KHYBER PAST: Two Of David Coleman Headley’s Three Wives Tried To Warn Officials Of Mumbai Attack

PRO PUBLICA: In three interviews with federal agents, Headley’s wife said that he was an active militant in the terrorist group Lashkar-i-Taiba, had trained extensively in its Pakistani camps, and had shopped for night vision goggles and other equipment, according to officials and sources close to the case. The wife, whom ProPublica is not identifying to protect her safety, also told agents that Headley had bragged of working as a paid U.S. informant while he trained with the terrorists in Pakistan, according to a person close to the case. Federal officials say the FBI “looked into” the tip, but they declined to say what, if any, action was taken. Headley was jailed briefly in New York on charges of domestic assault, but was not prosecuted. He wasn’t captured until 11 months after the Mumbai attack, when British intelligence alerted U.S. authorities that he was in contact with al Qaeda operatives in Europe. In the four years between the wife’s warning and Headley’s capture, Lashkar-i-Taiba sent Headley on reconnaissance missions around the world. During five trips to Mumbai he scouted targets for the attack, using his U.S. passport and cover as a businessman to circulate freely in areas frequented by Westerners. He met in Pakistan with terrorist handlers, including a Pakistani major accused of helping direct and fund his missions, according to court documents and anti-terror officials. MORE

 NEW YORK TIMES: Less than a year before terrorists killed at least 163 people in Mumbai, India, a young Moroccan woman went to American authorities in Pakistan to warn them that she believed her husband, David C. Headley, was plotting an attack. It was not the first time American law enforcement authorities were warned about Mr. Headley, a longtime informer in Pakistan for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration whose roots in Pakistan and the United States allowed him to move easily in both worlds.

Two years earlier, in 2005, an American woman who was also married to the 50-year-old Mr. Headley told federal investigators in New York that she believed he was a member of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba created and sponsored by Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency. Despite those warnings by two of his three wives, Mr. Headley roamed far and wide on Lashkar’s behalf between 2002 and 2009, receiving training in small-caliber weapons and countersurveillance, scouting targets for attacks, and building a network of connections that extended from Chicago to Pakistan’s lawless northwestern frontier.

Then in 2008, it was his handiwork as chief reconnaissance scout that set the stage for Lashkar’s strike against Mumbai, an assault intended to provoke a conflict between nuclear-armed adversaries, Pakistan and India. An examination of Mr. Headley’s movements in the years before the bombing, based on interviews in Washington, Pakistan, India and Morocco, shows that he had overlapping, even baffling, contacts among seemingly disparate groups — Pakistani intelligence, terrorists, and American drug investigators. MORE

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PREVIOUSLY: What Headley Said

OUTLOOK: Between June 3 and June 9, in interviews spread over 34 hours, David Coleman Headley, a former Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) member and a key architect of the 26/11 attack on Mumbai, opened up to investigators from India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), sent specially to the US to grill him. This was a key moment in India’s war against terrorism. Here was a man who had served at close quarters with the LeT, Al Qaeda and the newly-formed ‘Karachi Set-up’ for almost a decade. His revelations gave Indian security officials major insights into a terror network that has become virtually an “independent state” within Pakistan.

This independent state, as outlined by Headley to NIA officials, has Pakistan’s ISI at its head, commands vast financial resources, uses technology at will, has an army of committed soldiers willing to die for the cause and has now become the fountainhead of a global terror network that poses a threat to several countries. Even though the Americans did not allow NIA officials to make any audio or video recordings, their extensive notes form the basis for the 106-page interrogation report which Outlook has now accessed. Here are some of Headley’s key revelations in the report: MORE

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