New Delhi: While he was training 12 terrorists in Muridke in Pakistan for the 26/11 terror attack, Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jindal, the arrested Indian handler of the carnage, was getting continuous information about Mumbai from David Coleman Headley who was on a recce of the metropolis as a Lashkar-e-Taiba spy.
Revealing this to investigators, Jindal has said that 12 terrorists and not 10 had been selected to attack Mumbai.
Pakistani-American Headley was passing on "day-to-day" information about Mumbai to LeT chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who in turn provided it to Jindal, who was training the terrorists at Muridke from 2007 till just before the attack on Nov 26, 2008, investigators said.
Headley has told a US court that he had done a recce of proposed targets ahead of the Nov 26, 2008 attacks by 10 Pakistani terrorists that left 166 people dead and 238 people injured in the worst terror attack on India.
Jindal, who is referred to as Sayyed Zakiuddin alias Abu Jindal (and not Jundal) in the first information report filed by Delhi Police in a Delhi court, has been undergoing rigorous interrogation by more than six probe agencies, including the National Investigation Agency, the Maharashtra Anti-terrorist Squad, Intelligence Bureau and a Special Team of Delhi Police.
Jindal is being grilled for "around 20 hours in a day", an investigative officer told IANS. He was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here June 21 after his deportation from Saudi Arabia and sent to police custody till July 5.
Elaborating on Headley's role, Jindal told investigators that he conspired with LeT and Pakistani military officers to launch the Mumbai attacks and other terrorist activities.
"Jindal had met Headley for a short period when he was in Pakistan's Muridke training camp in 2007," the source in the investigating team told IANS, not wishing to be identified.
Jindal said between 2006 to 2008 Headley undertook "five spying missions in Mumbai" scouting targets for the 2008 attack on behalf of LeT and Pakistani ex-military officers.
"Between 2002 and 2005, Headley made several trips to Pakistan for terror training while simultaneously working as an informant for the US Drug Enforcement Administration," said the sources.
Headley was arrested in October 2009 at O'Hare International Airport on his way to Pakistan.
Headley was assigned by the LeT to work with a militant chief named Sajid Mir, also known as Sajid Majid, who allegedly became a lead plotter of the Mumbai attacks, Jindal has revealed.
"Jindal has not confirmed if Mir had any ties with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)," the officer told IANS.
After Mir, Headley in January 2006 was put under the charge of an ISI officer named Major Samir Ali, who in turn referred him to a Major Iqbal, who became his main handler in Lahore during his recce mission in Mumbai.
Iqbal then introduced Headley to a man identified as Lieutenant Colonel Shah, who promised Headley financial support for terrorist operations against India.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) joined the interrogation of Jindal Wednesday.
(Rajnish Kumar Singh can be contacted at email@example.com)