David Headley liked Indian food and people

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David Coleman Headley
New York, Nov 22: Convicted LeT terrorist David Coleman Headley liked Indian food and Indian people, but had a hatred for India as a nation.

"I like everything about India ...I like the food, the people. But I don't like India," Headley told an Indian counter-terror official familiar with his questioning by Indian investigators in Chicago last year.

Headley, who spent a long stint in India reconnoitering hit sites for the LeT before they carried out the bloody Mumbai massacres, talked about his "conflicted relationship" with India during his de-briefing with Indian investigators.

According to a new report by investigative journalist Sebastian Rotella of ProPublica, Headley watched the coverage of the Mumbai attacks on TV with his Moroccan wife Faiza Outalha.

As 10 LeT terrorists carried out their deadly assault across Mumbai on November 26 three years ago, his Pakistani wife congratulated him on the terror attacks calling it his "graduation ceremony" and a "movie" that she watched the whole day on TV.

Headley was at his home in Lahore when the LeT terrorists gunned down 166 people, including six Americans at luxury hotels, a railway station and a Jewish community centre in Mumbai, sites that he had recced and provided detailed information about to his Pakistani handlers.

He received a text message from Sajid Mir, one of the LeT masterminds behind the Mumbai attacks, on that black November day asking him to "turn on your television."

According to a new report by investigative journalist Sebastian Rotella of ProPublica, Headley watched the coverage of the Mumbai attacks on TV with his Moroccan wife Faiza Outalha.

He then got a "celebratory email" on November 28 from his Pakistani wife Shazia, who said "Congrats on your graduation.. Graduation ceremony is really great. Watched the movie the whole day."

Shazia, who lives with her children in Chicago, knew about his Mumbai reconnaissance and praised him for the attacks using coded language.

According to the report, Headley steadfastly protected Shazia as he was being investigated by authorities after he was arrested and charged in Chicago in 2009.

"His condition when he spoke to us was that he accepted no questions about Shazia," the ProPublica report quoted an Indian counter-terror official familiar with the interrogation of Headley as saying.

"He said: 'She is the only one who has given me four children. Despite my philandering, she has been faithful. She has been loyal to me. She is a devoted Muslim. I admire her'."

PTI

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