US missed clues about Pakistani-American LeT spy till too late

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By Arul Louis
New York, Nov 25 |
For all the anti-terrorism measures adopted by the United States in the aftermath of the devastating 9/11 attack, a Pakistani-American was able to go to India and plot an attack that killed his fellow-countrymen, probably operating right under the nose of the security establishment.

Daood Sayed Gilani, who used the name David Coleman Headley, made five spy missions to India on behalf of the Pakistan government-back terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba to map out its deadly 26/11 raid in 2008 in which ten Pakistanis killed 165 people, including six Americans, and wounded more than 300 people.

He has admitted to working for both the LeT and the Pakistani spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). He also likely had links to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic state.

The actions of Gilani, who worked for the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) supposedly as an informant, in the US, India, Pakistan and Europe remain a mystery.

The US has admitted to intelligence shortcomings in not being able to connect him in time to the Mumbai attacks, although it has asserted that it had provided India with other information about an impending attack on the city in 2008.

ProPublica, an independent non-profit investigative journalism organisation that looked into the Gilani/Headley case, has asserted that US officials had bungled several tipoffs they received till it was too late.

He was arrested by the US authorities in 2009 only after he became involved in spying for attacks in Denmark against a newspaper that published pictures of Mohammed, the prophet of Islam.

He was ultimately tried in a Chicago federal court for his role in the Mumbai massacre and sentenced to 35 years in prison when he was 52 years old in 2013.

His whereabouts now are not known.

His name did not show up when IANS ran a search of the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) database of prisoners.

Media reports said that Headley was attacked in a federal prison in 2018 and taken to a Chicago hospital.

But according to the European Foundation for South Asian Studies, his lawyer John Theis denied that there was such an attack.

It quoted him as saying, “I am in regular communication with Headley. There is no basis for the reports… Although I cannot disclose his location, he is neither in Chicago nor in a hospital.”

Gilani’s associate, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, was found on the BOP database listed as a current prisoner in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Centre with the release date shown as “unknown.”

The former Pakistani military doctor Rana had recruited Gilani to work for the LeT and he was convicted in 2011 in a Chicago federal court in connection plot against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

But Rana, who also has Canadian citizenship, was acquitted of the charges regarding his alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks. He had visited India and stayed at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, one of the targets of the Pakistanis.

The US has refused to extradite Gilani or Rana to India, although it allowed Indian investigators to interview Gilani.

Gilani is the US-born son of a Pakistani diplomat and an American woman with high society links in Philadelphia. He took on his mother’s maiden surname of Headley with David, an anglicised version of Daood, to hide his Pakistani origins as he carried out his terrorist missions.

After a childhood in Pakistan, he returned to the US and worked for a while with his mother at her restaurant and pub in Philadelphia.

His family is well-connected in Pakistan and his half-brother Danyal Gilani is a Pakistani diplomat based now in France and had been the chairman of the Pakistani Film Censor Board.

Daood Gilani had reportedly been arrested twice on drug smuggling charges and turned an informant for the DEA. His first arrest was in 1988 and the second one in 1997. It is possible that the second arrest was staged to establish his credibility so he could return the next year to Pakistan on a trip paid for by the DEA to gather intelligence for it.

ProPublica reported, “The convicted drug smuggler radicalised and joined Lashkar in Pakistan in the late 1990s while spying on Pakistani heroin traffickers as a paid informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration.”

After the Mumbai attacks that took place while George W. Bush was president, his successor Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper conducted an “after-action review” of how the Headley case was handled.

His office admitted after the in 2010 that the “government did not connect Headley to terrorism until 2009, after the attacks on Mumbai.”

His office said in a statement, “The review finds that 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. Therefore, the United States government did not pass information on Headley to the Indian government prior to the attacks.”

“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,” it said.

But it also asserted, “The review finds the United States government aggressively and promptly provided the Indian government with strategic warnings regarding Lashkar e-Tayyiba’s threats to several targets in Mumbai between June and September 2008.”

G.K. Pillai, who was India’s Home Secretary, expressed disappointment that Washington did not give India information about the activities of Gilani, who continued to visit India even after the attacks.

Clapper said in 2013 that a US intelligence programme to sweep up vast amounts of communications data had helped stop the plot involving Gilani against the Danish newspaper.

