Pakistani government rejects Headley claims

Pak government doubts Mumbai testimony

May 24, 2011

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

The Pakistani government is questioning the credibility of a key witness in a terrorism trial in Chicago. David Coleman Headley is testifying that his friend Tahawwur Rana provided material support for the 2008 Mumbai, India attacks. The attacks left more than 160 people dead.

Headley admits he went to Mumbai to scout locations before the 2008 attacks. He says he got logistical help from members of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, and Navy.

Headley says he got his orders from a member of Pakistan’s Intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.

Headley says the man’s name is Major Iqbal. Major Iqbal is listed as a co-defendant in the indictment against Rana, but he’s not in American custody.

And according to the Pakistani embassy in Washington D.C., Major Iqbal doesn’t even exist.

A spokesman there says that either Headley is lying about Major Iqbal, or he was lied to by a man pretending to be a Pakistani agent.

Rana’s defense team is expected to take a similar tack, saying Headley is falsely implicating his childhood friend to avoid the death penalty.

Rana is charged with letting Headley pose as a travel agent to gain cover in India, and sending him money to help plan the attacks.