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LeT had planned attacks on Jewish prayer halls in 5 cities

Posted by :) on December 10, 2009


Headley Visited Chabad House In New Delhi Posing As A Jew

Source : TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Delhi: Determined to spark an armed conflict between India and Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba plotted a series of strikes on Jewish prayer halls in no less than five Indian cities, a plan which if it had succeeded, would have severely tested India’s restraint over going to war.
While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had firmly ruled out use of armed force by way of retaliation after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the LeT plot involving David Coleman Headley has revealed the Pakistani-American jihadi had recced five targets, including a little known Chabad House in Delhi’s Paharganj area.
The targets were tucked away in nooks and bylanes very much like the Chabad House at Nariman Point in Mumbai which two members of the Lashkar squad attacked. He was planning synchronized terror strikes at Jewish houses in five cities including Pushkar, Goa, Pune and Mumbai. Apart from the National Defence College located in the capital, Headley went to Pushkar, famous for its annual fair, and stayed for three days in a room opposite a Jewish prayer house.
The investigations reveal Headley followed the same subterfuge as he did when he visited the Mumbai Chabad house, posing to be a Jew. It is remarkable that despite his close involvement in the Mumbai plot, he still chose to visit India with impunity and staked out Jewish establishments as he had in Denmark where his target was the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten.
The planning again underlines the determination of Lashkar to carry out strikes in India which are intended to grab international attention and snap the fragile India-Pakistan engagement. The PM had ruled out options like air strikes on terror camps in PoK despite the former Air Force chief favouring such a course of action. But another big strike will bring the government under intense political pressure.
Headley’s teaming up with Tahawwur Rana, a Pakistani of Canadian citizenship, his frequent interaction with Lashkar handlers and a “retired” Pakistani army major point to the freedom with which LeT operates in Pakistan even after its so-called arrest of some important figures charged with planning 26/11.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has found that Headley did recce of the Chabad House in Delhi which is barely 300 metres from the two hotels — De Holiday Inn and Anand — where he stayed from March 7 to March 10 before leaving for Pushkar to scout another Jewish centre.
The Chabad House in Paharganj is located in narrow lanes and is frequented generally by backpackers from Israel while either going to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh or to western parts of the country.
Sources in the agency said Headley, who had then been already under surveillance of US agencies, also visited the house and posed as Jew while carrying out his reconnaissance mission for terror group LeT. The NIA has recorded statement of a few residents who verified Headley’s visit to the Jewish centre, they added.
The new findings also solved the puzzle as to why Headley had chosen to stay in a budget hotel in Paharganj instead of staying in any posh hotels like he did during his Mumbai stay. It now appears that he used to stay in the area where he was supposed to carry out his mission. Investigators, therefore, believe that his visit to Paharganj was under a design. It could certainly be easier for him to recce the place which would be a potential target of the LeT jihadis in due course.
As a part of the same design, Headley subsequently travelled to Pushkar on the outskirts of Ajmer in Rajasthan where he insisted on a room opposite a Jewish prayer centre claiming he was a Jew and wanted “holy sight”.
The hotel staff, in their statements to the NIA, said that 49-year-old Headley had insisted on the room view which was right opposite to the prayer hall of the Jew centre in Pushkar.
After staying there for three days, Headley moved to Goa where he stayed at a guest house located in Anjuna village along the coast of Arabian sea before proceeding towards Pune where he visited the area around Koregaon Park. Though initially it was believed that he wanted to target foreigners at Osho Ashram, it was found later that he had scouted the area for targeting the Jewish prayer centre in the area. Headley then left for Mumbai where he went to the Cuffe Prade area and scouted for Israel Airways office before flying to Pakistan from the Chatrapati Shivaji airport.
HEADLEY CHARGED
Washington/New Delhi: What began as a FBI bust of a terror plot in Denmark to avenge the perceived insult to Prophet Mohammed, with a glancing reference to India to begin with, has been turned on its head.
US investigators on Monday charged Headley, with helping plot the Mumbai massacre of 26/11/2008 that killed 172 people, with the Denmark angle now a mere footnote.
The justice department complaint unsealed on Monday goes much further than the earlier affidavits, with first nine of the 12 counts against Gilani-Headley now pertaining to the terror plot against India.
In fact, the complaint, outlining Gilani’s recce missions to India to scout intended targets for Lashkar-e-Taiba, says he deliberately chose to change his name to “David Headley” on or about February 15, 2006, “in order to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani”.
It is the first of many details in the complaint that show that Gilani was a long-time associate of Pakistani terror outfits.

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