Mumbai attack co-accused David Coleman Headley on Wednesday testified he had conducted a surveillance of the German Bakery in Pune and identified Chabad houses in Delhi, Pushkar and Pune as potential bombing targets.
Headley, a Pakistani-American, said this while wrapping up his testimony after five days of questioning by Prosecution and Defence lawyers in the trial of his childhood friend and another 26/11 co-accused Tawahhur Hussain Rana in a Chicago court.
On the sixth day of the trial, Prosecutors called FBI agents to bolster the testimony of Headley, a LeT operative who is government’s star witness in the trial.
Headley also testified that he had lied at times about certain events in his life during the trial.
Headley said he made a video of the German Bakery which was bombed on February 13, 2010 killing 17 people and injuring 60 others.
While Headley was under arrest by FBI, the German Bakery was attacked.
Headley, who ended his testimony, said that he had made a list of Chabad houses in Delhi, Pushkar and Pune which could be targeted.
The German Bakery is located near the Chabad House and an Osho Ashram in Pune. The German Bakery blast was a part of the Karachi Project- an LeT project with the Indian Mujahideen.
Headley also said that he had plans to write a book and make a movie on the events in his life. Rana’s lawyer Patrick Blegen said that Headley had told several people including his wife so.
“If I write a book, I can make huge amounts of money,” Headley said.
Earlier, Headley had told FBI that he did not carry out surveillance of the Bakery, but later confessed to the Indian agents of National Investigation Agency that he had conducted its surveillance.
Headley has pleaded guilty to 12 terrorism charges related to Mumbai attacks and other plots in the wake of his 2009 arrest here. The Pakistani-American also said that he made a “fool” of Rana, a Chicago businessman, by involving him in the 26/11 conspiracy. “I made a fool of him (Rana).
Poor fellow was stuck in this for no fault of his. I made a fool of him in getting to assist me on what I did. I made a fool of him,” Headley told Rana’s lawyer.
While Headley has pleaded guilty, Rana has maintained that he is not guilty in the charge of “support to terrorism”. Defence attorneys said Headley lied to the law enforcement agencies and implicated Rana in the plot in a bid to save his life.
Headley expressed remorse at the killing of Indian people at the trial. “You are remorseful for what you have done?” asked Blegen. “Yes, I feel bad about my grievances and the way I went to address them,” Headley said.
The defence lawyers said Headley lived multiple lives and used his friend over the years. Rana and Headley met as teenagers at a Pakistani military school.
“As expected this guy has a very troubled history and past,” Blegen said, adding, “It’s my sense that he answered the questions affirmatively because we had a stack of papers to contradict him.”
“He lied before in the past,” Blegen said.
FBI special agent Gary Turlington testified he found a letter at Headley’s apartment from Raymond sanders to open a Mumbai branch of First World Immigration run by Rana. The letter was on a notebook printed in Mumbai, he said.
FBI senior leader of response team testified that on Oct.3, 2009 Douglas Seccombe, who had a search warrant for Headley’s house, found a backpack, suitcase and plastic bag with clothes.
He also found a map of Copenhagen and a Jyllands Posten newspaper, a guide to praying in synagogues, a
notebook with phone numbers and names, a memory stick to record photos, videos and conversation.
A plot was being hatched to attack the newspaper for publishing controversial cartoons on Prophet Mohammed but the strike was not carried out.
According to Defense lawyers, Rana was unlikely to testify at the trial.
Patraick Blegan said Rana’s defense team was still making a final decision but it was unlikely the Chicago businessman would take the stand. Asian Age