Profile of David Headley, 3rd wife of Headly, Mumbai Blast movie, Pakistan, Headley as Gilani, LeT, Lashkar-e-Toeba, US, Heroin, FBI, Hafiz Saeed
Profile of David Headley: 3rd wife of Headly – “Congrats..watched the Mumbai Blast movie the whole day”
David Coleman Headley (born Daood Sayed Gilani; 30 June 1960) is a Pakistani American terrorist and spy who conspired with the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist organization and Pakistani intelligence officers in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Between 2002 and 2005, Headley made several trips to Pakistan for Lashkar training while simultaneously working as an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Under the direction of Lashkar chiefs, Headley performed five spying missions in Mumbai to scout targets for the attacks, which killed 168 people. The following year, he performed a similar mission in Copenhagen to help plan an attack against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which had published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. He was arrested at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago while on his way to Pakistan in October 2009.
The Indian public has followed Headley’s story closely, considering him to be their equivalent of Osama bin Laden. U.S. authorities gave Indian investigators direct access to Headley, but some in India have questioned why the U.S. had not shared suspicions about him with Indian authorities before the Mumbai attacks.
Since his arrest and guilty plea, Headley has cooperated with U.S. and Indian authorities and given information about his associates. On January 24, 2013, a U.S. federal court sentenced Headley to 35 years in prison for his role in the Mumbai attacks.
Early life (Read Headley as Gelani)
David Coleman Headley was born as Daood Sayed Gilani in Washington, D.C., to Sayed Salim Gilani Sayed Gilani was a well-known Pakistani diplomat and broadcaster.Headley, originally from Maryland, worked as a secretary at the Pakistani embassy in Washington.
Lahore, the hometown of Gilani’s family, in 1950.
In 1960, shortly after Gilani (Headley) was born, his family left the United States and settled in Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab. There, Gilani (headley)stood out because of his light skin color and because of the different coloration of his eyes. Gilani’s mother was unable to adapt to Pakistani culture and returned to the U.S., leaving her children with their father in Lahore. After getting a divorce, she married four more times.
Meanwhile, Gilani clashed with his Pakistani stepmother. Daood Gilani was raised in a political environment steeped in Pakistani nationalism and Islamic conservatism, both of which were amplified by Pakistan’s strained relations with India.
During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, a stray bomb hit Gilani’s elementary school in Karachi and killed two people; this event is thought to have stoked Gilani’s personal hatred towards India and Hindus.
In 1977, at the age of seventeen, Gilani escaped to the U.S. with help from his biological mother following Operation Fair Play and the rise of a military dictatorship in Pakistan. Gilani settled with his mother in Philadelphia, where he helped her manage a popular bar called the Khyber Pass Pub – named after the famous mountain pass in Pakistan used in their escape. In 1985, he married a Pennsylvania State University student, but they divorced two years later due to cultural differences. He eventually moved to New York City and opened a pair of video rental businesses.
Drug convictions and DEA deal
While studying at the community college, Gilani became addicted to heroin and eventually became himself as a drug trafficker from Pakistan.In the late 1990’s, Gilani run consulting company in Chicago, called First World Services, to smuggle drugs.
In 1988, Gilani was arrested served four years in prison while his associates were sentenced to ten years in prison. In 1995,
Gilani managed to beat his addiction to heroin, but was still involved in the drug trade. In early 1997, Gilani was arrested with another man in a DEA sting operation when he tried to smuggle heroin into the country from Pakistan. Gilani quickly offered his services as a confidential informant to the DEA.
Involvement in terrorism
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, whom Gilani befriended.In exchange for information about his long-term Pakistani drug contacts, Gilani received a considerably lighter sentence than his co-defendant: fifteen months in jail and five years of supervised release. In November 1998, Headley was delivered to the low-security Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix.There, Gilani became an increasingly devout Muslim. In July 1999, months after Gilani began his sentence, his attorney, Howard Leader, requested permission for Gilani to be given a supervised early release from prison so he could travel to Pakistan to be wed in an arranged marriage. Judge Carol Amon granted the unusual request.
