Mumbai Strategy Revealed By Lashkar-e-Taiba Terrorist David Headley

Somehow, the face of American-born Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Daood Sayed Gilani, aka David Coleman Headley, comes as news to me. Don’t know how I missed it, but it seems that news stories detailing his poisonous international career as a star facilitator of jihad in Mumbai, in Copenhagen and elsewhere generally carry photos of someone else, a more distinctly Pakistani-looking accomplice — often AQ jihadist Illyas Kashmiri.

Anyway, there Headley is (top photo), son of a Pakistani employee of Voice of America who also worked in the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, and, on his American mother’s side, grandson of a University of Maryland football star (or so says Wikipedia) named L. Coleman Headley. The terror-thug who declares his allegiance to Pakistan was a most effective instrument of global jihad until his arrest in Chicago in 2009 before jihad-jetting off to Pakistan. I’m not up on his plans for this thwarted trip; earlier in 2009, shortly after the Mumbai attacks, he returned to India to scout out Jewish targets — El Al offices, Chabad houses frequented by Israeli backpackers — for another synchronized multi-site terror attack on India. As The Hindu reported last month, Headley then traveled to Pakistan where he was able “to hand over details of his recce activities of Jewish houses to Illyas Kashmiri.”

India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), created in the wake of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks (which Headley played a lead role in planning), has now compiled a voluminous case against Headley and eight others for making war on India by planning and executing the Mumbai attacks.

The Economic Times sums up the status of NIA case:

The NIA had on December 24 last year filed charge sheet against 51-year-old Headley, his Pakistani-Canadian accomplice Tahawwur Rana and founder of Lashker-e-Taiba terror group Hafiz Saeed.

Besides them, two serving Pakistani Army officials – Major Iqbal and Major Sameer Ali – believed to be working for ISI, were also named in the charge sheet filed before the court.

Al-Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri, Sajid Malik, handler of Headley, and Abdul Rehman Hashmi, former Pakistani Army officer, were also named in the charge sheet filed against the nine for waging war against the country and other relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The Dehli court has deferred hearing arguments until January 21.

In excerpts from the NIA charge sheet published in Outlook India, Headley himself is quoted explaining the jihad strategy behind the Mumbai attacks.

The Reason For The Strike:

A debate had begun among the terrorist outfits as to whether to fight in Kashmir or in Afghanistan. The clash of ideology led to splits in many outfits. The decision of Abdur Rehman and Haroon (top LeT operatives) to split from LeT and fight in Afghanistan was part of this trend. Zaki (Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, chief military commander of LeT) had serious problems in holding the LeT and convincing them to fight for Kashmir and against India. With the Lal Masjid attack in 2007, something had to be done to keep the group involved in Kashmir.

I understand that ISI was under tremendous pressure to stop any integration of Kashmir-based jehadi organisations with the Taliban-based outfits. It is always in the interest of the ISI to keep these two sets of outfits poles apart, so Zaki was only reiterating the ISI official line. However, the aggression and commitment to jehad shown by the several splinter groups in Afghanistan influenced many committed fighters to leave Kashmir-centric outfits. I understand this compelled the LeT to consider a spectacular terrorist strike in India.

The ISI, I believe, had no ambiguity in understanding the necessity to strike India. It essentially would serve three purposes. First, it could stop further split in the Kashmir-based outfits. Second, it would provide them a sense of achievement, shifting and minimising the theatre of violence from the domestic soil of Pakistan to India. Also, after the Lal Masjid incident (which was stormed by the Pakistani army in 2007), something had to be done.

Zaki would always justify jehad in Kashmir on the grounds that the ratio of deployment of force in Kashmir compared to the general population is very high. So it was legitimate to fight the occupation forces in Kashmir…. During this period, I realised that Captain Khurram (of the 6th Baloch and an LeT sympathiser) had died on March 30, 2007, in a drone attack. I remember the date as my son was also born on the same day. During this period, I met Zaki in Muzaffarabad. I had dinner with him. My country, Pakistan, was undergoing an identity crisis in the wake of the happenings in Afghanistan and the FATA areas of Pakistan. I understand this accelerated the Mumbai attack project. Earlier, it was a limited plan to attack only the hotel in Mumbai. But now it seemed to be a grand plan to strike Mumbai at multiple locations.

In Headley’s narrative, it is Pakistan’s ISI that is orchestrating — or trying to orchestrate, direct, guide, influence — jihad terror as it metastisizes throughout Af-Pak. To this end, the ISI-supported Mumbai attacks, killing 166 in an Islamically inspired terror spectacular of grisly brutality, were ordered up not only “to strike terror in their [infidels’] hearts,” but to stir the jihad pot: to prevent the jihad on India via Kashmir from dying down as jihad flourished against Western forces in Afghanistan; to provide the Kashmir jihadists with “a sense of achievement”; and to help cure Pakistan’s “identity crisis.”

This is how the jihad revolution is advanced from the top — and, don’t forget, with Uncle Sucker’s (your) money.