By Matt Goldstein
Pakistani American David Coleman Headley, a.k.a. Daood Gilani, was the architect of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks at the behest of Pakistani terrorist organization, L.E.T., Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the most deadly and brazen terrorist attacks of all time. Before Headley became a religious extremist who conspired to murder 166 people, David was a drunken junkie in Philadelphia managing the Khyber Pass Pub for his mother in the 1980’s.
The Khyber is one of the greatest rock and roll bars of all time and with all the rock bands in and out of the bar, Headley fell in with a crown of drug users. Living and working at the bar, Headley began heavily drinking and using hard drugs and heroin. Headley then had the genius idea of being a drug smuggler and in 1987 he was arrested on drug charges. In order to reduce his sentence, Headley became a cooperating informant for the DEA. When Headley was arrested again in 1997, after another light sentence, Headley began working undercover for the D.E.A..
While conducting undercover surveillance operations inside Pakistan, Headley befriended Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the spiritual leader of the L.E.T.. Officially outlawed by Pakistan, the L.E.T. still receives support and safe haven from the Pakistani Army, and the I.S.I., Pakistan’s intelligence services.
According to authorities, David Headley received support from multiple I.S.I. Agents and took direction from Sajid Mir, a top commander in the L.E.T.. In 2002 Headley began training in L.E.T. training camps inside Pakistan which were allegedly guarded by the Pakistani Army. In around 2006, Headley began making multiple surveillance trips to India looking for targets through India’s biggest and richest city. On Thanksgiving morning in 2008, Americans woke to up to a scene of horror unfolding on the television and it was live. Gunfire, explosions and chaos were being aired live throughout the world with a terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists. The terrorists specifically chose the date so that Americans would be home from work and could watch the horror on TV. The L.E.T. made a point to send a message directly to America.
Headley had chosen 11 targets for the attacks which included the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Oberoi Hotel, the Leopold Café, the Train Station and Chabad House Synagogue and Jewish outreach center. The targets were specifically chosen for their symbolism and potential casualties. Headley even stayed at the Taj Majal hotel and spent lavish money, enjoying his time as a vacation. Headley even wore religious Hindu garb as to seem un-Islamic.
In order to keep the attacks going as long as possible, the terrorists took methamphetamine so they didn’t need sleep. For almost 3 days, 11 young Pakistani soldiers for the L.E.T. unleashed hell on Mumbai India with Sajid Mir directing their actions from inside Pakistan. The phone calls were intercepted and recorded from the Indian intelligence agencies and Sajid Mir can be heard ordering executions and telling the terrorists to set the Taj Mahal Hotel on fire. Live on televisions all over the world were the gun fights inside the Taj Mahal hotel and the hostage situation at the Chabad House.
Perhaps the saddest part of the attacks after the hundreds of casualties is the fact that U.S. authorities were tipped off to Headley’s terrorist activities years before the attacks took place. After a domestic dispute in 2005, Headley’s wife tipped off the FBI and the tips were completely ignored. Could the attacks have been prevented? Who knows, but according to PBS, these were not the only tips given to the United States government about David Headley’s terrorist activities. These missteps have fueled the belief in India that Headley was a double agent for the United States and that America may have allowed the Mumbai attacks to take place. This is extremely doubtful but to say the least, but the United States must press Pakistan to stamp out the L.E.T. for good, not support, fund and protect their operations.
David Coleman Headley, a.k.a. Daood Gilani, was the architect of one of the most murderous terrorist attacks in history. Formerly a drunk and junkie pseudo punk rock hipster turned international drug smuggler, informant and snitch, and now a terrorist is currently serving life in prison in and cooperating with authorities and providing key information on Sajid Mir, the L.E.T. the I.S.I. and later operations with Al Qaeda. After he was arrested for drugs, David Coleman Headley snitched twice. After he was arrested for terrorism, Headley snitched on all of the terrorists. This seems to be a man with no real identity, no loyalty, no actual beliefs and no life at all. David Coleman Headley is one murder who will never see the light of day.