Rana praised LeT handler for ‘brilliantly’ done Mumbai attack: Headley (Lead)May 26th, 2011 - 12:53 am ICT by IANS
Chicago, May 25 (IANS) Pakistan-born Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, accused of supporting Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), praised the 2008 Mumbai attacks as “brilliantly” done and likened his LeT handler Sajid Mir to a top seventh century general, a Chicago court was told Wednesday.
Taking the the stand for the third day as prosecution’s star witness, self-confessed terrorist Pakistani American David Coleman Headley so described the reaction of his one-time friend Rana.
US-born Headley, the son of a Pakistani father and an American mother, who changed his given name of Daood Gilani in 2006 to scout targets for the 26/11 attack without arousing suspicion, testified Wednesday that Rana praised the assault, saying “tactically, this was done brilliantly”. More than 160 people, including six Americans, were killed in the November 26-29, 2008 attack.
Headley said Rana also praised Sajid Mir, the LeT handler in Pakistan, for his Chhabad House attack strategy, calling him Khalid bin Walid, a famous Arab military strategist during Prophet Mohammed’s times in the seventh century.
Sajid Mir, he said, had told the two boys (attackers) to use mattresses and ambush the special forces who were descending down the staircases on the second morning of the assault. Six people were killed in the attack on Chhabad House, a Jewish community centre.
Headley said he later told Sajid Mir that he had received a compliment from Rana for his “tactical brilliance.”
Sajid Mir, who was in Karachi during the Mumbai attack, expressed his frustration that he did not follow all his instructions, Headley said. For one “I was not supposed to go back to India after the Mumbai attack and travel to Denmark.”
Sajid Mir, who had a couple of people was with him, was in contact with the attackers via phone and he was watching TV coverage of the siege and seeing what was going on in India.
Headley also testified that he met Ilyas Kashmiri to discuss the “Mickey Mouse Project” as the plot to attack a Danish newspaper which had published controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed was described.
The jury was shown 13 short videos taken by Headley in the Danish Capital Copenhagen.
“I asked for manpower and funds for the project. It was luke warm response …they were not into it. Instead of 10,000 pounds they gave me 2,000 pounds and gave no weapons,” Headley added.
Headley then travelled to Copenhagen and did surveillance of the building housing Jyllands Posten newspaper. Some of Headley’s surveillance videos in Copenhagen were shown in court.
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