Thursday, November 30, 2023

Headley admits to getting terror funds from LeT, ISI

Mumbai, Feb 11 (IANS) The Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley here on Thursday revealed he received terror funds, which included counterfeit currency, from both the LeT and Pakistan’s ISI which was used for carrying out terror-related activity in India.

Continuing his deposition via video-conferencing from a US jail before Special TADA Court Judge G.A. Sanap, Headley said that the funds came through both Major Iqbal of Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence and his main contact in LeT Sajid Mir, besides his LeT associate, medico Tahawwur Rana, currently undergoing a 14-year jail in the US.

Rana had given an amount of around Rs.67,605 in October 2006, followed by $500 the next month (November 2006), another Rs.17,636 that month-end, and in December 2006, $1,000.

Besides, Headley said he had received $25,000 before he left for India, another Pakistani Rs.40,000 from Sajid Mir and Indian Rs.2000 from Major Iqbal that year, in January 2008, LeT’s Major Pasha gave Rs.80,000 while Major Iqbal gave another Rs.1,500.

During questioning by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, he said on one or two occasions, Major Iqbal had also given him counterfeit currency notes.

Headley said Rana had visited Mumbai before the 26/11 terror attacks and was advised to leave for his own safety before they were actually executed.

Earlier, Headley told the Mumbai Special TADA Court that the Reserve Bank of India had rejected his application seeking clearance to open a business account in June 2007.

Making this revelation, Headley said he had received funds for terror from both LeT and Pakistan’s ISI which was used for gathering intelligence and other works in India, including starting a business.

With this funding, Headley said, he opened an office in south Mumbai’s Tardeo area on September 14, 2006 and the following month, on October 12, 2006, he even applied to Reserve Bank of India for permission to open a business account.

Interestingly, his visa consultant in Chicago, Raymond Sanders – who had earlier assisted him in procuring an Indian visa with false information – also helped him in the RBI formality, but the country’s apex bank rejected the application on June 1, 2007.

In January 2007, hoping to launch a business in India, Headley had hired an office in Tardeo A/C Market for Rs.13,500 per month and named his landlord as Vora and Maroo Bharucha who was his secretary at the office.

The opening of office and application to open a business bank account were in consonance with the earlier plans by his handlers who wanted him to start a business in India.

Thursday’s deposition was in continuation of the evidence which he recorded since Monday, with a day’s interruption on Wednesday owing to a technical glitch in the videolink.

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