ISI, Major Iqbal helped Headley in Mumbai attack

Chicago: In further indictment of ISI, 26/11 accused David Coleman Headley today said the Pakistani spy agency and its operatives like Major Iqbal and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed had helped him in laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks.

The testimony by 50-year-old Headley, a prosecution witness, came as the trial of Mumbai attacks co-accused and his longtime friend Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian of Pakistani origin, opened in the US at Chicago`s Dirksen Federal Building. Pakistani-American Headley is also a co-accused.

"They (ISI and LeT) coordinated with each other and ISI provided assistance to Lashkar," Headley told Judge Harry D Leinenweber.

According to Headley, Rana`s old friend from military school in Pakistan, two years before terrorists struck Mumbai, he began laying the groundwork for the attack with USD 25,000 finance from Major Iqbal.

Headley said that when LeT leaders began talking about a possible attack in India, he suggested that he get involved.

"I suggested that I change my name and make a new passport to make it easy to enter India undetected," he told the court.

Headley said ISI provided help to LeT and that he first started training in Pakistan more than a decade ago with the Lashkar.

Headley said LeT chief Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the 26/11 attacks that killed 166 people, motivated him for carrying out a "jihad". Saeed told him that the satisfaction of one second of "jihad" is equal to "100 years of worship."

LeT operators also chose Headley because he was an American and that people would least suspect him.