2ndlook

Prince Charles related to Impaler Vlad – Surprised?

Posted in British Raj, Desert Bloc, European History, History, India, Religion by Anuraag Sanghi on November 29, 2011

How Prince Charles is linked to Indian gunpowder ingredients that reached Roma Gypsies in early 15th century, giving them victory over the armies of royal Europe and the Church.

Where is the home of Count Dracula? Map showing Transylvania, home of Count Dracula.  |  Image source and courtesy - dailymail.co.uk  | Click for larger image.

Where is the home of Count Dracula? Map showing Transylvania, home of Count Dracula. | Image source and courtesy - dailymail.co.uk | Click for larger image.

Central European newspapers yesterday were alight with speculation that the Prince of Wales could be anointed the next King of Romania if the country’s monarchy is restored.

The last royal ruler, King Michael was forced to abdicate by the country’s new Communist leaders.

Romania went on (for) decades of communist government, most notably under dictatorial party leader Nicolae Ceausescu who ruled the country with an iron fist from 1965 until 1989.

The deposed King, Prince Michael, is still alive – albeit rather elderly at 90 – and has family of his own.

Despite the reintroduction of democracy, in recent years there have been increasing calls for the monarchy to be restored. (via Prince Charles could become king… of ROMANIA after revealing he is related to Vlad the Impaler | Mail Online, parts excised for brevity).

But … naturellement

Prince Charles claims descent from Vlad the Impaler (1431–1476); popularly and more famously known as Dracula was intermittently the ruler (between 1456-1462) of Wallachia.

Coming from a dynasty that has spilled the most blood in the history of the world, it is not surprising if Prince Charles is related to Impaler Vlad, the Dracula. Responsible for two world wars, many wars in Europe, genocides in Australia and America, millions of deaths in colonies (like India, Kenya, Malaysia), it is no surprise that House of Windsor (Prince Charles’ family) is related to Vlad the Impaler. Can it be forgotten that a little more than a decade ago, Prince Phillip (father of Prince Charles), contested the number of people dead at the Jallianwala Bagh firing?

After years of academic suppression and Hollywood misdirection, the story of the true Dracula is obscured. So, why did Vlad, the Impaler, give such gruesome deaths, impaling tens of thousands of people? Who were these ‘victims’ and how many such people died?

Impaler Vlad is being rehabilitated as an sworn enemy and ruthless killer of of Islamic Turks. Modern medal featuring Vlad Tepes "The Impaler." Metal plated with 24-karat gold  | Image source, courtesy - ancientresource.com  |  Click for larger image.

Impaler Vlad is being rehabilitated as an sworn enemy and ruthless killer of of Islamic Turks. Modern medal featuring Vlad Tepes "The Impaler." Metal plated with 24-karat gold | Image source, courtesy - ancientresource.com | Click for larger image.

Dark Ages – that never went away

For answers, we need to go back a hundred years (1409) before Vlad the Impaler.

After centuries of persecution by the Vatican, people in Eastern Europe, proposed changes in Church and its systems.

The mass-movement for Church reform was led by a University rector, Jan Hus (1369 – 6 July 1415), from Bohemia. Between the King and the Church, Jan Huss was tricked into ‘peace-talks’ with the Church, where he was captured and burnt at the stake (1415).

Large parts of Czechoslovakia, Romania, Eastern Germany rose in revolt against the killing of Jan Hus – till war broke out.

Time for War

Led by a brilliant military commander and diplomat, Jan Zizka.

Zizka was able to ensure an alliance between the two main reform factions – the Calyxtenes and the Taborites. This alliance defeated the combined armies of royal Europe and the Church, in many battles, and waged war for nearly 15 years (Hussite Wars-1419-1434). These battles, collectively known as Hussite Wars cracked open the authority of the Church.

The role of the Taborites in the Hussite Wars was of great importance. Taborites were migratory camp-people, who moved their camps in wagons and roamed Europe. The Taborites turned their wagons into armoured vehicles – and fought behind massed wagons. These Wagonbergs, made of armoured wagons, had one major element that gave them superiority. The Taborites using gunpowder, pounded the Church forces with fire.

Gunpowder it was

Gunpowder was a rare and mostly unknown element in the poor and backward Europe of 15th century.

India was the largest manufactory of gunpowder elements. And a major element of the commercial chain were the Banjaras. In 1656 British traders based at Surat, ‘inquired from Anthony Smith at Ahmedabad about the possibility of getting saltpetre from the Banjaras’. While the governor of Gujarat, Prince Murad Baksh, ‘oppressed the Banjaras so much that they gave up their trade in saltpetre’.

