The Pakistan Army confirmed on Tuesday that a retired Major has been detained for suspected links with David Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, arrested last month in the United States for plotting a terror attack in Denmark, reports The Hindu.
Denying a report that serving officers were picked up in connection with the case that was being probed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Major-General Athar Abbas, the military spokesman, said only one retired Major was picked two months ago and was now being questioned by intelligence agencies.
Headley, a Pakistani whose original name was Daoud Gilani, and Rana were arrested by the FBI in Chicago in October for conspiring to kill an editor and a cartoonist of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which published 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.
The FBI also found that they were in communication with the Laskhar-e-Toiba in Pakistan. Indian officials are reported to be investigating if the two men, who travelled to India before last year's Mumbai carnage, were involved in the planning of the attacks.
The retired Major was picked up after he was found to be in communication with the duo, the military spokesman said.
He was now being “detained by intelligence agencies for further finding out about this communication”.
It is believed that the information that led to the retired Major's arrest came from the FBI, but the spokesman said he could not confirm this.
The Major retired two years ago, Major-General Abbas told The Hindu, but declined to give any more details about him, and what his duties were when he was in service.
“After someone retires from the Army, he is a private citizen, and he is free to do what he likes,” the spokesman said, distancing the institution from the detained major. The retired army official's suspected links to Headley and Rana, both of whom are alleged by Indian officials to be LeT operatives, are bound to strengthen suspicions voiced by many analysts that sections within the Army remain supportive of and sympathetic towards the militant group.
Earlier, Associated Press said five Pakistani army officers, two of them serving lieutenant-colonels and one a retired brigadier, had been were detained for their links with Headley and Rana.
Major-General Abbas said the report was “completely incorrect,” and the only person detained was the retired Major.