At least, that is what the U.S. government would like you to believe.
However, revelations about David Headley’s true past may reveal much more to this story than you are hearing about in today’s media accounts, which paint David Headley as a man living two lives, one as a drug informant for the DEA and another as a terrorist.
That media portrait does not match reality, and journalists seem incapable of doing their own homework into Headley’s actual past and his long involvement with the U.S. Government.
The Mumbai Terrorist Attacks
The November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India are considered one of India’s worst terrorist attacks. The Islamic militants planted a bomb in Mazagao, another at Vile Parle, and additional bombs and shootings – all carefully coordinated – at eight other locations throughout South Mumbai.
It took the efforts of the NSG (India’s national guards) to finally eradicate the last militants at a Taj hotel, finally ending the two day terror campaign.
Because India’s security forces were able to capture one of the attackers, Ajmal Kasab, they were able to eventually discover that the terrorists were actually part of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist group illegally operating out of Pakistan.
By 2009, India’s Intelligence services developed a convincing case, as laid out by Interior Minister Rehman Malik in February, that much of the attack was planned out in Pakistan. However, the real evidence and confirmation for this came when alleged LeT terrorist David Headley was arrested in October of 2009 while traveling to Pakistan.
David Headley’s Claims to India’s Investigators
According to his statements to Indian investigators, Headley took part in terror training operations inside Pakistan from 2002 through 2005.
After being trained, he took part in surveillance missions for the LeT throughtout Mumbai – all targets related to the Mumbai attacks which came later.
Normally, a Pakistani-American arrested for taking part in terrorist training in Pakistan, and conducting surveillance for a major terrorist attack in India, would be an open-shut case. The mountain of evidence against the man would be enough for a quick conviction.
However, Headley is turning into an “informant” for authorities, issuing statements that the ISI (Pakistani’s own Intelligence service) was financing and planning many of the terrorist attacks.
The revelations couldn’t come at a better time for India, which is searching for solid evidence that connects the Pakistani government with the terrorist organization responsible for the Mumbai attack.
India’s investigators were provided access to “interrogate” Headley in Chicago, where Headley revealed the ISI involvement in funding Headley’s scouting trips. That information was “leaked” to U.S. media in late 2010, and Pakistan immediately denied the allegations.
Is Headley a Terrorist or a U.S. Intelligence Agent?
India views Headley as a willing Pakistani terrorist and a double-agent that “duped” the DEA, and wants him extradited for prosecution in India. However, U.S. authorities are preventing the extradition due to the fact that the plea agreement related to his cooperation with intelligence services precludes extradition.
What is shocking about this situation is that Headley’s early drug convictions, arrests and subsequent “cooperation” with the DEA paints a much different picture of David Headley than that of a “double” agent. In fact, it makes it very clear that Headley was, and is, a U.S. intelligence agent.
A NY Times article reveals just how much control DEA handlers had over David Headley’s fate during his drug-addiction days.
Many years before Headley was ever considered a Pakistani “terrorist” by anyone, his life consisted primarily of drug addiction. He was arrested at a Frankfurt, Germany airport in 1988 for having 2 kilos of heroin on him.
Headley served 4 years for the crime, and when he was released in 1992 he ended up going to rehab for heroin addiction in 1994, and upon being “rehabilitated”, landed in jail once again for his drug use in 1995 – 6 months in jail.
It seems clear that Headley didn’t have much time for terror training or trips to talk to Pakistani-based terrorists while he was busy getting high on heroin and living most of his life in U.S. jails.
The DEA Hires David Headley
However, Headley’s entire life and his future changed when he was arrested once again in 1997 for possession of heroin. This time, the DEA approached him with a plea deal he could not refuse. If he was willing to cooperate with them in producing drug busts, they would help to dramatically reduce his sentence.
