Eight days of interrogation by Indian law enforcement officials of American David Coleman Headley reportedly yielded key disclosures linking terrorists behind the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai to Pakistani intelligence.
In March, Headley pleaded guilty to 12 federal terrorism charges, including conspiracy to bomb public places in India, to murder Americans and others in India, and to provide material support to the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). More than 160 people were killed in the attacks, including six Americans
As part of their joint partnership to combat international terrorism, the U.S. government provided a team from India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) with direct access Headley last month. He reportedly told the investigators that the terrorist outfit LeT worked hand-in-glove with rogue elements tied to Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, leader of Jamaat ud-Dawa (JuD), the Pakistan-based Islamic charity that serves as a front for the LeT, has also been identified by Headley as the "mastermind" of the Mumbai attacks. Headley also disclosed the names of the terrorist handlers who orchestrated the attacks from several thousands of miles away in Pakistan.
The close ties between the Pakistani terrorist group and the ISI have been detailed in the 11th dossier of evidence documenting Headley's confessions related to the attacks. India has submitted ten other dossiers to Pakistan in the past citing evidence tying members of the LeT and the Pakistani military and intelligence services to the Mumbai attacks. The dossier details LeT operative Headley's meetings with his handlers in Pakistan, including JuD's Saeed, retired Pakistani major Sajid Mir and ISI officials in the Pakistani cities of Muzzaffarabad and Lahore in the months leading up to the Mumbai attacks.
Islamabad has denied Saeed and the JuD were involved, but recently recognized JuD as a terrorist group. The admission comes close on the heels of Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram's visit to Islamabad to meet with his counterpart Rehman Malik and hand him the dossier of evidence with Headley's confessions. The recognition of JuD as a terrorist group is also part of larger government crackdown on 17 terrorist groups, including the LeT and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), following the recent attack on a mosque in Lahore that killed at least 45 people.