David Headley is proving to be a fountain of data for counter terror investigators. Since the Chicago man pleaded guilty to helping plot and plan the 2008 Mumbai massacre, he has been questioned for hours by Indian authorities.
From an interview room in Chicago's federal lock-up, Headley has offered up a chilling account of terror attacks to come. Once Pakistani terrorists polished off their attack on Mumbai, killing more than 160 civilians, their next target was to be the world's largest oil refinery, the giant, newly built facility owned by Reliance Industries.
According to official reports cited by Indian news agencies, terrorists were to blow up the plant, which is part of a refining hub that produces more than any single location on the globe-1.2 million barrels a day. That is the conclusion of Indian investigators after spending several days here at Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center questioning David Coleman Headley.
The FBI and India's National Investigation Agency have debriefed Headley about his group's plans for after the Mumbai attacks in November of 2008.
Headley told authorities that he was sent on one reconnaissance mission to scout the oil refineries for l-e-t terrorists and that they wanted him to go again. But authorities interrupted the plan before it could be executed.
According to reports in the Hindustan newspaper, Headley has also told investigators of the role played by his accused associate, Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana.
While Headley has pleaded guilty and is cooperating, Rana is fighting the federal terror charges and awaiting trial in Chicago.
Headley would be the government's key witness against Rana, although it has been difficult of late to follow the behind-the-scenes court filings by both sides at the Dirksen federal building.
Much of what is being submitted is under seal-protected by a cloak of secrecy said to be "national security."