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LeT wanted to kill Bal Thackeray, Headley tells court


Mumbai: Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, convicted in the US for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, today told a court here that terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) wanted to eliminate Bal Thackeray but the person who was assigned the job to kill the late Shiv Sena chief was arrested.

The 55-year-old, who has turned approver in the terror case, disclosed this fact during a cross-examination on the second day by Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, via a video link from the US.
Headley also told the court that he had visited the Sena Bhavan twice. He, however, did not specify the year for the same.

“We wanted to target the chief of Shiv Sena… His name was Bal Thackeray. LeT wanted to kill him wherever a chance arose. I knew that Bal Thackeray was the head of Shiv Sena. I have no first hand knowledge but I think an attempt was made by LeT to kill Bal Thackeray,” he said.

“I don’t know how this attempt was made. I think the person (who was sent to kill Thackeray) was arrested but he managed to escape from police custody. I don’t have first hand knowledge about this though,” Headley added.

He also told special judge G A Sanap, who is hearing the 26/11 terror case against Jundal in a sessions court here, that he does not know who else was a target of LeT apart from Thackeray.

Yesterday, Headley spilled the beans on how once US financed his trip to Pakistan and also claimed that he had “donated” about Rs 70 lakh to LeT till 2006, two years before the Mumbai attacks.

He, however, contradicted reports that he had received money from LeT.
“I never received money from LeT… This is complete nonsense. I gave funds to LeT myself. I had donated more than 60 to 70 lakh Pakistani Rupees to LeT throughout the period I was associated with them. My last donation was in 2006,” Headley told the court.

He also said that after his arrest in 1998, the Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) of the US had financed his trip.

Also, the terrorist, who faced conviction twice in 1988 and 1998 for alleged drug smuggling before the Mumbai siege, had indulged in criminal activities and violated his plea bargain agreements with the US government, the court was told.

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