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Attended over 50 ISI training sessions: Headley

May 27, 2011 07:34 AM IST India India

Chicago: David Headley on Thursday concluded his testimony in the 26/11 trail by saying he had attended over 50 training sessions with the ISI.

He also revealed that his handler ISI's Major Iqbal used a cell phone with a US number to stay in touch with him from Pakistan, while he was in Mumbai.

On the last day of his testimony, David Coleman Headley also revealed that a Pakistani Navy man was present during discussions with Major Iqbal on landing sites and arrival of LeT terrorists by sea.

But interestingly, for the first time since his trial began, when asked about whether he was proud of the 26/11 attacks, Headley said, "No".

Headley also said he had sent some emails to Rajaram Rege of the Shiv Sena, with direct messages from Major Iqbal.

Headley said he befriended filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's son Rahul and offered to take him on a sight-seeing tour of Pakistan's tribal areas, but disagreed with the defence that there was a plan to kill or kidnap him.

While, India and US tracking the developments closely, Foreign Minister SM Krishna said, "We have been following keenly testimony of Headley trial in Chicago. He had made damaging statement about ISI involvement in terrorist attack in India. In this new light of evidence, ISI and government of Pakistan have lots to answer, not only to India, but to the world. We have always kept pressure on Pakistan, I hope Pakistan will act."

David Headley, under questioning from a lawyer for defendant Tahawwur Rana, admitted that by sharing the Mumbai attack plan with Rana he violated the espionage training he received from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed in the raid that killed 160 people.

Rana is charged with conspiring in the Mumbai attack and the Danish plot and with providing support to Lashkar. The 50-year-old Canadian could face life in prison.

The trial is being watched closely for clues of Pakistani government involvement in the attack that could heighten US-Pakistani tensions following the American killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Defense lawyer Charles Swift, who says Rana was duped by Headley and was unaware of the Mumbai plot, challenged Headley about what evidence he had of his ISI contact, known as Major Iqbal, who provided guidance during Headley's surveillance work in Mumbai.

"You can't even identify him, or find him?" Swift asked, to which Headley agreed.

Headley testified this week that ISI and elements of Pakistan's military - namely a retired army major he knew as "Pasha" - coordinated Lashkar's attacks.

Iqbal and Pasha are among six Pakistanis charged in the US case who are not in custody.

By pleading guilty and agreeing to testify in US District court, Headley has avoided the death penalty and cannot be extradited.

"Major Iqbal said to give Dr Rana only generalities?" Swift asked. "Just what he needed to know," Headley confirmed.

"That was one of the lessons (of Headley's espionage training): trust no one," Swift said. "They could give you away, sometimes without even knowing ... . Yet you violated every rule that you had been taught?"

"I violated some," Headley said.

Headley brought his Muslim second wife, covered in Muslim garb, to the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai more than a year before the raid on the hotel and other targets. Swift said the misstep could have exposed his cover as a non-Muslim American opening an immigration office for Rana.

"Definitely I was being careless," Headley said.

The trial was expected to last four weeks, and is about half over.

(With additional information from Reuters)