26/11 attackers had made attempts twice earlier

26/11 attackers had made attempts twice earlier

The 10 terrorists, who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008, had attempted to carry out the strike twice earlier but could not execute, Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley disclosed today.

Deposing before a court here via a video-link from the US, the Pakistani-American said the attempts were made in September and October that year.

“LeT operative Sajid Mir (Headley’s main contact man in LeT) told me that two earlier attempts to attack Mumbai had failed,” Headley told Special Judge GA Sanap during deposition that lasted nearly five-and-a-half-hours.

He said the first attempt was made in September 2008 but it failed as the boat hit some rocks and the terrorists lost all the arms and ammunition into the sea.

“The boat, which started from outside Karachi, disintegrated and people on it had their life jackets on and they came to the shore, while the second attempt was made a month later (in October),” Headley told the court.

The same 10 terrorists of LeT were successful in attacking Mumbai the third time, said Headley, the LeT operative who is currently serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks.

Headley reportedly visited India many times between 2006 and 2008, drew maps, took video footage and scouted several targets for the attacks including the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Nariman House. His recce provided vital information for the 10 LeT attackers and their handlers in the attack.

The deposition of Headley, assumes significance as it may unravel the conspiracy behind the brazen terror strike, which left 166 dead and 309 injured.

The court had on December 10, 2015, made Headley an approver in the case and directed him to depose before the court on February 8 (today).

He had then told Special Judge GA Sanap that he was “ready to depose” if granted pardon.