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‘Was ready to betray Ilyas Kashmiri’

David Headley was ready to double cross his comrades-in-arms after his 2009 arrest and had prepared to set up dreaded al-Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri to be targeted in a US drone strike.

David Headley was ready to double cross his comrades-in-arms after his 2009 arrest and had prepared to set up dreaded al-Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri to be targeted in a US drone strike. Headley,for this task,offered to travel undercover to Pakistan’s tribal areas to present Kashmiri with an ornate sword that could be fitted with a homing device to set up a US missile attack,according to his testimony before a Chicago court.

The Pakistani-American terrorist,who had done the recee for the 2008 Mumbai attacks,was not only after Kashmiri but had also tried to lure Sajid Mir,an LeT militant and one of the brains behind the 26/11 attacks out of Pakistan so that he could be nabbed. However,the attempt had failed,Headley told the court and Mir remains a fugitive,ProPublica reported.

Kashmiri remains on the most wanted list of the US and carries a reward of $5 million on his head. The PoK-born terrorist was behind a plot last fall to carry out Mumbai-type shooting attacks in Britain,France,Germany and Denmark.

Kashmiri has a far-flung network and is one of the most feared terrorist leaders today,especially after Osama bin Laden’s killing. According to Headley,Kashmiri was planning to kill CEO of defence equipment manufacturer Lockheed Martin. In the court testimony,Headley did not further describe the details of the plot but confessed to having met Kashmiri twice in Pakistan in 2009. On the plot to lure out LeT kingpin Mir,Headley told the court that he worked with FBI agents to communicate with Mir in the failed attempt to draw him out of Pakistan to enable his arrest.

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First published on: 02-06-2011 at 12:27:11 am
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