Mumbai Terror Investigators Focus On 2 Men Charged In Chicago, Tahawwur Hussain Rana And David Coleman Headley, Were They Directed by Al-Qaeda Mob Boss Dawood Ibrahim.
By Emily Wax...Washington Post Foreign Service.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 .....NEW DELHI -- Indian authorities are investigating whether two men recently arrested in Chicago on terrorism charges had a role in last November's attacks in Mumbai that killed 165 people, government officials here said.
David Coleman Headley, 49, who was born in the United States but had lived in Pakistan and changed his name from Daood Gilani three years ago, was arrested last month along with Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, a Pakistani-born businessman and Canadian citizen. They were charged with plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that had printed cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, according to criminal complaints unsealed recently in a federal court in Chicago.
Indian police suspect that Headley conducted scouting missions of the Mumbai targets, including the city's main train station, the popular Leopold Cafe, and the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and the Oberoi Trident hotels. Hotel records show he stayed in both hotels in 2007, authorities said.
Headley also allegedly posed as a Jew to visit one of the other eventual targets, Chabad House, home to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish center, said a high-ranking official involved in the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the matter with the media, more from this source...
India's government on Friday acknowledged that Headley had apparently traveled to India several times. He was apprehended October 3 at a Chicago airport as he was preparing to begin a trip to Pakistan. Also arrested this month in the same case: Tahawwur Hussein Rana, a native Pakistani with Canadian citizenship. Prosecutors say both men attended the same military school in Pakistan. An alleged target of the plot in India, according to an FBI affidavit, was named "Rahul."
India's home minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, is trying to knock down such speculation. "It could be a pseudonym," he said. "It could be a code name, but please be assured it's not the Rahul that you think it is." Other reports say the target appears to have been a film actor, perhaps Bollywood super star Shahrukh Khan, who plays characters named Rahul in most of his films.
See my prior post, Wednesday, July 02, 2008, INDIAN MUSLIM MAFIA DON, DAWOOD IBRAHIM, STILL RUNS THE SHOW IN BOLLYWOOD, HEROIN TRADE AND THE STOLEN CAR RACKET IN DUBAI UAE.
Besides India, the defendants allegedly also planned to carry out attacks in Denmark, where a newspaper cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad in 2005 was published, offending many Muslims. The FBI documents indicate Headley was in repeated contact with members of the Pakistan-based terror outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba. The group is blamed for the late November, 2008 siege of Mumbai, which left more than 160 people dead.
Mumbai terror attacks: Who could be behind them?, Dawood Ibrahim aka Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and the Muslim Mafia in Karachi Paki Land. guardian.co.uk, Thursday November 27 2008 19.40 GMT...Criminal syndicates; Muslim Mafia out of Karachi PK led by Dawood Ibrahim.
Indian Mujahideen (IM) activists are said to have been motivated and trained by an allegedly shady businessman with underworld connections, Riyaz Bhatkal, alias Roshan Khan, wanted by the police and identified as Indian Mujahideen (IM's) co-founder.
As his name suggests, the gangster/businessman hails from Bhatkal town in the southern Karnataka state. But Bhatkal is still a relatively minor figure compared to the crime lords of Mumbai, a financial hub with a large and resourceful underworld.
None among Mumbai's crime bosses is more notorious than Dawood Ibrahim, see his Interpol Wanted Poster, accused by Indian authorities of having been the mastermind of the March 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai. The blasts had been executed in retaliation for attacks on Muslims by Hindu extremists following the demolition of the Babri mosque. At that time Ibrahim, wanted in Mumbai on murder, extortion and other charges, was living in Dubai.
But he subsequently moved to Karachi, and Indian intelligence alleges that he is holed up in the Pashtun tribal areas of Pakistan ever since Washington also put him on its terror list for his links with the Al Qaida. Ibrahim though is a ruthless, multi-millionaire crime boss with operations in several countries, especially in South Asia. His syndicate is known to have an extensive network in India, particularly in Mumbai, where some of his siblings still reside.