Banjaras are known as Roma Gypsies in Europe. The Roma Gypsies brought gunpowder to battle – and with their wagonbergs, ensured defeat of the combined Church and royal forces of Europe.

It was the the Hussite Wars that started Europe’s lurching movement over 400 years to end Church persecution and limit Church authority. From the death of Jan Hus in 1415 to the end of Napoleonic Wars (at Waterloo, in 1815), who had earlier enforced ‘secularization’of Europe.

Jan Hus being burnt at the stake |  Image via Wikipedia

Jan Hus being burnt at the stake | Image via Wikipedia

Taborites defeated

The Taborites were finally defeated after they were sold out by their allies, the Calyxtenes.

With Jan Zizka dead (October 11, 1424), the Calyxtenes  stuck a ‘secret’ deal with the Church, and betrayed the Taborites.

The unsuspecting Taborites, were slayed by the thousands in a surprise raid, by the combined forces of the Clayxtenes, royal armies and the ‘soldiers’ of the Church.

Soon after this massacre of the Taborites, the persecution of the Roma Gypsies started in full earnest across Europe.

Laws were passed, legalizing slavery of the Roma Gypsy, capture of Roma Gypsy children (which was allowed in Switzerland till early 1970s).

Vlad’s killing spree

Vlad the Impaler, killed thousands of people, foremost being the Roma Gypsy, who opposed the Church and its appointed rulers. The others that Vlad The Impaler killed were the Turkic captives (partly Roma Gypsies serving in Ottoman armies) of the Ottoman Empire. Europe has expunged this history from their books – and the Roma Gypsy contribution to the building of ‘modern’ Europe.

But is this ‘censorship’ by a State-supported academia, surprising?

Gold … and silver

Bohemia, a small kingdom, (now a part of Czechoslovakia) discovered major silver deposits. The King Of Bohemia, Charles-I, invited Germans from nearby areas to expand trade and commerce. In 1419 King Wenceslas of Bohemia died. Emperor Sigismund, of Germany, a staunch Catholic of the Holy Roman Empire, inherited the Kingdom.

The first major successful revolt against the Church were the Hussite wars – a 100 years before the Martin Luther’s Ninety Five Theses (in 1517). Led by Jan Zizka. A small Czech Army, repeatedly defeated the Catholic Army from Germany. After 20 years of defeats, the Church was forced to negotiate.

The trigger for this war was a University rector.

The Rector Of Prague

At the Charles University of Prague. The rector went by the name of Jan Hus. Pope Alexander V issued orders on 20 December 1409, instructing Archbishop Zajic (also spelt Zbynek, with diacritics), his representative to proceed against reformers – led by John Hus. A supporter of Church Reform, John Hus opposed many practices of the Roman Church.

Hus was persuaded to attend the Council Of Konstanz (Constance) under the protection of the Emperor Sigismund. The Emperor refused to honour his promise of safe conduct and allowed Hus to be tried and then executed as a heretic. In 1415 John Hus was arrested and condemned to death by the members of the Council of Konstanz (Constance).

Bohemia was in uproar. Supporters of Hus made their displeasure plain. The protestors organised themselves , took the Chalice (Calyx) as their symbol and came to be known as Calyxtines.

More than 500,000 died in the following unrest.

Woodcut from the title page of a 1499 pamphlet published by Markus Ayrer in Nuremberg. It depicts Vlad III "the Impaler" (identified as Dracole wyade = Draculea voivode) dining among the impaled corpses of his victims.  |  Image fi.wikipedia

Woodcut from the title page of a 1499 pamphlet published by Markus Ayrer in Nuremberg. It depicts Vlad III "the Impaler" (identified as Dracole wyade = Draculea voivode) dining among the impaled corpses of his victims. | Image fi.wikipedia

Jan Zizka

In 1420, a 60 year old man, blind in one eye took charge – and took on the might of the Roman Church and Roman Emperors.

Jan Zizka.

Over the next 12 months, he became completely blind. In the next 15 years, Zizka (and other Czech generals) defeated, many times, the combined armies of Germany, The Roman Church and others. His military strategy was studied for the next 500 years. Thereafter, the myth of military might of the Church was broken forever.

Jan Zizka allied himself with the Taborites (the radical Hussite wing). Zizka made Tábor in Bohemia into an armored and mobile fortress – the Wagenburgs.

Sigismund tasted defeat at Visehrad (now a part of Prague) at the hands of Zizka (July, 1420) and the Taborite troops. Many anti-Hussite crusades were launched unsuccessfully against Zizka. One Catholic stronghold after another, fell. Zizka continued to command in person, though he had become totally blind in 1421.

