Chicago, May 23: Pakistani-American David Headley, who has pleaded guilty, may discuss allegations that Pakistan’s government knew or possibly helped plan the 2008 Mumbai terror attack blamed on Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Chicago court was told Monday.
Headley, who has confessed to scouting targets for the attack in a plea deal to avoid the death penalty, will testify during the trial of his co-accused, Pakistan-born Canadian citizen Tahawwur Rana, Assistant US Attorney Sarah Streicker said during her opening statement.
Rana provided cover for his friend Headley, who took photos and video of targets in Mumbai and it was Rana who led Headley to pose as a representative for his Chicago-based immigration business, she said.
Describing Headley as a clean-cut man who could have been any tourist with a camera in Mumbai, the prosecutor suggested that it was Rana who approved of the plot to attack Mumbai at the behest of LeT.
Rana’s trial is being closely watched worldwide for testimony that might reveal suspected links between LeT and the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which has been under scrutiny since Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a May 2 US raid on his hideout in the military town of Abbottabad, near Islamabad.
Rana, 50, has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys say their client was simply duped by his longtime friend Headley, whom he first met at Pakistan’s top military boarding school.
Rana claims he didn’t know about the plot for the Mumbai attack that killed more than 160 people, including six Americans.