ISI even has a 'Nepal set-up': Headley
New Delhi October 27:
Pakistani spy agency ISI does not only have a " Karachi set-up" to bleed India using locals through the Lashkar network, but also has an exclusive " Nepal set-up" to pursue its design by putting Nepalese and their Indian relatives on the job.
The revelation came from American terrorist David Coleman Headley who had told the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in June about the existence of the `Nepal set-up', which has its network in India, to aid ISI as and when needed. The basic component of the set-up is to use the network of Nepalese Muslims through their friends and relatives in India.
Headley told his interrogators: "Abdur Rehman (retired Major of Pakistan Army) has a set-up in eastern part of Nepal which has sizable Muslim population. I got an impression that there was close coordination between the `Karachi set-up' and 'Nepal set-up', both run by him (at the behest of ISI)."
Sketchy details of the `Nepal set-up' are there in the Headley's 106-page interrogation report, compiled by NIA. The American terrorist, who was arrested by FBI in Chicago in October last year, told the agency: "One Papu of Nepal whose son is in India, is an important component of Abdur Rehman's set-up." He, however, claimed that he did not have any information about Papu.
The reference to the `Nepal set-up' had also come up during his interrogation when he told the NIA sleuths that Rehman had once hinted to him about taking help from his `Nepal set-up' for carrying out the attack on the National Defence College (NDC) in Delhi. Rehman had put in place the set-up when he visited Nepal twice during 2005-06. As it was an exclusive ISI set-up, Rehman did not share details of his Nepal visit with any Lashkar member.
Obviously, the easy movement of Nepalese citizens (without passport and visa requirements) in India could be the reason behind setting up the ISI base among the Muslim population in Nepal. The `Karachi set-up' was also put in place by Rehman who had trained some Indian youths for carrying out attacks in India and thereby giving an impression of `home-grown terror'.
Headley, who had been on a mission to finalize the plan to attack a Danish newspaper establishment in Copenhagen at the time of his arrest, also claimed that he had, in fact, volunteered as a suicide bomber for the `Denmark plot', if Rehman found it difficult to have cadres ready for a `hit and escape' type of action. He was, however, arrested on October 3 last year at Chicago airport while he was going to Pakistan to share finer details of the Danish plot with Rehman and Sajid (another Lashkar commander).
Headley's interrogation report also points out at growing apprehensions among Lashkar cadres about the Pakistan government's roles in war against Talibans on the western front. As some of the LeT's cadres had already dropped their Kashmir mission for fighting alongside fellow jihadis in Afghanistan, the outfit faced some differences within the cadres as well as with ISI.
Headley claimed that once he and Rehman (who opted out of the Kashmir mission for operation against western forces in Afghanistan unlike Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi) along with others had even discussed "a plan to assassinate then President Pervez Musharraf". He later said Zaki (who was focused on his Indian mission) had, however, been angry at them for discussing such a thing.