David Coleman Headley

United States President Barack Obama’s visit to India is just a few weeks away but New Delhi and Washington DC are caught up in an ugly sparring over the US government’s withholding of information about David Coleman Headley, an American intelligence operative, who played a key role in the run-up to the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008 (better known as India’s 26/11).

Add to this the fresh WikiLeaks that virtually designate the USA as an unparalleled “war criminal” in recent world history (see here), does not seem to make Obama’s forthcoming trip to India a meaningful exercise.

Says The Indian Express: “US law enforcement authorities were warned twice — in 2005 and 2007 — by two wives of David Coleman Headley that the Pakistani-American was working for the Lashkar-e-Toiba, and planning a major terrorist attack.

“Despite those warnings, Headley roamed far and wide on Lashkar’s behalf between 2002 and 2009, receiving small arms and counter-surveillance training, scouting targets for attack, and building a network of connections that extended from Chicago to Pakistan.

“He was the Lashkar’s chief reconnaissance scout who set the stage for the terrorist group’s strike against Mumbai on November 26, 2008.” More here…

“According to recent reports on Headley’s confessions, he has spoken about the (Pakistani intelligence outfit) ISI masterminding the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and that senior ISI [Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence] bosses had visited Lashkar-e-Toiba militants in prison the attacks. Pakistan had arrested a few LeT militants soon after 26/11, but insisted that the ISI had no connection with the attacks.” More here…

The CIA and FBI’s seeming complicity with Headley is strengthened from further revelations. And that strengthens the serious concern whether the US establishment has been continuing to turn a blind eye towards (if not encouraging) Pakistan army and ISI’s terror-related activities (as it had done in Iraq through local army and police as revealed by fresh WikiLeaks).

India’s leading magazine India Today wrote: “Twenty-one people plotted 26/11, including four serving officers of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and three ex-officers of the Pakistani Army, David Coleman Headley has said in a 109-page interrogation report prepared by the National Investigative Agency (NIA).

“Of the serving ISI officers Headley named, Major Sameer Ali and Major Iqbal were already cited in a dossier sent by India to Pakistan earlier this year. Headley has now named two more: Lt-Colonel Hamza and Colonel Shah.” More here…

Who is Headley and what is his connection with the US intelligence agencies as well as terror outfits in Pakistan? Headley, now in US custody, was a quadruple agent working for the USA’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET). More here…

For my earlier article on David Coleman Headley (photo above) please see here…

On top of this damaging evidence comes the US administration’s announcement of a $2bn (£1.3bn) arms sales deal with Pakistan. The deal, to be spread out over the next five years, amounts to about a 30% increase in US funding for weapons sales to Pakistan. More here…

Long ago one sensible American diplomat had warned of serious consequences of mindless arming of Pakistan. “Strongly opposing the Richard Nixon administration’s decision to rearm Pakistan in early 1974 after India conducted its first nuclear test, the then US envoy in New Delhi had warned the White House that such a move would be ‘devastating’ for Indo-US ties.

“As the White House decided to supply arms to Pakistan, the then American Ambassador to India Daniel Patrick Moynihan drafted a cable for the State Department warning that military assistance to Pakistan will damage US-India relationship.” More here…

SWARAAJ CHAUHAN, International Columnist
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