Pakistani-American terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley said in a deposition on Friday before Special TADA Court Judge G.A. Sanap in Mumbai that he had recced the Shiv Sena Bhawan in Dadar West with the intention to target the building and the then party supremo Bal Thackeray. He also said terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al Qaeda considered targeting the prestigious National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi.
Headley said he had developed close links with Rajaram Rege, who was the public relations officer to Bal Thackeray’s son Uddhav, now the Shiv Sena chief, and visited the Bhawan twice.
“I took videos of the Shiv Sena Bhawan from outside and inside… I thought the LeT would be interested in attacking it or even carry assassination of its head (Bal Thackeray)… I provided two-three videos to Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal,” Headley told Special TADA Court Judge G.A. Sanap.
Later, through a person named Vilas, he met actor Rahul Bhatt, son of veteran film-maker Mahesh Bhatt based in Mumbai, Headley said.
He met Rahul Bhatt during a body-building competition at the Moksha Gym, of which Vilas was in-charge. Headley also claimed that the Al Qaeda thought the NDC was a good, high-value target and that he visited the college campus casually once in 2007 at the instance of his LeT handler, Sajid Mir.
After the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, Headley again did a recce of NDC and the Chabag Houses in Goa, Pune and Pushkar on the instructions of slain terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri, who later joined the Al Qaeda.