LeT Wanted to Target Somnath Temple, Bollywood Stars, Shiv Sena Leaders: FBI

The FBI has revealed that besides the National Defence College in New Delhi, Somnath temple in Gujarat and certain Bollywood stars and Shiv Sena leaders in Mumbai were among main targets of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for terror strikes.

Arrest of Pakistani-born American national and suspected Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley and his aid Tahawwur Hussain Rana last month brought to light that Lashkar was plotting terror attacks in Denmark and India.

The FBI revealed the three possible Lashkar targets for the first time in a footnote to the fresh evidence and chargesheet it submitted against Rana in a Chicago court.

“In the September 7, 2009 conversation, Headley discussed four targets with Rana – Somnath (a temple in India) and Denmark, Bollywood (a reference to the Indian film industry) and Shiv Sena (a political party in India with roots in Hindu nationalism),” the FBI said in a foot note on page nine of the 10-page fresh affidavit.

“In his post-arrest statement, Rana falsely claimed that these were references to potential business ventures. It is difficult to imagine why a person who praises the work of a designated terrorist group that attacks India would look at an Indian temple or a Hindu nationalist party as a business venture,” the FBI noted.

“And it bears note that, as set out in the complaint, ‘business’ and ‘investments’ were code words used by Rana, David Coleman Headley (American-born terror suspect also charged for plotting Mumbai terror attacks), ‘Pasha’ (a retired Pakistani Army Brigadier) and others to describe terrorist plots,” the FBI said.

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