India to seek Headley extradition
NEW DELHI: India will seek the extradition of David Coleman Headley from the United States to try him for his involvement in the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai, but sources indicated that New Delhi would not be aggrieved if he is tried and convicted in America.
However, the Indian government was eager to seek access to and interrogate Headley whose testimony, according to the FBI, reveals incriminating evidence of his involvement in the Mumbai carnage.
“The matter is under investigation and I would not like to say much,” said Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, confirming that India had sought access to question Headley, born Daood Gilani to a Pakistani father and an American mother, who was formally charged on Monday by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for conspiracy in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, which killed 168 people, including six American
According to sources, Headley will be charged separately by the Mumbai police for allegedly conducting reconnaissance of targets hit by the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists in November last year. The formal charge sheet is likely after Indian investigators gain access to interrogate Headley.
The case of the Pakistani-American Headley showed the time has come to “think the unthinkable” as terrorists were working on new strategies to break the country’s security, said India’s Home Secretary GK Pillai, while cautioning that the country’s “software industry is high on the threat list.”
“As we have seen from the David Headley case that one can still slip through the radar,” said Pillai. “Because we’re not looking for them. This is one of the big problems. Because nobody would look for a US citizen, with a US passport and a business visa, you would not think that he is a terrorist,” he said, speaking yesterday at a conference on Challenge of Terrorism to India’s Infrastructure and Economy.
After his arrest in Chicago in October, followed by an intensive probe in the US, India and Pakistan, the FBI chargesheet said Headley delivered, placed, discharged and detonated explosives and other lethal devices in, into, and against places of public use in India.