LeT wanted to kill Bal Thackeray: Headley

Mumbai, Mar 24: Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley today told a court here that LeT wanted to eliminate Bal Thackeray but the person who was assigned the job to kill the late Shiv Sena chief was "arrested" but he managed to give police a slip.

The 55-year-old, who has turned approver in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, stated this during a cross-examination on the second day by Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, via a video link from the US.

David Headley

Headley also told the court that he had visited the Sena Bhavan twice. He, however, did not specify the year for the same. "We (LeT) wanted to target the chief of Shiv Sena...His name was Bal Thackeray.

LeT wanted to kill him wherever a chance arose. I knew that Bal Thackeray was the head of Shiv Sena. I have no first hand knowledge but I think an attempt was made by LeT to kill Bal Thackeray," he said.

"I don't know how this attempt was made. I think the person (who was sent to kill Thackeray) was arrested but he managed to escape from police custody. I don't have first hand knowledge about this though," he said.

Headley, convicted in the US for his role in 26/11 Mumbai attacks, also told special judge G A Sanap, who is hearing the 26/11 terror case against Jundal in a sessions court here, that he does not know who else was a target of LeT apart from Thackeray.

When asked by Khan as to how much money he had spent on his visit and reconnaissance in India prior to 26/11 attacks, Headley said, "I am not sure... Many lakhs were spent by me not as high as Rs 30-40 lakhs but much much less.

It is correct that ISI spent this money but it is not correct that I demanded the money from them." Headley said that after the 26/11 attacks, when he had come to India again (in March 2009) at the behest of Al-Qaeda to carry out further attacks, its leader Illiyas Kashmiri gave him about Pakistani rupees one lakh.

He claimed while LeT came under the scanner of international community after the November 26, 2008 attacks, it was not correct to say that LeT became "soft" towards India. "I think they (LeT) became soft about Denmark (Mickie mouse project) but not India.

After the Denmark issue (LeT backing out from attacking Denmark) I went to Al-Qaeda, as LeT had become soft," Headley told the court.


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