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David Headley wants son to be a top Pakistani commando

Sunday, 10 July 2011 - 2:59pm IST | Place: Washington | Agency: PTI
Headley wants his five-year-old son to one day become a soldier in Pakistani army's elite Special Service Group (SSG), which is known for its anti-India operations including the Kargil incursion and wars of 1965 and 1971.

LeT operative David Headley wants his five-year-old son to one day become a soldier in Pakistani army's elite Special Service Group (SSG), which is known for its anti-India operations including the Kargil incursion and wars of 1965 and 1971.

Headley, who was the star government witness in the Chicago trial of his childhood friend Tahawwur Rana last month, had been grooming his son keeping this in mind.

So much so that when his son's football coach asked him to kick the ball one day by saying shoot, he instead of kicking the ball, laid down on the ground and posed like he was shooting a gun indicating the level of his indoctrination.

Headley -- who told the court that he joined Pakistan-based LeT, which is responsible for several terror strikes in India, including the Mumbai attacks, because he wanted to fight against Indian forces in Kashmir -- shared this incident between his son and football coach with LeT leader Pasha during a telephonic conversation, according to transcripts presented before the Chicago court.

"The incident that you are relating to Pasha is something that you thought he would find to be funny, right?" defence attorney Patrick Blegan asked.

"Yes," Headley said.

"And the incident -- you tell me if I'm describing it wrong -- is this: Your son is at a soccer game, correct?" the defence attorney said.

"Yes," Headley said.

"He plays soccer?" the attorney asked.

"He is five years old," Headley said.

"So obviously he is not great at it yet, right?" Blegan asked.

"Yes," Headley said.

"And his coach is some English guy, right?" Blegan asked.

"Yes," Headley replied.

"And the coach says to your son, 'shoot, shoot,' right?" Blegan said.

"Yes," Headley said.

"And instead of kicking the ball, your son lays down and acts like he is pointing a gun, doesn't he?" Blegan asked.

"Yeah. Yes," Headley answered.

"That's something that you taught your son?" Blegan asked.

"No. He had seen me -- in my house I would put up a target and shoot in Pakistan," Headley said.

"That something -- I mean, is that something that you encouraged your son to do?" asked the defence attorney.

"Yes," Headley said.

"What did you want your son to become one day?" Blegan asked, to which Headley said may be a soldier.

"SSG may be," Headley said. "I wanted him to be in the SSG. I told him that many times," he added.

"Were you grooming your children the same way?" Blegan asked.

"They were being raised as 'Salafis', yes," Headley said.

"Were you planning to take them back to Pakistan at some point?" Blegan asked.

"Yes," said Headley.

According to Pakdef.info, SSG -- also known as Black Strokes -- was established in 1956 and it was immediately used to train Naga rebels in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

SSG played a key role during the unsuccessful Kargil incursion by Pakistan.

Captain Ammar Hussain, an SSG officer among many others, was awarded Sitara-e-Jurrat posthumously for inconspicuous bravery during these operations.




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