The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) discussed a plan to attack a meeting of Indian defence scientists at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai about a year before it struck the city in November 2008, killing 166 people, David Headley said in court on Tuesday.
Testifying via video link from an undisclosed location in the US for the second day, Headley told a Mumbai court that he had attended a meeting of LeT operatives in Pakistan's Muzzafarabad in 2007, where the plan to attack Mumbai was discussed.
“We made a mock Taj,” Headley said, and, “They were discussing the entrance and exit of the Taj Mahal Hotel and the location of convention halls. They had information there was a meeting of Indian defence scientists in the near future...the plan was to attack during the meeting.”
He said the meeting was attended by his Lashkar handler Sajid Mir and others and “it was decided that I should go to India.” Headley said he was tasked with conducting a reconnaissance of the hotel.
He has also detailed since yesterday how he joined the LeT and trained under the group's top leaders Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, key plotters of the 26/11 attack, for which, he said, officers of Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISIS) collaborated with them. Headley is the first person to testify for an Indian terror case from a foreign country.
Headley also told the court that his wife Faiza had complained to the US Embassy in Islamabad in January 2008 that he was involved in terrorist activities. The question then is why the US did little about the complaint. The attack on Mumbai took place in November 2008. What makes his statements even murkier is his deposition that one of his handlers, ISI Major Pasha joined Al Qaeda some years after he met him. Headley confirmed that ISI was in constant touch with LeT.