Nothing will happen to Lakhvi, Hafiz: handlers told David Headley

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Mumbai, Feb 13: Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley on Saturday said that his handlers told him that "nothing will happen against" Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed and that actions taken by Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency against them and other LeT members in 26/11 case are "superficial".

Shedding more light on terror activities post 26/11 attacks, the 55-year-old terrorist, who is testifying via a video-link from the US since Monday, said he visited the Indian Army Southern Command headquarters at Pune in 2009 on the instructions of ISI's Major Iqbal, who wanted him to recruit some military personnel to get "classified" information.

Also read: ISI wanted to infiltrate Pune army command: David Headley

Headley was assured of Lakhvi's safety

Headley, who turned approver in the case, told a court here today that in March 2009 he had visited Pushkar, Goa and Pune and had recced the cities as sought by Ilyas Kashmiri of Al-Qaeda. He also said that after Pakistan government started investigating the 26/11 attacks, he was told by his handler, Sajid Mir of LeT, that "both Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed are safe and nothing will happen against them."

Headley told the court that Abdul Rehman Pasha, a former Pakistan army major who joined LeT and later al Qaeda, told him that the action taken by Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency against Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Hafiz Saeed and other LeT members are "superficial".

He said that on March 16, 2009 he went to Pune and visited the Southern Command headquarters there. "Earlier too, Major Iqbal had also asked me to visit this place. At that time, I had made a general video of the (Army) station from outside," he said.

Also, "Major Iqbal wanted me to try recruiting someone from the Army who would give us classified information. It was the same like the BARC (drill)." "In all three cities, I took general videos of several locations there," he said. The LeT operative also revealed details of e-mails between him and his main contact Sajid Mir.

Also read: Why is India not keen on questioning Headley's friend Dr Tawwahur Rana?

"From July 3, 2009 to September 11, 2009, there was an exchange of emails between me and Sajid Mir of LeT. I had time and again expressed concerns about the safety of the leadership of LeT," he told the court.

"From December 2008 onwards, after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the Pakistan government was conducting investigations, interrogating people and pursuing people from the LeT which is why I wanted to know if Hafiz Sahab and Zaki Sahab were safe," he added.

Headley also said that Mir had replied to his e-mails and said that "Zaki Sahab is doing fine.... His morale is high even though he was in prison (at that time) and he was not depressed." Headley and Mir had referred to Hafiz Saeed as the "older uncle" and Zaki as the "younger uncle" in the e-mails using code language.

The court was told that on August 20, 2009 Headley had sent a mail to Mir asking if "older uncle" (Hafiz) was also under investigation and would be arrested to which Mir replied after three days saying that "the older uncle is fit and healthy and is moving back and forth for his business" even as Mir asked Headley to not put ears to rumours.

PTI

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