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India granted access to Headley

Washington: US National Security Adviser James Jones has said that India has been granted access to Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley in Chicago.

“Access to Headley has been given. We have fulfilled our commitment,” said Jones.

A four-member National Investigation Agency (NIA) team is in the United States to question Headley in connection with his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The team consists of three investigators and a law officer.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had earlier told the media after the first ever India-US Strategic Dialogue held here that while Headley is fully covered by American laws and entitled to invoke all safeguards under those laws, Washington must help Indian investigators to grill him for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Access to Headley might be multiple or one time access in accordance to the American laws, he added.

“There is overwhelming evidence that Headley is one of the chief conspirators of the attack on Mumbai. And the Government of India, with all the force at its command, will put forward the plea that we should have access so that our investigations would be complete,” said Krishna.

“I am sure United States understands the sensitivities involved,” he added.

Krishna noted that due to the sensitive nature of the investigations, day-to-day developments could not be disclosed.
Headley, a Pakistani-American, is presently lodged in a jail in Chicago.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested him in October 2009 for plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper.

During his interrogation, he also confessed to his role in the Mumbai attacks in which Pakistan based terrorists killed 166 people.

49-year-old Headley told US interrogators that he had conducted a reconnaissance of the Mumbai sites before the attacks, having visited the country several times.

Headley has pleaded guilty on all 12 criminal counts against him, including his role in the Mumbai attacks conspiracy.

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