Who received David Headley at the Mumbai airport?
Mumbai, Feb 8: David Headley who is now testifying before a court in Mumbai through video conferencing from the United States of America was a key player in the 26/11 attack. There is one fact about the operation of David Headley and that is India knew nothing when he began his journey into Mumbai.
In the entire confession of Headley he hardly speaks about a local link. It is very difficult to conduct a reconnaissance of city like Mumbai unlike there is someone locally to help out. Whether India did not know about this local link or chose not to probe it is a subject matter of debate.
The mysterious Basheer
When Headley landed in Mumbai for the first time he was received at the airport by a man named Basheer. This man Basheer was introduced to Headley through Tawwahur Rana a friend of Headley who allegedly created the travel documents.
Saroj Kumar Rath, author of the book Fragile Frontiers: The Secret History of the Mumbai Terror attacks says that Headley received by Basheer. The police never probed Basheer and he continues to remain a mystery.
Further while dealing with the Headley case one needs to realise the importance of this operative. In fact he was in 1989 planted by the United States of America into Afghanistan to collect information relating to the drug lords. He was then once again planted by the US into the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. However Headley had turned rogue by then.
When Headley's name cropped up for the first time every official in India was caught off guard. India had not information about him and his role became clear only once the US arrested him a year after the 26/11 attack.
He was arrested for his role in the Denmark Mickey Mouse project case. The US wanted to keep him quiet after the 26/11 attack since he was proving to be dangerous. They felt he would try and blow up the Empire State Building.
The US came to this conclusion since Headley's friend Tawwahur Rana had his office in the Empire State Building, and the former was an unofficial entrant in his office. The US felt that since he knew a lot about the building, his next plan would be to replicate a 9/11 kind of attack on the Empire State Building.