Friday, October 30, 2009

Top Pak diplomat knew US Lashkar operatives: FBI

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's Consul General in Chicago personally knew both David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, nabbed by the FBI for planning to carry out a major terror attack in India at the behest of LeT, the US authorities have claimed.

The FBI in its revised chargesheet filed before a Chicago court said the Consul General of Pakistan in Chicago personally knows both Rana and Headley alias 'Daood Gilani', as all three of them are from the same high school.

According to the website of the Pakistan Embassy here, Dr Aman Rashid is the Consul General in Chicago.

'On or about September 25, 2009, Rana spoke by telephone with the Consul General at the Pakistani Consulate in Chicago in an effort to obtain a five-year visa for Headley to travel to Pakistan. It is clear from the email traffic unrelated to terrorist plotting that the Consul General knows Rana and Headley personally as all three attended the same high school,' the FBI claimed.

However, the affidavit, does not say anything if the Consul General was aware or had any inclination of the terrorist connection of Rana and Headley.

Rana (48) and Headley (49) are not only residents of Chicago, but were product of the same military school.

American national Headley, whose assistance was sought by Lashkar-e-Taiba in planning a major terror attack in India, was helped by his Pakistani-Canadian
friend Rana to obtain a visa for Pakistan so that he can travel to NWFP for training and meeting the LeT leaders, federal prosecutors have charged.

The chargesheet also indicates that LeT was planning to use Headley for a major terrorist attack in India.

The transcripts of the taped conversations, both email and telephone, reveals that LeT was planning to use Headley for attack on a mysterious Indian actor 'Rahul' - which Indian intelligence agencies say could be a code message.

Headley stated that he intended to travel to Pakistan in early October to meet with an unidentified LeT Individual 'B' and (Ilyas) Kashmiri, the FBI told the court. It said Headley had already travelled to Pakistan from late January to early March of 2009, during which he visited FATA.

While it does not mention to which high schools the three were students, the FBI told the court that postings to a Yahoo group of graduates of a military school located in the Pakistani town of Hasan Abdal (a group that refers to itself as 'abdalians') reflected that both Headley and Rana have participated in the group and referred to their attendance at that school.

Cadet College Hasan Abdal is located in the Hasan Abdal - a historic city in northern Punjab of Pakistan, some 40 km north west of Rawalpindi. The town with a population of 50,000 is famous for Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib, one of the most sacred places of Sikhism. PTI

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