Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Access to Headley a bleak possibility
Even as talks pertaining to Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative David Coleman Headley continue at the highest levels with the United States, Indian agencies are not completely confident about getting access to him.
Highly placed sources told rediff.com that it seems very unlikely that the US will grant access to Headley, who allegedly conduced a recce for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Even if they are granted limited access it will be under Federal Bureau of Investigation supervision and Indian officials are not hopeful of getting the information that they are really trying to seek.
In the investigations post Headley's revelations to the FBI, Indian agencies have stumbled upon various facts. Sources say that the fact that he is a double agent is not a big worry for the United States. Indian agencies say that there are many such persons from the US who have been involved with Pakistan to carry out subversive activities in India. The names of several such persons have cropped up during investigations and only Headley can name them.
Investigations have revealed that there is a deep-rooted Inter Services Intelligence-backed network in India. When Headley was in India, he stayed in touch with this network which comprised high-ranking officers of Pakastan's spy agancy. Headley could provide Indian agencies important leads on this network.
Indian intelligence agencies say that Headley is a gold mine of information. Terrorist groups always work on a need to know basis, but Headley is different. His determination and his ability helped him get to the top rung very easily. His contacts were always at the high level. He was very well connected to the ISI top rung in India and if he opens up it would be of immense help to Indian security agencies. Headley knows everything about ISI operatives working in India and he could help shut down most of that network.
Indian agencies say they are fully aware that Pakistan is trying to put pressure on the US, to deny access to Indian investigators. For the US it is more of an embarrassing situation since, Headley is not the only one who has helped launch a terror attack from their soil. Headley had contacted several persons undertaking similar jobs and the US would not like that information to come out in the open, sources pointed out.