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Mumbai terrorist attacks on 11/26: “David Coleman Headley’s whereabouts unknown” | India News


The whereabouts of David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani-American who conducted five spy missions to India on behalf of the Pakistani government-backed terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, and who played a key role in the deadly, is unknown. 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. according to a report from the IANS news agency.
The IANS report said Headley’s name did not appear when it conducted a search of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) database of prisoners.
Headley, whose original name was Daood Sayed Gilani, admitted to working for both the LeT and the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The actions of Gilani, who worked for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) allegedly as an informant, in the United States, India, Pakistan and Europe remain a mystery.
He was arrested by US authorities in 2009, but not in connection with the 11/26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The arrest came only after he became involved in spying on attacks in Denmark against a newspaper that carried images of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.
Headley was ultimately tried in Chicago federal court for his role in the Mumbai massacre and sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 when he was 52 years old.
Media reports said Headley was attacked in a federal prison in 2018 and taken to a Chicago hospital.
But according to the European Foundation for South Asian Studies, his lawyer John Theis denied that such an attack existed.
The IANS report further says that the United States admitted intelligence failures by failing to connect Headley in time to the Mumbai attacks, although it claimed that it had provided India with other information about an imminent attack on the city in 2008.
ProPublica, an independent nonprofit investigative journalism organization that investigated the Gilani / Headley case, has claimed that US officials had screwed up several leads they received until it was too late.
But according to the European Foundation for South Asian Studies, his lawyer John Theis denied that such an attack existed.
He quoted him as saying: “I am in regular communication with Headley. Is there no basis for the reports? Although I cannot reveal his location, he is neither in Chicago nor in a hospital.”
Gilani is the American-born son of a Pakistani diplomat and an American woman with ties to high society in Philadelphia. He took his mother’s maiden name from Headley with David, an anglicized version of Daood, to hide his Pakistani origins while carrying out his terrorist missions.
After a childhood in Pakistan, he returned to the United States and worked for a time with his mother at their restaurant and pub in Philadelphia.
His family is well connected in Pakistan and his half brother Danyal Gilani is a Pakistani diplomat who now lives in France and had been chairman of the Board of Film Censors of Pakistan.
Daood Gilani had reportedly been arrested twice for drug trafficking and had become an informant for the DEA. His first arrest was in 1988 and the second in 1997. The second arrest may have been made to establish his credibility and allow him to return to Pakistan the following year on a trip paid for by the DEA to gather intelligence.
(This story is based on contributions from a report presented by the IANS news agency)

Times of India