News24

Mumbai plotter 'split' personality

2010-04-30 15:12

New Delhi - David Headley, a plotter of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, had a double personality that enabled him to switch between a Westerner and a devout Muslim, his uncle said in an interview broadcast on Friday.

Headley, the son of a former Pakistani diplomat and an American woman, has confessed to plotting the attacks, which left 166 dead, after being arrested in Chicago last year.

The 49-year-old, who changed his name from Daood Gilani, admitted to spending two years eluding security forces as he cased out Mumbai for the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

"He was almost like two different people," his uncle, William Headley, told NDTV news channel from his home in the US state of Pennsylvania.

"They say East is East and West is West and never the twain will meet... but they met in Daood," he said, using a famous line from British author and poet Rudyard Kipling.

He said one version of Headley was "short slicked-back hair, very clean shaven, he'd be wearing an Armani suit... looking really sharp. He would have a bottle of Dom Perignon (champagne) under his arm".

"But the other side would be Dawood Gilani... and would be in native dress, and would have the long fundamentalist beard and would have the Qu'ran under his arm," he said

"In either one, he would be completely believable."

Indian media reported that Headley developed a reputation as a fitness fanatic while staying in an exclusive expatriate enclave in south Mumbai near the US consulate during five lengthy surveillance trips.

He reportedly lived a more devout Muslim life in Chicago with his wife and children.

India on Wednesday won the right to interview Headley in the US over the attack but the interrogation date is yet to be fixed.