratic and procedural hurdles for this delay. Despite 26/11 being the core of the FBI chargesheet against Headley, and an extradition treaty in place between India and the US, the question now is does the fact that Headley is cooperating with US authorities hurt the chances of him ever standing trial in India.

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