While visiting Lahore, Gilani was introduced to Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist terror organization that would later launch a high-profile attack on the Indian parliament. Gilani made further trips to Pakistan without the knowledge of U.S. authorities, immersing himself in Lashkar ideology. He befriended Lashkar’s spiritual leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, and committed himself to the group’s war on India, which was supported by the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s premier intelligence service.
At the same time this was happening, Gilani resumed work as a DEA informant in New York City and participated in an undercover operation that reportedly led to the seizure of one kilo of heroin from Pakistani traffickers. Yet despite working for a U.S. government agency, Gilani actively raised money and recruited new members for Lashkar, a group that swore allegiance with Al-Qaeda. Gilani would later testify that he discussed his views regarding Kashmir – a disputed region between Pakistan and India that is the focus of Lashkar’s campaign against the latter – with his DEA handlers. The DEA has insisted that it was unaware of Gilani’s political and religious radicalization.
However, other agencies claim that he remained a DEA operative as late as 2005.
In February 2002, Gilani went to a Lashkar training camp and did a three-week introductory course on Lashkar ideology and jihad. That summer, Serrill Headley (father of David Headley), who by then had retired to the town of Oxford, Pennsylvania, confided to friends that her son had become a religious fanatic and had been to terrorist training camps. While Gilani was on a catering visit to his mother’s house, one of her friends, Phyllis Keith, noticed that he parked his car behind her residence as if he was trying to hide it. Keith reported Gilani to the FBI office in Philadelphia, which apparently did not follow through with an investigation.
That August, Gilani returned to Pakistan and began a second stint at the Lashkar training camp; he spent his spare time with his Pakistani wife in Lahore. Despite being already married in Pakistan, Gilani had proposed to a long-time girlfriend in New York City the month before; neither woman apparently knew about the other. In December 2002, after landing in New York City, Gilani was briefly detained by border inspectors who had been on the lookout for unusual travel patterns to hubs of terrorism such as Pakistan. However, the border inspectors found nothing amiss and soon released him. Gilani married his fiancée at a Jamaican resort a few days later.
In the summer of 2005, Gilani’s second wife confronted him after learning about his other marriage, and about his trips to the Lashkar training camps, from his father. On August 25, 2005, Giliani hit his wife during an argument at his New York video store. After having Gilani arrested for assault, his wife called a government hotline and disclosed his terrorist activities. She was subsequently interviewed three times by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. The FBI, citing Gilani’s work for the DEA, did not consider him a threat despite the accusations leveled against him in 2001 and 2002. The FBI agent investigating the matter speculated that Gilani’s wife made her accusations because she had “an ax to grind” regarding his other marriage. Gilani was never questioned, and the assault charge was eventually dropped. Gilani later closed his video store.
In June 2006, Gilani’s second wife, originally from Canada, applied for a green card under a U.S. law for abused spouses. In addition to physical abuse, Gilani’s wife made reference to his radicalization and terrorist training; his anti-Semitic and anti-Hindu bigotries; and his praise for suicide bombers. U.S. immigration services granted the green card, but did not alert law enforcement about Gilani because of strict privacy laws governing immigration cases which involve spousal abuse
Name change and ISI recruitment
By 2005, Gilani’s training had advanced to the point where he wanted to fight in Kashmir. Instead, Lashkar-a-Taiba sent Gilani to Sajid Mir, the organization’s foreign recruiter and a man Western authorities believe was involved with the ISI. Sajid Mir wanted to use Gilani for terrorist missions in India, specifically a planned attack on Mumbai. Under Mir’s direction, Gilani went to Philadelphia and legally changed his name to David Coleman Headley, taking his mother’s surname. Even though Pennsylvania law requires a background check for name changes, state officials apparently did not uncover Headley’s previous drug convictions. The name change would make it easier for Headley to hide his Pakistani ancestry and pass as a Westerner, leading anyone he encountered to assume he was a tourist rather than a terrorist.
