Mumbai, March 25: David Headley the man who carried out the reconnaissance of targets in Mumbai which eventually led to the 26/11 attack has deposed before a court and is currently being cross examined.
To sum up the Headley affair in court, one could say that he can say what he wants as he has already been pardoned.
There are several statements that Headley has made which one fails to understand. At times he appears confident and proud of his actions and on the other hand he shows some amount of remorse as well.
Most of the statements since yesterday given during the cross-examination suggest that he is very unsteady.
The Bal Thackarey statement:
Headley yesterday sprung this one as a surprise. He told the court that he had heard that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba had made an attempt to assassinate Bal Thackarey the chief of the Shiv Sena. He however added that he was not involved in the plot and neither did the Lashkar-e-Tayiba discuss it with him.
He further added that the police had apprehended the the man planning to kill the leader, but escaped from custody.
There has been no confirmation from any of the police on this aspect. There is no doubt that Thackarey was high up on the radar of terrorist organisations, but whether an attempt was really made on his life is still unclear. The Lashkar-e-Tayiba would have been fully aware of the repercussions had they succeeded in this plot.
In this context it would be also interesting to draw your attention to the reconnaissance that Headley had carried out on the Shiv Sena Bhawan in Mumbai.
Along with the details of the Taj, Trident and other targets, the photos of the Shiv Sena Bhawan were also shared by Headley with Sajid Mir. Headley says he does not know why the Lashkar-e-Tayiba did not use the material regarding the Shiv Sena Bhawan.
However, it is very clear that the repercussions would have been terrible had the Shiv Sena Bhawan been attacked and that is the only reason why the Lashkar-e-Tayiba dropped the plan.
What did he mean by fund raiser?
Headley today told the court that he was planning a fund raiser in the US for the Shiv Sena. He repeatedly says that he was touch with a Shiv Sena man called Rajaram Rege. At first he had said that he was close to Rege so that he could get access to the Shiv Sena Bhawan. Today he says that he was in touch with Rege so that he could organise the fund raiser.
I had planned on inviting Shiv Sena Chief, Bal Thackarey to the US. I was planning a fund raiser, but there was no intention to attack him there, David Headley Headley told the court today. Headley is however not clear as to why he wanted to organise the fund raiser. He even added that there was no plan to attack Thackeray had he visited US for the fund raiser.
The act of remorse:
When the Headley deposition began he was shown a picture of Ajmal Kasab. He immediately blessed him. Yesterday when asked about Kasab, he said that it was wrong what he did. He even said yesterday that the entire act of 26/11 was not a good one and he had even pleaded guilty.
This was not what he had said to the NIA which questioned him.
He was insulting and spoke with pride about the entire operation. While expressing regret over the 26/11 operation before the court yesterday, today he spoke at length about his hatred for India. He said that his hatred dated back to December 7 1971 when India's war planes bombed the school he was studying in at Pakistan. I decided to join the Lashkar-e-Tayiba only because of this, he also said.
These are very unsteady statements being made by Headley. However it hardly even matters. He is already doing time in the US jail. He cannot be extradited to India. Moreover the Indian court has already pardoned him.