Defense team tries to poke holes in admitted terrorist's testimony

May 26, 2011

Download Story
(AP)
A courtroom sketch of David Headley on the stand

Defense attorneys for a Chicago man will continue trying to poke holes in the testimony of an admitted terrorist Thursday.

Prosecutors ended their three day-long questioning of David Headley Wednesday by playing a secretly-recorded conversation between Headley and Tahawwur Rana.

Rana is accused of helping his friend Headley and others plan the 2008 Mumbai, India attacks that killed at least 164 people. The courtroom could hear Rana and Headley allegedly laughing and talking about other targets to attack in India.

Headley's a critical witness for prosecutors, so when Rana's attorney began questioning Headley, he got into Headley's history of doing drugs, his convictions for smuggling heroin from Pakistan and his involvement with a terrorist organization, which included training on how to manipulate people.

The intention is to show Rana didn't know Headley was planning the terrorist attacks. At one point, defense attorney Charles Swift said, "You did well in espionage school."

Headley replied, "Thank you."

Headley also offered new information about a man referred to as Major Iqbal. Headley told prosecutors that Major Iqbal is a member of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and played a major role planning and funding the Mumbai attacks. On cross-examination, defense attorney Swift asked Headley how he knew Major Iqbal was a member of the ISI. Headley said he never saw Major Iqbal in uniform, was never told Major Iqbal's real name and never saw military identification on Major Iqbal. But Headley testified he spent "scores of time" learning how to conduct covert surveillance and manipulate people from Major Iqbal at a two-story safe house in Pakistan. Pakistan's government denies Major Iqbal is a member of the ISI.