INDIAN MUSLIM MAFIA DON, Dawood Ibrahim, also known as Dawood Ebrahim, and Sheikh Dawood Hassan, birth name Sheikh Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, is the head of the organized crime syndicate D-Company in Mumbai, hiding out in Karachi PK and still running Ballywood, heroin trade and the stolen car racket in Dubai UAE, he links to the Albanian Muslim Mafia drug and car racket.Dawood Ibrahim and his D' Company are the source of most of the world's heroin. The United States has asked Pakistan to hand over India's 'most wanted' fugitive and international terrorist Dawood Ibrahim for his alleged links to al-Qaeda-related terrorists groups and involvement in the global heroin trade.
Dawood dons 'clean' new look, (see above)11 Sep 2008, 0326 hrs IST, S Ahmed Ali, TNN MUMBAI: For years, the few pictures of his menacing visage showcased a thick moustache. Well, India's most wanted, Dawood no longer sports his trademark moustache (TOI Photo)
VIDEO Watch here. The CBI stumbled upon this fact after recovering an album of photographs, which included Dawood's pictures, from Karimullah Khan, an accused in the 1993 serial blasts. The discovery has, however, come five years late. Dawood shaved off his moustache some time in 2003. Khan was arrested by Mumbai Police's Crime Branch last month and claimed to have worked in Dawood's palatial bungalow in the Clifton area of Karachi in Pakistan. He has told interrogators that Dawood has also put on a little weight and now appears to be a "little fairer" than he used to be. Dawood's health is reportedly closely monitored by a team of renowned physicians and dieticians.
Interpol Categories of Offences:COUNTERFEITING/FORGERY, CRIMES INVOLVING THE USE OF WEAPONS EXPLOSIVES, HOOLIGANISM VANDALISM, DAMAGE, ORGANIZED CRIME, TRANSNATIONAL CRIME, TERRORISM. Arrest Warrant Issued by: BOMBAY-MUMBAI / India
Declared an international terrorist by the US with an Interpol red corner notice against him, Dawood is known for holding many passports. But after months of investigation, CNN-IBN has found that the don travels by the name of Shaikh Abdul Rehman on a passport issued from a tiny western African nation – the Republic of Mali, a former French colony. Dawood's passport number is A 1332945 and it was issued to him on April 6, 2005.
The passport has been used in such a clandestine manner that even the Interpol is not aware of its existence. But it is believed that the don also uses a Pakistani passport – H 123259 – issued in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in July 2001. In this Pakistani passport, Dawood is called Md. Anees, a name that does not even figure on the Interpol watchlist.The gangster has 29 passports from several countries including, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Azerbaijan and Mauritius among others. The Interpol red corner notice lists 11 of his Indian passports, but he apparently does not use them anymore.
His new passport was made so that he could travel easily in African countries and his business in narcotics could spread in Africa and Europe. The gangster has operated with impunity across countries to leave an indelible stamp of his reach and influence all over the world.
But if Ibrahim is involved in the Thanksgiving Mumbai Massacre, his gang members are suspected of having played a local, supportive role in the terror strike. "The latest attack on Mumbai has the stamp of Dawood Ibrahim," said a Delhi-based security expert who did not want to be identified. "Definitely the people who hit Mumbai were a mixture of local guys who know the city very well, and trained, hardcore fighters who came by sea."
Pakistani terror groups; In a television address to the nation on Thursday, Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh identified the gunmen who attacked Mumbai as coming from "outside the country". It was clear to everyone which country he was referring to – India's neighbour Pakistan, which had also been implicated by authorities in many other terror strikes in the past, such as the 1993 Mumbai blasts and the more recent attack on the Parliament building in Delhi.
Major General RK Hooda, GOC, Maharashtra, was more explicit. He told NDTV news channel that the attackers had come by boat from Pakistan. Other TV channels named a gunmen held by authorities as Abu Ismail, said to be a Punjabi-speaking youth from Pakistan. A satellite phone recovered from two dead terrorists reportedly showed calls made to Karachi before and after the attacks commenced.