David Coleman Headley and his associate Tahawwur Hussain Rana, both US citizens of Pakistani origin who were arrested by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investgation (FBI) in Chicago last month for hatching a plot to attack India and Denmark have revealed more sinister plans.
The federal agency while opposing a bail plea of the duo deposed that Headley and Rana has planned in unison with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) plans to attack the National Defense College in Delhi along with two coveted boarding schools located in hill stations in North India as well as a few five-star hotels frequented by foreign tourists.
The names of other targets have not been released to avoid panic.
A leading Lashkar operative, Ilyas Kashmiri has already issued challenge to India to stop another 26/11 style attack where hundreds lost life. He had recently told media that the Mumbai attacks are nothing compared to what’s in store. Headley was in constant touch with Kashmiri and reports say that he was supposed to be coordinating the plans.
Earlier reports did not reveal the actual motive or plan of the attack.
The transcripts of phone conversations and emails in FBI’s possession indicate that LeT was planning to use Headley for attack on an Indian actor named “Rahul”. Headley is reported to have divulged to the FBI his intention to travel to Pakistan in early October where he was supposed to meet with an unidentified LeT individual and another man named (Ilyas) Kashmiri, an LeT terrorist who was earlier with Pakistan’s Special Services Group.
Kashmiri, (aged 45) who is the head of the Al-Qaeda’s head of military operations, carries a bounty of USD 600,000 dollars on his head. He is viewed as the guerilla expert of Al-Qaeda who turns strategic vision into reality. He was also an active participant in the Soviet-Afghan War and was responsible for training the Afghan Mujahideen.
He has a long and terror-filed history of executing such acts.
Kashmiri’s terror is long known. He was once detained by the ISI for the attempted assasination of General Musharraf. Kasmiris was later cleared and released.
Kashmiri’s group also includes Sheikh Omar Saeed who in 2002 abducted US reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi. Pearl was later found brutally killed.
Meanwhile the Home Minister, P Chidambaram in a statement said that the government if aware of the report and the situation is “fully under control“.
“Do not worry about the (FBI) report. We are fully aware of the contents of the report and the situation is under control,” Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told a press conference here.
While the Home Minister said that the situation was “fully under control”; the Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor had a different story to tell.
“The US has not allowed a second 9/11, Indonesia has not allowed a second Bali,” Kapoor said, adding that India had allowed those behind the “2001 Parliament attack, Delhi blasts and Mumbai terror attack” to get away.
“India cannot afford a repeat of 26/11,” the Army chief said while addressing a seminar on Network Centricity and National Security organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi.
Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju who was present at the function, echoed Gen. Kapoor’s view while saying that considering the “fragile internal security scenario“, there had to be new centres to facilitate rapid action across the country and better coordination among intelligence agencies and security forces.
The Army and other intelligence authorities have recently raised alarm over probable strikes which were denied by the Home Ministry.
“We have to take all steps to prevent any Mumbai-type attacks. We cannot rule out apprehensions of such possibilities,” Gen Kapoor said on the sidelines of an Army function here.
Asked about the threat of terror spillover from the Af-Pak region, the Army chief said the entire South Asian region was infested with terror groups. “We have to collectively battle such threats,” he said.