New Delhi: Pakistani-born American terrorist David Coleman Headley, who turned approver in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, on Friday told a Mumbai court that Pakistan’s military spy agency and terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) wanted to attack the Mumbai airport and a naval facility.

Testifying via a video-link from the US, Headley also said he was interested in developing close relations with a Shiv Sena member as he thought LeT would be interested in attacking Sena Bhawan or assassinating its head some time in the future.

“Major Iqbal (who belongs to Pakistan’s military spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence, or ISI) expressed disapproval of certain areas I had recced as targets. I felt Major Iqbal was unhappy because Mumbai airport was not selected and included as one of the targets for the 26/11 attack," Headley said.

The 26-29 November 2008 siege of Mumbai killed 166 people, including many foreign nationals. Ten LeT militants, who had set sail from Karachi and landed in Mumbai, targeted a cafe, two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and a train station, holding the city to ransom for close to 60 hours. Indian security forces eventually eliminated nine with one of the attackers being captured alive. India blames LeT for plotting and carrying out the attack, but also suspects the terror outfit received backing from the ISI and sections of the Pakistan military.

In New Delhi, Indian external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said “it is up to Pakistan to investigate and expose fully the conspiracy in Pakistan behind the Mumbai terrorist attack and to bring all concerned to justice and his (Headley’s) deposition once again confirms this view."

In his testimony, Headley also said he had surveyed the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai in July 2008 and that LeT had asked him to recruit a BARC employee who would work for the ISI.

“Major Iqbal told me that in some future date I should recruit some employee of BARC who would give us classified information and would be ready to work for the ISI," Headley said, adding that he had handed over the video to Major Iqbal.

In another disclosure, the 55-year-old, who is currently serving a 35-year sentence in a US prison in connection with the Mumbai attacks, said that after his trips to the Indian financial capital, he had several meetings in Pakistan with LeT leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Sajid Mir, Abu Kahfa, Abdul Rehman Pasha and Major Iqbal. He said he had discouraged LeT from making the naval air station and the Siddhivinayak temple as targets. “I discouraged them (LeT) about naval air station and Siddhivinayak temple as targets as then all the 10 attackers would have had to concentrate on one target only," he said.

During his visit to the Siddhivinayak temple, Headley “purchased red and yellow wrist bands". “I thought the 10 youths could wear it as a cover so that people would think they were Indians. Nobody asked me to do so. I saw a man selling it outside the temple, so the thought occurred to me. After I returned to Pakistan, I gave those wrist bands to Sajid Mir and explained to him that practising Hindus in India wear this and, hence, it would be a good idea if the 10 gentlemen (attackers) also wear it as it would look like they are Hindus," he said.

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