A Pakistani-American who helped plot the deadly November 2008 attacks in Mumbai told a court on Thursday that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) attempted to kill late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, India’s NDTV has reported.
“I have no first-hand knowledge but I think an attempt was made by LeT (Lashkar) to kill Bal Thackeray,” David Headley said.
Headley further said that the man who made the attempt was arrested by the police but he later managed to escape. “I don’t know how this attempt was made. I think the person (who was sent to kill Thackeray) was arrested but he managed to escape from police custody. I don’t have first-hand knowledge about this though,” said Headley, who has agreed, as part of a plea bargain with the US, to testify in terror cases.
Further delving into details, Headley said that the LeT had tried to kill Thackeray even before the 26/11 attacks.
Headley revealed that he was arrested by American officials in 1988 and 1998 on charges of drug trafficking and that after his second arrest, the Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) of the US financed his trip to Pakistan.
The Pakistani-American is being cross-examined in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case. Earlier, Headley, who was sentenced in 2013 by a Chicago court to 35 years in a US prison for his role in the atrocity, confirmed that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) had a role in the Mumbai attacks. “He (Headley) has confirmed that he joined Lashkar-e-Taiba after being influenced by Hafiz Saeed,” Headley’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani told reporters after the 55-year-old appeared before the Mumbai court via a video link from the US.
“He told the court that two unsuccessful attempts to carry out terror attacks were also made before 26/11.” Headley, the son of a former Pakistani diplomat, was sentenced after admitting scouting targets for the Mumbai attackers.