Alex Constantine - November 10, 2010
A "Can of Worms"
The US caught in the act of lying about the Mumbai bombing ...
From Story #1: " ... The US might have played for time and ensured president Obama’s smooth passage to India by ordering the review, but it is inevitably opening a can of worms. The report indicated that leads piled up over seven years, starting in 2001, but stunningly Headley was not questioned or placed on a terror watch list. The review has unearthed strong warnings against Headley offered up by ex-wives, girlfriends and associates in 2001, 2002, 2007, April 2008 and December 2008. ... "
From Story #3: " ... According to a statement released today by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the U.S. government did not share information on Headley with the Indian government prior to the Mumbai attacks because it 'did not connect Headley to terrorism until 2009'. ...”
From Story #2: " ... Contrary to what Indian govt says, the US indicated India was warned well on time about Mumbai attacks and could have prevented Kasab and co from going on a killing spree in the middle of the metropolis. ... "
US Review Finds Five Warnings of Headley’s Militant Links
By Uttara Choudhury
Daily News & Analysis | November 8, 2010
The ongoing review being conducted for the US director of national intelligence has already found at least five cases in which US agencies were warned that Mumbai terror plotter David Coleman Headley was fanatical about Pakistan’s struggle with India over Kashmir and working with Pakistani militants, The Washington Post said on Saturday.
The report was co-published by the Post and ProPublica, an investigative journalism group that first revealed that one of Headley’s wives had warned FBI agents in August 2005 that Headley had undergone intensive training with Lashkar-e-Taiba and “was an active militant”.
India’s outrage over the revelations ahead of president Obama’s visit prompted the US review. The US might have played for time and ensured president Obama’s smooth passage to India by ordering the review, but it is inevitably opening a can of worms.
The report indicated that leads piled up over seven years, starting in 2001, but stunningly Headley was not questioned or placed on a terror watch list. The review has unearthed strong warnings against Headley offered up by ex-wives, girlfriends and associates in 2001, 2002, 2007, April 2008 and December 2008.
“The review, which is not complete, has found that allegations about the Pakistani American businessman’s extremist ties began as early as 2001 and were more numerous and specific than previously disclosed,” officials close to FBI, CIA and other US agencies told ProPublica.
In a previously unreported tip just seven months before the Mumbai attacks, Headley’s Moroccan wife told the US Embassy in Pakistan that she suspected Headley was linked to a 2007 train bombing in India that was blamed on Lashkar. She was referring to blasts in the Samjhauta Express that killed 68 people.
US intelligence officials got their first tip as far back as early October 2001, just weeks after the September 11 attacks, when a former girlfriend told agents that Headley supported Pakistani extremists and wanted to fight in the Indian subcontinent for the group’s cause.
Based on this tip, agents from the US joint terrorism task force interviewed at least three people, including Headley’s mother, Serrill, a wealthy Philadelphian. She told them her son was “passionate” about Pakistan’s battle with India over Kashmir. From an Indian perspective, just this tiny tidbit passed along from the US would have been sufficient to ensure that Headley never got a visa to travel to Mumbai from the Indian consulate in Chicago.
It is a tragedy that despite the incessant warnings given to US agencies, Headley continued to travel to Pakistan, India, Dubai and Europe, casing out potential targets and gathering material that made possible the attacks by Pakistani militants on Mumbai.
Now, US Spy Chief says India is LyingIndian Express | Nov 09 2010Contrary to what Indian govt says, the US indicated India was warned well on time about Mumbai attacks and could have prevented Kasab and co from going on a killing spree in the middle of the metropolis.
The blame ball is being lobbed to-and-fro by Indian and the US authorities, looking for someone to blame for the attacks on Mumbai in which hundreds of innocent people were killed. In the latest of revelations, a US govt agency claims adequate warnings were given to Indian govt about terrorists targetting Mumbai, in particular, but these were ignored, leaving the mega-city open to mass murder.The Indian govt, on the other hand, says the US is to blame as it failed to connect the dots on David Headley, the man who checked out and red flagged the targets.The United States did not provide information to India on David Headley before 26/11, as intelligence inputs it had about the Mumbai terror plotter was not enough to sufficiently establish his role in planning terrorist attack there, America's spy chief has said.
In India, Obama Explains What the U.S. Knew About Mumbai Plotter
Guatemala Times | November 9, 2010
5:40 pm: This post has been updated with the full statement  from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. During a meeting today with India’s prime minister, President Obama reportedly shared what the United States government knew about an American businessman, David Coleman Headley, who helped plan the attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai in 2008. According to a statement released today by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the U.S. government did not share information on Headley with the Indian government prior to the Mumbai attacks because it "did not connect Headley to terrorism until 2009 ."
We reported last month that the FBI had been warned about Headley’s ties to Pakistani terrorists  years prior to the Mumbai attacks. After our report and a later report  by the New York Times, the Director of National Intelligence launched an investigation into the Headley case and what the U.S. knew about Headley’s ties to extremists.
We reported last week that the U.S. was warned about Headley more times —and with more specificity—than had previously been disclosed. Despite receiving at least five tips through Headley’s relatives or associates, the government’s review found that U.S. intelligence agencies didn’t connect Headley specifically to the Mumbai plot.
"While some information relating to Headley was available to United States government officials prior to the Mumbai attacks, under the policies and procedures that existed at the time, it was not sufficiently established that he was engaged in plotting a terrorist attack in India," according the intelligence office. “Had the United States government sufficiently established he was engaged in plotting a terrorist attack in India, the information would have most assuredly been transferred promptly to the Indian government."
Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, acknowledged in comments reported by Politico  that new information procedures implemented after the Christmas-Day bomb scare would have been helpful, but said the president did not apologize to India because “the nature of the situation wasn’t one where we had information that’s relevant" to the attacks.
The Times notes in a piece today  that the U.S. has faced criticism from India because Headley was working as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Pakistan:
The Indian government has been outspoken in its concerns that the United States overlooked repeated warnings about Mr. Headley’s terrorist activities because of his links to both American law enforcement as well as to officials in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate — a key ally of the United States in the fight against terrorism.
Headley pleaded guilty in March  to involvement in the Mumbai attacks as well as plans to attack a Danish newspaper. According to Reuters, the terms of his plea agreement do not allow him to be extradited, which Indian officials have reportedly been pursuing.