Washington, May 28: Mumbai attack co-accused David Headley was asked by Major Iqbal, his handler in Pakistan's intelligence agency, to lay low after the carnage and not to contact him as there was intense pressure and increased international surveillance of their activities post 26/11.
Sometime in February 2009, Headley, who has been accused of being involved in the planning of November 2008 Mumbai attack, met Major Iqbal in Lahore who informed him that the investigation into 26/11 was intense. Headley during the ongoing trial of 26/11 co-accused Tawahhur Rana this week said Major Iqbal was a serving officer in the ISI. Iqbal has been indicted by US federal prosecutors for his alleged involvement in Mumbai attack. Pakistan has strongly refuted allegations of ISI involvement.
“Major Iqbal instructed Headley to remove any incriminating materials from his house, and to avoid contact with him,” says the Government's Santiago Proffer, which was unsealed this week.
This was also acknowledged by Headley during the questioning this week in a Chicago court. Headley told the court this week that he in fact was “disappointed “and “upset” when Major Iqbal seemed to be discouraging when he showed him the fresh surveillance videos of the planned terrorist strike in Copenhagen in early 2009.
“However, Major Iqbal was more concerned with the attention that the Mumbai attacks had received and instructed Headley to lay low,” the court documents said. But Headley said that he was determined and wanted to go ahead with the project, so he went to Pasha and Illyas Kashmiri, who were eager to go ahead.
At this time Pasha sought to convince Headley to leave Lashkar and carry out the attacks with the assistance of Kashmiri instead.“After talking more with Pasha over the course of a few days, Headley agreed to meet with Kashmiri. Pasha gave Headley an Al Qaeda video that discussed the cartoons and the bombing of Denmark's embassy in Islamabad,” the documents said.
Fresh court documents and proceedings of the court this week indicates that Major Iqbal was very enthusiastic about the terrorist attack in Copenhagen and as late as October 2008, he was fully involved in it.
In fact, in October 2008, Major Iqbal said that he was surprised that an attack had not happened already.But given the intense international pressure on Pakistan post 26/11, he was feeling the heat and asked Headley to keep away from the terrorists activities for some time.PTI