But ProPublica questioned the assertion saying, “The government surveillance only caught up with Headley after the US had been tipped by British intelligence. And even that victory came after seven years in which US intelligence failed to stop Headley as he roamed the globe on missions for Islamic terror networks and Pakistan’s spy agency.”

ProPublica reported that there had been early tipoffs from people about Gilani’s radicalisation.

It said that after the 9/11 attacks in the US 2001, “Investigators questioned him in front of his DEA handlers in New York, and he was cleared.”

A year later the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) received another tip about his terrorist links and yet again in 2005 when one of his wives, who had him arrested on domestic violence allegations, told counter-terrorism investigators about his radical views and training in Pakistan, ProPublica reported.

It repored quoting officials, “Inquiries were conducted, but he was not interviewed or placed on a watch list.”

Another set of tips came in late 2007 and early 2008, when another wife of Gilani told US embassy officials in Islamabad that “Headley was a terrorist and a spy, describing his frequent trips to Mumbai and his stay at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel,” ProPublica reported.

It said that according to officials, the lead was not pursued because they did not think it was specific enough.

ProPublica said that according to court documents the last tip came from a family friend after the Mumbai massacre and a cousin on Gilani who was questioned by the FBI tipped him off.

All the apparent bungling and the Clapper review may have led to some changes in how the US deals with terrorism tipoffs to avoid another 26/11.

Clapper’s office said, “Since the December 2009 attempted terrorist attacks on the United States, the Obama Administration has focused on information sharing reforms – new watchlisting policies and procedures have been enacted, as well as an increased focus on the pursuit of seemingly disparate and unrelated information regarding reports on individuals and their activities.”

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)

Source: IANS

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Meet Gurmeet singh Shunty A New Superhero With Turban

Meet Gurmeet singh Shunty A New Superhero With Turban

In the last year, the whole world was struck by a large pandemic. The year 2020 came with a pandemic called coronavirus which affected the whole world badly. Coronavirus in India resulted in great downfalls in health, economy, unemployment, and so on. Lakhs of People Lost their lives, jobs, and their loved ones. The whole year was very disturbing for each section of society. Coronavirus in India resulted in great downfalls of health, economy, unemployment, and so on. The whole year passed with a large Tension and fear for all the peoples. In the hard times of coronavirus spread, a lot of peoples came out and helped the person in need and It is one of the very few positive effects of Covid-19.

During the blast of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world our volunteers have demonstrated an exceptional display of solidarity across the world and our society. However, this is also the year which witnessed the world coming together to fight coronavirus. The year with its share of trials and tribulations threw up some exemplary work being done by organisations and individuals in this difficult time as the pandemic spread, a new breed of warriors with an indomitable spirit stood up bravely against it to take on the challenge head on.

In the hard times of lockdown, a lot of peoples came out and helped the person in need and It helped the society to live again with a hope of being helped in bad time. During the Large spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world our leaders of the society have demonstrated an exceptional display of solidarity across the world and in our society too. They did a Great work in every aspect needed at that time, from Responding to calls for help from their local communities to help them by going on roads, they are everyday heroes who came as a preserver for them.

They do wear masks and face shields to protect themselves and spread awareness in the society to follow each rule and regulation. We can say that there are many things which has spread faster than the coronavirus during the pandemic, it has been the noble works, fearless steps, selfless service and recognition of Gurmeet Ji and his supporters who continued to work day and night to save other’s lives. He also set up camps and volunteer help alongside highways and by roadsides, just to provide relief and support the migrant workers going back to their places all over India.

Among the Great hidden heroes who worked day and night to fight during lockdown, one such person is Gurmeet Singh shunty ji, who is the ex general secretary of delhi sikh gurudwara committee.Being at such great post he always learned to do sewa and that teaching has been always with him which dedicated him towards the society to work for the people of his own nation and humanity. Gurmeet Ji worked 24×7 , without caring of himself. He is the person who have been stepping in to help during the pandemic and they all have been a portrait of selflessness and optimism to this society.

