Wednesday, December 4, 2013

India Abroad says: “America sacrificed Mumbai” to protect its informant David Headley

Pictured left: David Coleman Headley, born Daood Gilani. Right: Sajid Mir, the Lashkar-i-Taiba chief in charge of foreign recruits. Background: Fire and smoke gush out of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. (Photo by Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)


5 year old Dawood along with his younger sister and mother Serril Headley

david headley

FROM of the US -Indian analyst Mr Ravi Rikhye


Editor & Publisher
Ravi Rikhye


  • A.H. Amin
  • Mandeep S.Bajwa
  • Tom Cooper
  • Hamid Hussain
  • Ravi Rikhye
  • Colin Robinson
  • Animesh Roul
  • Talleyrand*

* In service; writes anonymously.


Background article on Waziristan, Pakistan*

*With our compliments

April 2006 Archive
March 2006 Archive

Articles in archives include:

- Iran Air Force vs US airpower
- US First wave Precision Strike Capability
-Military Briefing: Global Deployment of US and Allied Naval Forces 3.24.2006


Wednesday 0230 GMT December 4, 2013


·         India Abroad says: "America sacrificed Mumbai" This explosive charge is that to protect its informant David Headley, America let the 2008 attack on Mumbai (Bombay) proceed The India Abroad issue of November 29, 2013 features an interview by a correspondent for the weekly with Adrian Levy who has coauthored a book "The siege: 68-hours inside the Taj Hotel". Levy has used unclassified reports and interviews with US officials and others.


·         Levy himself makes a somewhat less inflammatory statement: "America concealed its knowledge, its true knowledge of the growing risk to Mumbai".


·         The problem is that the interview does not support either charge. Levy carefully points out that the US caught wind of the plot to attack Mumbai in 2006, and constantly kept Indian intelligence informed of development. Except that the US did not know the specific targets within Mumbai, it identified the city, the number of terrorists involved, their mode of arrival, their possession of RDX, etc. etc.


·         So why does Levy say America concealed its true knowledge of the growing danger? Because it did not tell India the source of the information – America's double and triple agent David Headley; nor did it arrest Headley.


·         Incidentally, David Headley, despite his name, is not an American. He is of Pakistani origin and changed his name at some point, and became an American citizen. Just thought we'd get that out of the way for our American readers.


·         Editor has no doubt that Levy has worked hard and sincerely to uncover the story behind Mumbai 2008. Indeed, his first reaction was to curse the tribe he once belonged to, Indian journalists. Why did this story have to be left to two Americans? What on earth have the Indians been doing since 2008? Sorry, this needs another explanation. While in India for 20-years, Editor did various things, including write for the print media. He has never been a journalist in the sense of an accredited person working for a particular person. So Indian journalists are not, strictly speaking, his tribe, but he did run with them, so as to speak. Back to Levy.


·         Levy likely has done a great job – Editor has not read the book but you can tell from the interview he is very well informed. But that does not mean he understands how intelligence works. You never, ever, identify your agent to the intelligence of another country. It does not matter if that country is your BFF. This is not something you do. We won't go into the whys, we're just saying secrecy of your sources is paramount.


·         Nor did America "allow" Headley to go ahead to protect him for more important American purposes. From the Levy interview, it becomes apparent Headley was a source inside Pakistani terror groups and perhaps even Al Qaeda. Headley, it needs to say, was a rank opportunist of the worst kind. His sole purpose was to promote himself. He had a consistent record of doing things he shouldn't have, and when he got caught, of turning in everyone and offering to work as an informant. So everyone knew he was a DEA informant, but Editor at least did not know that he was allegedly working on the US's behalf by infiltrating Pakistani terror groups and so on.


·         Being the sort of person he is, Headley – it now appears – was not just reporting on the Mumbai plot. He was an active part of the plot, and one presumes he justified hanging around with all these unsavory terrorists by telling his handlers he needed to look authentic. After Mumbai – one assumes – the US realized what Headley was up to, arrested him and put away for a good long time. Headley, of course, betrayed everyone involved in the plot in America, including a childhood friend with whom he had plotted.


·         The question the Indians are not asking is: how would the US arresting Headley before anything happened have helped in stopping the plot? He was not crucial to the plan, beyond intellectual input and some scouting, the plan belonged to Pakistan ISI. So arresting him would not have stopped the attack. Moreover, it is in hindsight that America knew he was part of the plot. At that time he was a deep cover agent. So on what basis would America have arrested him? You do not arrest your own deep cover agents who presumably are risking their lives to get information to you. Even Indians should be able to see this makes zero sense.


·         The other question the Indians are not asking, because they plain are too scared to: when Indian intelligence had precise details, why was India unprepared for the attack? So much so that Indian authorities have said they were aware of something being up, but had no inkling the attack would come by sea. Sorry, folks. Levy makes clear the Americans said specifically the attackers would come by sea.


·         What Levy is saying, even if he does not mean to, that the Indians are guilty of criminal negligence and extreme dereliction of duty. The first is a criminal code offense; the second is a hanging offense. Moreover, something Editor at least had no clue. The Pakistanis had a mole inside India's Ministry of Defense that kept them informed on the modus of Indian Special Forces and how they would react. So which Indian official has been shot for allowing a mole to wreck havoc? No one. Was the mole found and shot? Indian intelligence does not arrest moles and prepare lengthy court cases. It merely finds out everything it can and shoots the mole/spy and the body is cremated with the family told "he was killed in a car accident". No one asks questions – if you know Indian intelligence, you would not either.


  • Does this mean Editor absolves the Americans of any responsibility for Headley? Of course not. He has written of this earlier and will again tomorrow. His grouse concerns America's behavior AFTER Headley was arrested. And not to ruin the update tomorrow, Editor makes clear America acted – after the arrest – in its own interests - as it should, and the Indians were too pathetic to do anything about it except whine.

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