The U.S. federal authorities had been warned of David Coleman Headley’s links to Lashkar-e-Taiba by his wives on various occasions before the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, according to media reports today. The New York Times reports that about a year before the attacks, Headley’s Moroccan wife warned U.S. authorities in Pakistan about her husband’s intentions to attack. In 2005, his American wife had complained to authorities about her husband’s potential links with Lashkar-e-Taiba. However, these warnings did not lead to any arrests and Headley continued to make training and reconnaissance trip to Pakistan and India in preparation of the attacks.
An important point to note in David Headley’s relationship with the U.S. authorities is that he was a longtime informer in Pakistan for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Questions are being raised if this connection made U.S. authorities neglect complaints against him. Authorities however, maintained that the complaints by Headley’s wives were followed upon but did not reveal enough for any arrests to take place. Questions are also been raised in India about why India was not sufficiently informed about the matter, if the U.S. had prior information in the case.
During his interrogation by Indian authorities in Washington D.C, Headley revealed plans to attack various other cities including Delhi and the Prime Minister’s residence. He is also said to have revealed links between the ISI and the 26/11 attacks.
David Coleman Headley was arrested last year in Chicago with another co-conspirator, Tahawwur Hussain Rana. He had pleaded guilty to planning the Mumbai attacks and entered into a plea bargain with U.S. authorities which prevent his extradition to any country.