David Headley's 'hate mail': Inside the mind of an admitted Chicago terrorist

The ABC7 I-Team provides a rare look inside the mind of admitted Chicago terrorist David Headley.
December 12, 2013 8:40:37 PM PST
The ABC7 I-Team provides a rare look inside the mind of admitted Chicago terrorist: David Headley. We have what can only be described as "hate mail" from Headley, who helped plan the attack known as India's 9/11.

Five years ago right now Mumbai, India was reeling from an attack by Pakistani terrorists.

What we didn't know at that moment was that the man who built the Mumbai attack plan was a Chicago resident, David Headley. Tonight, the I-Team provides Headley's hate mail, written by him in Chicago and elsewhere, during the planning of several deadly terror attacks.

FBI interrogation videos of Pakistani-American David Headley and Headley's federal court testimony against a Chicago co-conspirator are what is publicly known about him-- that he surveyed and engineered the blood three day attack on mumbai that left 174 dead.

But the hatred behind Headley is more apparent in these personal emails obtained by the FBI and others he posted on a site popular with graduates of his Pakistani military school.

A few days after the Mumbai massacre, Headley described the hundreds of casualties as "collateral damage from the [American] daisy cutter bombs that have been falling in Afghanistan."

"I think there are a lot of small pieces of the puzzle that comes together once you read the emails," said Kaare Sorensen, Danish newspaper reporter.

Headley's hate mail was shared with the I-Team by a Danish reporter, whose Copenhagen newspaper was next on Headley's hit list.

"The newspaper that I work for, Jyllands-Posten, published some cartoons that Headley found very offensive," said Sorensen.

Sorenson's newspaper ended up in the crosshairs of Muslim terrorists after printing a series of cartoons in 2005 depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed. Unkown to them, 4,250 miles away in a second-floor apartment on Chicago's Northwest Side, David Headley was seething over the cartoons.

In this email he wrote: "I pray that God would give me the opportunity to catch one of these bastards and cut their throats open, to please him. I feel so much happiness when any of them is beheaded. Nobody deserves it more. I feel no sorrow for their kids or their old and feeble."

During Chicago and downstate FBI raids Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Rana were arrested, so the Danish newspaper attack never happened. Sorenson's new book, entitled "Decapitate" in English, suggests that the U.S. could have done more to prevent Mumbai from happening.

"I think it's obvious that there were many missed opportunities for the Americans to stop Headley," said Sorensen.

For years, Headley worked as an occasional informant for American law enforcement. Some Indian government officials question whether the U.S. could have prevented the Mumbai attack.

"But they seemed unwilling, unable or simply just missing him," said Sorensen.

"David Headley has blood on his hands," said Robert Holley, FBI Chicago Special Agent in Charge.

Holley is the new FBI agent in charge of the Chicago office.

"We certainly do everything we can to vet the information that the individual is providing us," said Holley.

Much of Headley's hatred is aimed at Jews.

"Most of us here are not going to be shedding a lot of tears on the [expletive] Holocaust," he rants. "They [Jews] are milking it today. . . to justify murders and bombings. . . our first priority must be protection of Muslim lives."

"He did face the music here. He accepted responsibility for what he did," said John Theis, Headley's attorney.

Headley's lawyer gave his first interview since negotiating a guilty plea in exchange for no extradition or death penalty.

" He's not in a hotel, he's in a prison facility, he's in custody, its prison," said Theis.

It is not known which prison David Headley is being held in, but wherever he is, it is in what is known as "witnesses security," because several people charged with him are foreign fugitives, including former Pakistani military and intelligence officials-- all of whom Headley would be required to testify against.


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