In January 2006, Headley was recruited into the ISI by Major Iqbal, who is believed to have been an officer from Directorate S, an ISI wing that allegedly collaborates with terrorist groups. Under sworn testimony, Headley recalled meeting Major Iqbal and his superior officer, a Pakistani colonel, in a safe house. Major Iqbal and Sajid Mir reportedly became Headley’s ISI handlers and oversaw Headley’s training in espionage techniques in preparation for a reconnaissance mission to Mumbai; he met with Iqbal and Mir separately so that the ISI could maintain plausible deniability.
In February, Headley was again detained by border inspectors at John F. Kennedy International Airport after returning from Pakistan, and was again released. That month, he contacted his former DEA handler for the final time.
In 2007, Headley met a Moroccan medical student in Lahore named Faiza Outalha, eventually marrying her as his third wife; unlike his second wife, Outalha reportedly knew that Headley was already married and approved of the potential arrangement. However, their relationship was strained due to Outalha’s progressive views and Headley’s unflinching religious conservatism. One reported point of contention was Headley’s demand that Outalha wear traditional Muslim clothing for women. In December 2007, Outalha filed assault charges against Headley after getting into an altercation with his servant outside of their house in Lahore. After spending eight days in jail, Headley was reportedly released after Major Iqbal intervened.
Trips to Mumbai
A view of the Taj Mahal Hotel, taken a week after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Over the course of 2007, Lashkar’s plot for the Mumbai attacks started to materialize, and the Western-looking Headley was considered the ideal militant to perform reconnaissance missions. Using $25,000 supplied to him by Major Iqbal, Headley opened a Mumbai branch office for Tahawwur Rana’s First World Services – which Headley had already secretly used to traffick heroin – as a front company.
Between 2007 and 2008, Headley made five trips to Mumbai, scouting local landmarks where Lashkar terrorists would carry out the multi-pronged attack. Headley stayed at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel – identified by Iqbal and Mir as their main target – and surveyed the building using his ISI training, shooting hours of video during in-house tours.
Iqbal and Mir were emboldened by Headley’s intelligence and decided to make their attack more ambitious in scale. As they expanded their list of targets, Headley scouted the Oberoi Trident Hotel, the Leopold Cafe, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. When Lashkar decided to target on the Nariman House, a Jewish community center, Headley visited the location posing as a Jew.
Headley also took boat tours to look for places where the attackers could reach the city through the waterfront; he found a landing location at a fishermen’s slum in the Colaba area of southern Mumbai, where he gathered GPS coordinates. For the maritime reconnaissance, Headley received assistance from a frogman in the Pakistan Navy.
Headley lived the high life during his time in Mumbai, and developed a rapport with the very people he was planning to help attack. He joined an upscale gym, frequented nightclubs, and befriended a minor Bollywood actor who guided him through the city’s party scene. During his stay at the Taj Mahal, Headley acquainted himself with the hotel’s staff, reportedly praising the building’s architecture. In Colaba, he reportedly tried to attract a young café proprietor.
For their 2007 honeymoon, Headley took Faiza Outalha with him to Mumbai and stayed at both the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi Trident. The trip ended with an argument between the couple and Outalha was sent back to Lahore. Afterwards, Iqbal and Mir pressured Headley to divorce Outalha, believing she endangered his cover. She responded by reporting Headley to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, and later submitting to interviews with State Department and ICE officials, describing his Mumbai activities at length. However, Outalha later admitted that she embellished some of her accusations against Headley, leading the Americans to not take her claims seriously. The State Department relayed her warnings to the DEA, the FBI, and the CIA, but whether the agencies acted on them is disputed. After escaping Pakistan, Outalha divorced from Headley.
As the attacks unfolded in late November 2008, Headley watched the news coverage at home in Lahore after receiving a text message. The ten Lashkar militants carried out the attacks per the detailed intelligence gathered by Headley during his trips; the attack would lead to the deaths of 166 people, including six Americans. Headley’s first wife, who had moved to Chicago and knew of his reconnaissance work for Lashkar, praised him in a coded e-mail: “Congrats on your graduation. Graduation ceremony is really great, watched the movie the whole day.”………….cont