Mumbai attack hotel on fire 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
WASHINGTON — Two wives of a businessman convicted in the Mumbai
terrorist attacks in India spoke to US authorities about their husband
before the violent assaults in 2008. But two government officials said
Saturday that the wives of David Headley provided information that was
general in nature and did not involve specifics about any particular
Man convicted for Mumbai massacreMumbai attacks suspect arrested
One of the officials told The Associated Press that one of Headley's
wives informed the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force that Headley had
expressed to her his support for Pakistan in its bitter dispute with
India over Kashmir.
The official, who is familiar with the matter, said the FBI interviews
in New York City occurred three years before the 2008 rampage that
killed 166 people. The woman was not identified.
Headley last March pleaded guilty in the US District Court in Chicago to
laying the groundwork for the massacre in Mumbai and performing similar
surveillance in anticipation of an attack on a Danish newspaper whose
cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad were offensive to Muslims.
The New York Times
Saturday that the second wife, a Moroccan, provided information at the
American Embassy in Islamabad in 2007 that Headley was involved in a
terrorist group that was actively plotting against targets in India. It
said the second wife, Faiza Outalha, met twice with an assistant
regional security officer and a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
officer at the embassy.
said Headley had at least three wives, and at one time was married to all three.
One of the two American officials confirmed that Headley's wives shared
concerns with US officials prior to the attack and that those concerns
In response to the disclosures about the information from Headley's
wives, US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that "we take our
counter-terrorism cooperation with India very seriously. The United
States regularly provided threat information to Indian officials in
2008. Had we known about the timing and other specifics related to the
Mumbai attacks, we would have immediately shared those details with the
government of India."
Regarding the wife who gave information to the FBI in 2005, the
independent investigative news organization ProPublica reported on the
website of The Washington Post
that she told federal agents her husband was an active militant in the
terrorist group Lashkar-i-Taiba, which carried out the Mumbai attacks.
The ProPublica story also said she told the federal agents that her
husband had trained extensively in the terrorist group's Pakistani camps
and had shopped for night-vision goggles and other equipment.
But the official familiar with the FBI interview told The Associated
Press that the woman did not say that her husband was an active militant
or that he expressed a desire to engage in violent acts. Both US
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the Headley case is
still an open matter. The FBI declined to comment on Saturday.
The official said that Headley's wife spoke generally of her husband
having hiking supplies, but not that she knew of membership involvement
in a group.