David Headley identifies handlers' voices on audio

Feb 14, 2016, 13:41 IST | Sailee Dhayalkar

David Coleman Headley also reveals how he used Rajaram Rege and visited Indian Army bases. In the end, he wished the judge a Happy Holi

On the sixth day of 26/11 plotter David Coleman Headley’s deposition, the prosecution asked him to identify the voice of handlers after four audio files were played in the special TADA court. Headley, who identified three voices in the audios, did not mention the name of alleged LeT handler Zabihuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, who was also one of the handlers in the attack, as being one of voices. The prosecution also finished its chief examination on Saturday.

David Headley
David Headley

After hearing the recordings, Headley identified the voice of Abu Khafa, Sajid Mir and Abu Alkama.

Headly said in a certain conversation between a handler and an attacker — “Allah yaar apna kaam kabul kare, bohot saare logo ki zakam par marham rakha gaya hai, jo duya appko batayi thi, wo bhulani nahi hai, jaha bhi baitho dua zaroor padhni hai…— one voice was that of Abu Khafa.

On Rajaram Rege
Continuing his statement on Rajaram Rege, Uddhav Thackeray’s public relations officer, Headley further revealed that he had been interacting with Rege through emails when he was in Pakistan and the US. He would also forward his interactions with Rege to Dr Rana for him to decide how to use him. It was in May 2008, that Headley sent an email to Major Iqbal with information about Rege. Headley also had a telephonic conversation with Major Iqbal about Rege.

On May 20, 2008, he received a mail from Major Iqbal asking “whether developing relations with Rajaram Rege will generate information of military and paramilitary forces?” Headley also used to forward mails he received from Rege to Sajid Mir (LeT). There was an instance when Major Iqbal asked Headley to keep Rajaram Rege engaged in seminars and conferences in the US. Once when Rege messaged Headley, he immediately informed Sajid Mir about Rege’s message and asked for a line of action.

On May 25, 2008, Headley received a mail from Mir mentioning the name “Bala and son”. When the prosecutor asked what he meant by “Bala and son”, Headley replied, “Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and son Uddhav.” Headley also said that Mir had given him the task of asking Rege to convince Bala and son to come to the US.

Recruiting for ISI
Headley was asked if he knew where the headquarters of the Southern commando of the Indian Army was and he said he did, and had visited it as well. During his visit, he had made videos. Headley said he was asked to visit Indian Army Installations to recruit people from the India Army in order to have an access to classified documents.

Headley’s Will
Headley mentioned that he had mailed his Will to his military school friend and the person who helped him get a visa to India, Dr Tahavvur Rana. He mailed his Will in March 2009, because he was going to India and feared that he might get arrested or killed. Headley also thought it was the responsible thing to do.

Worried for Saeed
While talking to Mir about Saeed and Lakhvi, Headley used coded language like “H1 Virus too” and “Doctor and hospital would need to check him up”. After the 26/11 attacks, Headley had spoken to LeT operative Sajid Mir, referring to Hafeez Saeed and Lakhvi as uncles, and said that since the Pakistan government was investigating and arresting people for the 26/11 attacks, he was concerned about them. In July 2009, he mailed Mir asking, “How are your uncles feeling these days?” Sajid then responded saying he doesn’t have to bother about them, as Saeed is “flying high” and Lakhvi’s “moral is high” because he is in prison and he is doing well.

In August 2009, Headley mailed Sajid asking, “Old uncle bought H1 Virus too” and “Doctor and hospital would need to check him up”. When the prosecution asked Headley to explain this, he said he meant Hafiz Saeed (old man) was under investigation and is likely to get arrested. Headley also told the court just that he was concerned about Hafeez sahib. Mir and Major Abdul Rahman Pasha, both, assured him that nothing will happen to Hafeez.

Rahul’s city
In July 2009, when Headley was in Chicago, he received a mail from Sajid in coded language saying, “I have investment plans for you”. The mail was in reference to the terror attack which will be in India. He was told by Sajid that it was not going to be in Rahul’s city, which meant not in Mumbai. Rahul meant Rahul Bhatt. According to Headley, Sajid, Rana and others were briefed about everything, including his Headley’s circle.

The prosecution then told the court that he has finished with his chief examination. The defence lawyer, Wahab Khan for Abu Jundal, sought time to cross-examine as he said he haven’t received all the required documents and needed to go through the case properly.

Khan also said that Headley has not spoken a single word against his client Jundal. The US Attorney Sarah Streicker informed court that they have time only on Saturday after that they will have to re-schedule the whole thing again.

The court then asked Khan to tell them by February 22, about how much time and days he will require for cross examination, and the same time will be conveyed to the US so they can re-schedule the video conference. In the end, Headley wished special Judge GA Sanap Happy Holi, in case he didn’t see him before the festival.

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