July 04 2020
India seeks access to David Headley's wife Shazia Gilani
27 May 2011

India has sought access to David Coleman Headley's first wife, Shazia Gilani, and asked the US to come clean on how the American operative managed to procure a US passport in his new name.

The demand comes in the wake of Headley's testimony in the ongoing trial in Chicago that his wife was aware of the 26/11 Mumbai terror plot and had congratulated him on the success of the attack.

Shazia is said to be present in the US but an NIA team, which went to Chicago last year to question Headley, was not allowed access to any other person. US secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, however said on Friday that the US will provide India with "more access" in the 26/11 case after the Chicago trial is over.

"I think when the case is over, there will probably be more access given," Napolitano, who met home minister P. Chidambaram on Friday, said without elaborating further. This is the first official assurance from the US on India's demand for access to Shazia and Tahawwur Hussain Rana. India has told the US that Shazia, daughter of one Javed Ahmed, lives in Chicago along with her four children with Headley who had married her in 1999. Shazia's father had also bailed out Headley after he was arrested in Lahore just months before the 26/ 11 attack, on the complaint of his second wife, Faiza Outalaha.

Headley told a US court on Thursday that Shazia sent him coded emails congratulating him on the success of the 26/11 hits. "I've been watching these cartoons (attacks) all day and I am proud of your graduation (success of attacks)," she wrote. He also revealed that Shazia was also aware of the plan to launch attack in Denmark and booked plane tickets for him from Denmark to Frankfurt and from there to Pakistan.

India also wants the US to come clean on how Headley managed to evade suspicion while procuring a passport in his new name.

This US passport in the name of David Headley helped the original Daood Gilani travel safely to India for 26/11 reconnaissance trips. India is curious over the matter as Headley did not change his social security number while changing his name and getting a new passport. "In or around February 2006, Headley travelled from Pakistan to Philadelphia, and changed his name to David Coleman Headley. He proceeded to get a US passport issued in this name, and identifying the US as his place of birth," the US federal prosecutors say.

Chidambaram's denunciation of Pakistan, which he said was the 'global epicentre' of terrorism, garnered a rather cold response from Napolitano.



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