FBI failed to act on Headley's wife's terror link expose 3 yrs before Mumbai attacks

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Washington, Oct 16 (ANI): The key figure in the Mumbai attacks David Coleman Headley's wife had informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at least three years before the November 2008 attack, that he was undergoing terrorist training in Pakistan, but the US failed to act on the tip off.

Pakistan based terrorist outfit Lahkar-e-Toiba attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008 in a coordinated manner killing 166 people.

Federal officials say the FBI "looked into" the tip, but they declined to say what, if any, action was taken. Headley was jailed briefly in New York on charges of domestic assault but was not prosecuted, The Washington Post reports.

He wasn't arrested until 11 months after the Mumbai attack, when British intelligence alerted US authorities that he was in contact with al-Qaeda operatives in Europe.

Three years before Pakistani terrorists struck Mumbai in 2008, federal agents in New York City investigated a tip that an American businessman was training in Pakistan with the group that later executed the attack.

The previously undisclosed allegations came from his wife after a domestic dispute that resulted in his arrest in 2005.

Sebastian Rotella, a reporter for ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest, unearthed the information.

In three interviews with federal agents, Headley's wife said he was an active militant of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba, had trained extensively in Pakistan camps, and had shopped for night-vision goggles and other equipment, according to US officials.

In the four years between the wife's warning and Headley's capture, Lashkar sent Headley on reconnaissance missions around the world. During five trips to Mumbai, he scouted targets for the attack using his US passport and cover as a businessman to circulate freely in areas frequented by Westerners.

He met in Pakistan with terrorist handlers, including a Pakistani army major accused of helping direct and fund his missions, according to court documents and anti-terrorism officials.

In March, Headley pleaded guilty to charges of terrorism in the Mumbai attacks and to a failed plot to take and behead hostages at a Danish newspaper. (ANI)

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