Did US agencies fail to heed warnings of 2008 Mumbai attacks?

David Coleman Headley

David Headley

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
We have written before that the CIA alerted Indian authorities prior to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people, including six American citizens. The incident, which was perpetrated by Pakistani-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, is routinely described as the most sophisticated and spectacular terrorist strike since 9/11.  But there are numerous questions about the complex relationship between the United States, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, which is widely believed to be protecting the terrorist group. Many of these questions center on David Coleman Headley, an American citizen, born in Washington, DC, who is currently in US custody, having confessed to helping plan the Mumbai attacks. According to Headley’s own court testimony, he worked for the ISI; moreover, despite early denials, the US government eventually admitted that Headley was a paid informant for the US Drug Enforcement Administration. There is, however, intense speculation in India and Pakistan that Headley, who is of Pakistani background, is in fact a CIA agent-gone-rogue, who used his CIA connections to pursue his militant plans undisturbed (something with the CIA flatly denies). Such rumors are reinforced by the US authorities’ puzzling refusal to allow Indian government investigators of the Mumbai attacks access to Headley. The curious relationship between US intelligence agencies and David Headley has been probed by several media outlets, including The New York Times, which in March of 2010 pointed out that Headley “moved effortlessly between the United States, Pakistan and India for nearly seven years, training at a militant camp in Pakistan on five occasions”. Now a new documentary by investigative group ProPublica, which aired on Tuesday as part of PBS’ Frontline television series, has unearthed new information that shows US government agencies failed to heed “repeated warnings over seven years”, which might have helped prevent the Mumbai attacks. The documentary, which exhibits the results of a yearlong investigation, did not find proof that Headley was employed as a US agent at the time of the terrorist attacks. But it lends credence to the view that Headley’s role as “an informant or ex-informant” allowed him to elude detection by the CIA, as he was helping plan the terrorist attacks in India. The program, which may be watched online here, includes an interview with India’s former Home Secretary, G.K. Pillai, who opines that Headley was “a double agent”. It also features interviews with current and former intelligence officials, including Charles S. Faddis, a former CIA covert operations officer who worked in South Asia.

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6 Responses to Did US agencies fail to heed warnings of 2008 Mumbai attacks?

  1. Yannis says:

    Another excellent post of extreme interest.Way to go Sifi!

  2. AlbertE. says:

    I am not sure who this David Headley is. You must be speaking about Daood Gilani, the Pakistani terrorist and spy.

    Daood was born of an American mother [Headley] and a Pakistani father [Gilani], and can claim American citizenship but the man was raised in Pakistan as a Pakistani, is a Muslim, and owes allegiance to Pakistan and to his terrorist buddies. Adopted the name of David Headley to better perform his terrorist and espionage missions.

    This photo accompanying the entry for the web site is Rana, the other terrorist convicted with Daood? Daood has a white appearance and can pass as an American, again, allowing him to further his terrorist and espionage missions.

    Daood and Rana also owned the halal goat/sheep ranch and slaughter house located in the middle of the most nuclear place in the U.S., Braidwood/LaSalle/Dresden. A coincidence? You guess!

  3. intelNews says:

    @ AlbertE. It seemed to me that the photo was of the same man, at different changes of his life. But you are probably right. I have changed the head shot to the one found here, apparently from CNN. On the –more important– issue of the name, it is my impression that Dawood Gilani legally and lawfully changed his name to David Coleman Headley, and that this name is on all of his US identity documents. In fact, I understand that he underwent trial in the US under ‘David Coleman Headley’. Do correct me if I am in error. [JF]

  4. AlbertE. says:

    That is the photo of Daood. The other photo was of his buddy Rana. Daood did legally change his name to David but that was all part of the terrorist plot. Taqqiya and kitman at work on the part of the devout Muslim undoubtedly. Able to deceive and lie if done in the name of Islam. That is my perception. Daood is able to pass as a white American even though he spent all his formative years in Pakistan and maybe is not considered to be a natural born American citizen. Legally on the outside he is David, on the inside he is now and always be Daood. With his loyalties clear at least to himself.

  5. AlbertE. says:

    Very good program just now on Frontline about Daood. They go into detail about how Daood adopted the name of David and got all his ID and records changed and legally. Daood however even when casing Mumbai for the attack did marry a Muslim woman [divorced now] and insisted that she live and dress as a devout Muslim woman. So his Islamic inclinations were very strong even though he seemed to live the life of the white American playboy.

    That Frontline program does NOT mention the Kinsman, IL. USA halal goat/sheep ranch and slaughterhouse as owned by Rana and Daood. That ranch and slaughter house was raided and is now again in business. AND was located smack dab in the middle of the MOST nuclear spot in the U.S. Braidwood, La Salle and Dresden, nuclear power plants or storage facilities. I hope the FBI has taken that slaughterhouse apart to the last nut screw and bolt and used ground penetrating radar to search the livestock area for hidden weaponry and explosives. You take it from there.

  6. Wikispooks says:

    The article title accurately reflects the almost sub-concious assumptions of all commentators who value their connections with ‘the Establishment’, when it comes to the dirty deeds of the SIS’s – and much else besides. In this case the assumption can be framed quite narrowly: That the SIS’s are genuinely fighting terrorism rather than being its primary instigators. They may be charcterised as bungling fools who do stupid things – That’s A OK because to do so bolsters the official narrative and so is welcomed in a preverse sort of fashion by its guardians – but, that they (the SIS’s and their operatives) may actually be the psychopathic, scheming baddies (on ANY scale, let alone the gargantuan scale of the GWOT); why the very notion is unthinkable – or else.

    The contents of the article actually suggest a much more pertinent question as its title:

    “Did US Agencies orchestrate and facilitate the 2008 Mumbai attacks?”

    How about an analysis of the Mumbai attacks with that as a working hypothesis?

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