Gurmeet Ji believe that our selfless acts or Sewa in any form must be done to save humanity, Sewa require a true heart and helping nature which will bring both helper and victim happy. During the tough times of coronavirus, Gurmeet Ji and his volunteers came out of their comfort zones to help lakhs of migrants workers who wanted to go back to their hometown during the COVID-19 lockdown. So in that  time  when the world undergoes such vast pandemics which affects all the person Whether it’s a small or large donation of money, resource or humanity, each things matter.

During the tough times of coronavirus, when everyone was thinking of themselves First, Gurmeet Ji and his volunteers came out of their comfort zones to help lakhs of migrants workers who wanted to go back to their hometown during the COVID-19 lockdown.Despite of being older in age,He did not let himself to be inside house and watch news of the suffering surroundings but he helped as many people as he could during the crisis by arranging food, buses, trains and most importantly by giving a warmth of love and care.He created a large team just to help the peoples in problem and inspired many others to do so. We can say that there are many things which has spread faster than the coronavirus during the pandemic, it has been the noble works, fearless steps, selfless service and recognition of Gurmeet Ji and his supporters who continued to work day and night to save other’s lives by risking his own and his family’s health. They didn’t even meet their family members and specially children for months,for their Safety and some even spend nights in their vehicles and outside home to assure that the virus doesn’t spread further to their loved ones and family members. Government took various steps to save our nation from the bad impacts of corona spread and one of them was lockdown. Lockdown was done to stop the spread the corona in nation but it resulted in great losses.when lots of People were on Roads, lots have nothing to eat and some were not having anyone for their care, without any money and food thousands of People covered thousands of kms on their feets, with their families and whatever they had earned in their lifetime, there comes some unknown super heroes of our society who helped them selflessly.

Their faces get rashed by the mask marks, they continuously took medicines to save themselves and others too. They maintain distance from their own members in order to help other persons to reach their destinations. In the bad times we get to know about many such People and These are the people who are helping in restoring humanity’s faith by coming up with novel ideas and their great works which inspires whole society to come ahead. That was the time when a number of labourers, their children and other family members were forced to return back to their places but Gurmeet Ji risked his life to save theirs.He started his service with providing cooked food as langar sewa and later switched to dry rations too, with the objective that people in need should not go to sleep on an empty stomach and they must not loose their hearts and continue their journey with less problems. It’s very hard to find such person in this crucial time when everyone put themselves first but Gurmeet Ji believe in his teachings and said “our panth has taught us the lesson of jan sewa, and we will continue this legacy till our last breathe.”

All the people who helped any of the person in need will be in their memory for forever as they made them believe on brotherhood and humanity in such a Crisis. It is beleived that in when some person get trapped in trouble even your shadow leave your side but the persons like Gurmeet Ji taught each and every person of society that we Must help each other to maintain love and care in society which will make then believe in the existence of god. If God has given you the power and resources to help others you must move forward as your one step can change anybody’s life.Gurmeet ji said that “our great sangat give us the teachings of sharing whatever less or more you have and These teachings which I started learning since my childhood inspired me to help my brothers and sisters of this society. ” He further added that he feel so happy and blessed that he could be the reason of anyone’s little smile. He requested everyone that even Your small step can save someone’s life and make them beleive into humanity and brotherhood.He started his service with providing cooked food as langar sewa and later

 

switched to dry rations too, with the objective that people in need should not go to sleep on an empty stomach and they must not loose their hearts and continue their journey with less problems.

He also set up camps and volunteer help alongside highways and by roadsides, just to provide relief and support the migrant workers going back to their places in UP, Bihar and even farther. It was clearly seen during the pandemic when thousands of people were going towards their villages with their small children and had nothing to feed them, at that time Gurmeet Ji provided them food ,water and other necessary items which brought  beautiful smiles and tears of happiness in their eyes as they never expected that in this crucial time there could be someone who will act as a survival medium for them.

At that time many warriors came in the front line to help the society. Despite being senior in age Gurmeet singh Shunty ji, was the Person who came out of the house when everyone was locked. He was standing in the crowd to help them reach their houses and made  very hard decisions at the right time.

We need to Recognise these Heroes so that they could work more and more for the welfare of this society. We need to Recognise these unsung Heroes so that they could work more and more for this society as “this society is all about give and take.”  They have given millions of smiles and its our time.They must be appreciated for their noble works to boost such works of brotherhood. They have given millions of smiles and its our time to pay them back.

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