Chicago/Mumbai: David Coleman Headley has told a Chicago court has that Tahawwur Hussain Rana wanted nine of the 10 terrorists who died in the Mumbai attacks to be given Pakistan's highest military bravery award - the Nishan-e-Haidar.
Headley, a Pakistani-American, is the key witness in the trial of Tahawwur Rana, a Chicago businessman accused of helping coordinate the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Headley has already pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks and has agreed to testify against Rana to avoid the death penalty.
On the third day of the trial, David Headley revealed more on the 26/11 terror attacks - this time about the 72-hour siege of Nariman House. The siege was coordinated by Lashkar-e-Taiba's Sajid Mir, who directly instructed the terrorist inside the Nariman House over the phone from Pakistan.
Headley told the court that initially when the commandoes arrived by chopper, Mir directed his men to protect themselves with a mattress and that's how they escaped.
Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka and seven guests were tortured and killed in this attack on the Jewish community centre.
When questioned about his reaction to this attack, David Headley replied in court that he was "pleased."
Hedley also testified in court that Rana told him that nine of the 10 Mumbai attackers who died should be given Pakistan's highest military bravery award - the Nishan-e-Haidar.
He also told the court that that he and his alleged partner in crime, Tahawwur Rana, discussed 26/11 and heard those phone taps.
Headley said Rana told him that "politically there are many views about this. But tactically what happened was brilliant. Sajid Mir, the commander, should be honoured with the title of Khalid bin Walid."
In court, the prosecution presented as evidence emails exchanged between Headley and Sajid Mir on August 9, 2009. Both used email addresses not registered in their real names. In one of these emails, Headley said: "Dr. Saab gave you that name...Khalid bin Walid...after we heard of your music video. You should become a professional musician."
If this sounds like a strange conversation, that is because it is in code. By music here, Headley meant the audio tape of the instructions Sajid Mir was giving to the assailants inside the Nariman House.