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'FBI Knew of Mumbai Attacks Beforehand'

By Press TV

October 16, 2010 "
Press TV" -- A media report says that US intelligence officials were aware of plans to attack Mumbai years before the terrorist incident killed more than 170 people in India's main port city in 2008.

A report published by the Washington Post on Wednesday said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been tipped off in 2005 about an American national, who masterminded attacks on the Indian financial hub three years later.

The man identified as David Coleman Headley underwent intensive training with banned militant groups in Pakistan, the report added.

Based on the report, Headley's wife told FBI agents that her husband was in close contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the group blamed by India for the deadly attacks on Mumbai.

The report also says Headley went to Mumbai five times to scout landmark locations and targets for the attack on the city.

The report comes months after the Pakistani interior ministry suggested that the Mumbai attack were planned outside Pakistan.

"An initial probe conducted by a three-member team set up by the Interior Ministry has concluded that the 26/11 attacks were planned outside Pakistan," Pakistan's Dawn News quoted unnamed sources as saying in 2009.

The British intelligence service, MI5, however, had earlier said that it had uncovered links between the terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks and UK nationals.

"We have looked at individuals' communications, where they have been and so on and found they have got connections with most countries including the UK...," said MI5 Director General Jonathan Evans in early January 2009.

Pakistan has rejected the involvement of its government in the attacks, saying that "non-state actors" were involved in the incident.

Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors have soured since the incident.


FBI got tip-off on Headley's activities in 2005?

By NDTV Correspondent

October 16, 2010 "NDTV" -- New
Delhi: In a new revelation on 26/11 terrorist David Headley, The Washington Post reported that three years before the Mumbai terror attack, the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) agents got a tip that an American businessman was training in Pakistan with the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The previously undisclosed allegations against David Coleman Headley, who became a key figure in the plot that killed 166 people, came from his wife after a domestic dispute that resulted in his arrest in 2005.

The paper goes on to say that Headley's wife gave three interviews to FBI agents in which she told them that he was an active militant in the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, had trained extensively in its Pakistani camps, and had shopped for night-vision goggles and other equipment.

The wife also allegedly told agents that Headley had bragged of working as a paid US informant while he trained with the terrorists in Pakistan. Federal officials say the FBI "looked into" the tip, but they declined to say, if any, action was taken.

However, reacting to the newspaper reports US Amabssador to India, Timothy J Roemer said, "We are looking into published reports about possible information related to David Headley that goes back before the Mumbai attacks and how such information may have been handled."

Headley was jailed briefly in New York on charges of domestic assault but was not prosecuted. He wasn't arrested until 11 months after the Mumbai attack, when British intelligence alerted US authorities that he was in contact with Al-Qaida operatives in Europe.

Headley, a Chicago-based American with roots in Pakistan, had confessed of conducting several recce missions as part of the planning for the ghastly attack on India's financial capital in November 2008.

After being arrested in October 2009, the 49-year old entered into a plea bargain with the US government in March 2010 and offered to be available to foreign investigators through deposition, video conferencing or letters rogatory.

Officers of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other law officers had traveled to Chicago in May in order to interrogate David Headley.



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