The American investigating agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), recently arrested two people for planning terrorist strikes in Denmark and India.
David Coleman Headley, a US national, was arrested by the FBI in early October. And Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin and also a resident of Chicago, was arrested on October 18. Both Headley and Rana were planning to target the facilities and employees of Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper which published the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on 30 September 2005.
The affidavit filed by the FBI in a Chicago court states that Headley was in touch with operatives of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. It also details the terror plans of the duo. The premier US agency tracked Headley’s phone and e-mail communications between Oct 2008 to October 2009.
The arrest of the duo and the subsequent details of a possibility of them being used by the LeT to carry out terror strikes in India has sent shockwaves in the Indian security establishment. With each passing day, the news reports (quoting security sources), are unraveling the terror trail of Headley and Rana. Here are the details of their India plan that are in public domain:
- David Headley and Tahawwur Rana traveled to 24 places in India including Agra, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kochi, and Pune between 2006-09.
- Headley and Rana were part of a LeT plan of a major terror attack on the National Defence College in Delhi.
- The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a case against Headley and Rana to probe their role in various terror strikes in the country, including the 26/11 Mumbai attack. Infact, the investigators are serioulsy pursuing the the leads pointing to their crucial role in the Mumbai attack.
- NIA has formed 20 teams to probe the Headley-Rana trail and information is also being gathered from the places the duo visited/stayed in India between 2006 and 2009.
- Nuclear installations across India have been put on high alert after investigations revealed that Headley had visited some states having atomic installations.
- The Indian Consulate in Chicago issued multiple entry visas to Tahawwur Rana and his wife without the mandatory clearance from the Home Ministry for visas to any Pakistani born person.
With more details of the terror duo’s visit to India emerge, one question that remains unanswered is WHAT WERE THE INDIAN SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES DOING WHILE THESE TWO WERE ROAMING FREELY ACROSS THE COUNTRY?
Had FBI not tracked and arrested them we would never have known about their activities in India. They might have visited the country again and gathered information for the next terror attack.