Hence, 1997 marked Headley’s conversion from drug addict to DEA intelligence agent. In working as a DEA spy inside the drug community, Headley helped the feds arrest Ikram Haq and Maroof Ahmed, and he was the prosecution’s star witness. Ikram Haq’s defense attorneys were better than the federal prosecutors however, and managed to get Haq acquitted. In another case, drug trafficker Zaheer Barbar pleaded guilty to the charges.
However, the trials, and Headley’s part in them, provides clear proof today of Headley’s work for the DEA.
In 1998, the DEA arranged for Headly’s reduced sentence from 10 years to just 15 months, stating to the judge that in addition to the drug busts, Headley also worked for the DEA in translating hours of Pakistani language communications intercepts, and he had even trained DEA agents in the cultural considerations involved in interrogating Pakistani suspects.
Headley Hired by U.S. to gather Pakistan Intelligence
Headley served only 7 months at Fort Dix, and upon his release in 1999, his lawyers requested that the judge release him from his 5 year “supervised release” so that he could travel to Pakistan for 5 weeks. It seems clear that the U.S. Government had bigger plans for Headley – only this time, instead of dealing in drug busts, the government apparently had bigger fish for Headley to fry.
The fish were so big, in fact, that upon his return from Pakistan in November of 2001 – two months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York – Headley’s lawyers and the DEA applied to the courts to end Headley’s supervised release early so that Headley could develop intelligence on drug trafficking inside of Pakistan.
Headley’s probation officer said the probation hearing was rushed, and other observers knew that the hearing had involved matters much larger than drugs.
One observer told the New York Times that the DEA had:
“…zero in terms of reliable intelligence. And it was clear from the conversations about him that the government was considering assignments that went beyond drugs.”
Beyond drugs? I wonder what the U.S. Government could have wanted Headley to do in Pakistan that was larger than drugs? Any guesses?
After his “arrest” in 2009 and when the U.S. Government let Indian investigators “interrogate” him, the Guardian obtained transcripts of that interrogation. Headley apparently told investigators the he’d decided to join the Pakistani based intelligence organization in 2001, and also reported:
“The ISI … had no ambiguity in understanding the necessity to strike India. [The aim of the ISI was] controlling further split in the Kashmir-based outfits, providing them a sense of achievement and shifting … the theatre of violence from the domestic soil of Pakistan to India.”
The question is – is India buying it? And will U.S. citizens and the rest of the world buy into the story?
U.S. Orchestrating a Case Against Pakistan?
Given the latest revelations from Headley, and holding them up against his past record and previous cooperation with the U.S. Government, it quickly becomes apparent that Headley is only a pawn being used by U.S. Intelligence to build a case against Pakistan – probably to justify a future war against the country.
–>Immediately after Headley left for Pakistan in December of 2001, the U.S. Government changed the designation of the LeT to a terrorist organization two months later.
–>Headley enrolled in the LeT training program in Pakistan in 2001, but had no interactions with the group before this.
–>Headley’s own wife seemed unaware of Headley’s cooperation with U.S. Intelligence, as she started reporting to the feds that her husband was getting involved with terrorism. She was fully aware of his new-found interest with the LeT. She told reporters that the feds ignored her, only making a few phone calls without any follow-up.
From Drug Addict to Terrorist – Buy It?
In fact, the wife’s alarm in 2001 makes it very clear that there was nothing in Headley’s past to indicate terrorist leanings, until the U.S. Government sent him into Pakistan.
It seems fairly clear that his sudden decision to “join the LeT” had much less to do with his own personal convictions (which previously were only related to drugs), but more to do with direction given to him by the U.S. Intelligence community.
India would be well advised to take any information Headley provides to them with a very large dose of salt.
It appears that following the recent assassination of Osama Bin Laden, the U.S. Government is attempting to position India, and the rest of the world, into an anti-terror war stance toward Pakistan – in much the same way the stage was set by U.S. intelligence leading up to the Iraq war involving the phantom “weapons of mass destruction.”Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com