Why is the USA not allowing India to interrogate American national David Headley, the Mumbai 26/11 terror attack suspect of Pakistani origin. Is it because Headley is also an American spy? This has become a hot news topic in the Indian media. Headley, and accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana, was arrested by FBI in October for conspiring to bomb public places in India.
David Headley was born in Washington, D. C., where his father, Sayed Salim Gilani, worked for the Voice of America, and his mother, Serrill Headley, was a secretary. Danyal Gilani, spokesman for the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousaf Raza Gillani, is Headley’s half brother. (See here…)
Top Indian official sources said that there is a strong suspicion that US agency CIA knew about David Headley’s (real name Daood Gilani) link with the Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) one year before Mumbai attack but did not convey it (to Indian officials) when he was freely travelling across India, reports The Times of India.
Mysteriously, the visa papers of Headley and Rana have gone missing from the Indian Consulate in Chicago. More here…
Such allegations would give credence to the suspicions in the Indian subcontinent that the US intelligence networks themselves are responsible for encouraging terrorist networks to destabilize those governments in the region who are not subservient to the American interests/orders. For long Kashmir has been cited as one important case where geo-political (not just religious) reasons prompt terrorism from afar.
In the murky world of Washington power-politics, and the CIA at Langley, American policy-makers had been using many notorious people, including Lee Harvey Oswald and Saddam Hussein, as “double agents”. Let us also not forget America’s current most hunted man, Osama bin-Laden, who was earlier their favourite fighter against the former Soviet Union’s empire building ambitions in Afghanistan.
The Times of India continues: “The investigators believe that the US agencies kept away the information from India and never allowed the Pakistani- origin Headley to get ‘exposed’.
“Headley, the 49-year old terror suspect, arrested by FBI for his role in Mumbai attacks, had visited India in March 2009 — four months after (an earlier) Mumbai attack carried out by LeT — but FBI still did not inform India that Headley is a LeT operative, apparently fearing he could be arrested in India.
“The sources said that they apprehended that if Headley got less punishment in court then India would have a reasonable ground to believe that Headley was a US agent and also working for LeT.
“It could also add credence to the belief that there was a plea bargain between Headley and US agencies.
“During his multiple visits to India, Headley had spent a lot of money running into lakhs of rupees through credit cards issued by American banks and in fake Indian currency, believed to have been brought from Pakistan.
“Indian investigators were now trying to find out who had paid his credit card bills in the American banks.”
The Washington-born son of a former Pakistani diplomat and American mother, Headley reportedly made a number of trips to India over the past few years visiting many places including Mumbai and befriending Bollywood stars, writes The Hindustan Times.
“The Times suggested that Headley could have been a member of the US Drug Enforcement Agency which allowed him to make frequent trips to Pakistan and gain access to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group.
“Headley was arrested for heroin smuggling in 1998 in New York, according to reports, which was when he is alleged to have been recruited by the DEA.
“India blames the LeT for planning and executing the Mumbai siege in November 2008 when 10 gunmen targeted multiple locations in the commercial capital, killing 166 people including six Americans…”
Another report says that Headley posed as a Jew..Why should he pose as a Jew?….More here… To burnish his fake Jewish credentials, Mr Headley even carried a book called How to Pray like a Jew, the FBI says. The FBI appears to have placed him under surveillance after noticing his frequent movements between India, Pakistan, the Gulf and Europe. (See here…)
Some in India are asking whether the US troops would have invaded India if an Indian national was suspected in a conspiracy to bomb places in America, and whose interrogation was to be refused by India. What is the Indian government going to do now?
Will the Indian Prime Minister be forced to bite the American president’s hand that he lovingly held in the White House recently (in the presence of the gate-crashers!!!)?
Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.)
Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department’s SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi.
In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF’s Eco-tourism policy.
He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on “Development Journalism” to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years.
In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India — West Bengal and Orissa.
Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia.
Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there.
He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation.
And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.