In 1423 Zizka formed his own Hussite wing, while remaining in close alliance with the Taborites. In 1424, Zizka used his army, to lower tensions between the radical Taborites and the moderate Utraquists, whose stronghold was at Prague. He sent his armies to Prague to force the city to adhere to the anti-Rome /German policy.

A negotiated armistice averted a civil war between the two Hussite factions. The outcome – a united attack on Moravia. The commander – Jan Zizka. On his death bed, Zizka, asked that his skin be used to make a drum that would lead his armies into battle.

Military success

Zizka’s army, made up of untrained soldiers, (peasants and burghers-townspeople) using gunpowder, defeated trained and well-paid armies of Royal Europe and the Church. He did not have the time or resources to train these fighters in armament and tactics of the time. Instead they used weapons like iron-tipped pikes and flails, armored farm wagons, mounted with small, howitzer type cannons.

His armored wagons, led by the Taborites, in offensive movements, broke through the enemy lines, firing as they rolled, cutting superior forces into pieces. For defense, the wagons were arranged into a tight, impregnable barrier surrounding the foot soldiers – the Wagonberg (the wagon fort), as they came to be known. The wagons also served to transport his men – forerunner of modern tank warfare. Zizka’s experience under various commanders was useful. At the battle of Tannenberg (1410), Zizka fought on the Polish side , in which the famed German Teutonic Knights were defeated.

The Gypsy secret weapon

And gunpowder was the secret weapon that the Taborite Gypsy armies of Jan Zizka used, mounted on top of the wagons that cut enemy troops to size?

Gunpowder. And Gypsies?

At the end of the 19th century, this was still known. And an extract from that books goes onto trace the introduction of gunpowder to Europe.

Now, Mons is the capital of Hainault ; and the first people known to have used firearms in England were the Hainaulters. “In 1327 the English employed some Hainaulters, who used cannon for King Edward III against the Scotch.” Do these facts not suggest very strongly that the artillerymen among the Hainaulters were procured from one or other of the ” quartiers des Sarrazins ” of that province ? The connection between Edward III and Hainault was very close, for in the year following the arrival of the gunpowder-using Hainaulters, he married Philippa of Hainault. And, since he imported artillerymen from Hainault, it is quite likely that those “foreign traders,” who came to St. Giles’ Fair. Winchester, during his reign, selling ” brazen vessels of all kinds,” were really from Dinant, near Namur, as has been suggested. These people are cited by Mr. Groome {Gypsy Lore Journal, i. 50), as possible Gypsies ; if one grants that there were Gypsies in Belgium in the fourteenth century. For, of course, both of these suggestions are based upon that assumption. (from Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society by FRANZ VON MIKLOSICH).

But do Gypsies and war ever mix?

They have often been employed in military expeditions, but never as regular soldiers. In the Thirty Years’ War the Swedes had a body of them in the army ;  and the Danes had three companies of them at the siege of Hamburg, in 1686. They were chiefly employed in flying parties, to burn, plunder, or lay waste the enemy’s country. In two Hungarian regiments nearly every eighth man is a Gypsy. (from Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society by FRANZ VON MIKLOSICH).

Post Hussite Wars and the ‘Reformation’, establishing the CRER-principle (cuius regio, eius religio, meaning whose land, his religion) to settle Germany, giving rise to the logic of ‘ubi unus dominus, ibi una sit religio’ (One ruler, one religion). Just in case someone had religious disagreement, the logic was they could well emigrate – (ius emigrandi).

In 1887, Bram Stoker, an Irish writer published his Dracula. The character of Dracula is based on the descendants of Emperor Sigismund and his Order of the Dragon, who waged war against the Hussites – led by Jan Zizka. Infamous for his betrayal of Jan Hus, Emperor Sigismund sparked of the Hussite Wars, in which the Taborites (the Roma Gypsies) used wagons and gun powder for the first time in Europe. He founded a secret sect,  the “Dracul” called the Order of the Dragon.

A very interesting play by Calderon was La vida es sueño (Life is a dream). It tells the story of Segismundo, the Prince Of Poland, who was destined to be a monster. To forestall the prophecy, Segismundo was imprisoned by his father from the time of his birth. John Hunyadi’s son, Matthias Corvinus, the voevod or warlord of Transylvania region actually kept Vlad, The Impaler, another candidate for Dracula imprisoned, dates vary, but seemingly, from 1462-1474. In adulthood, released from prison to test the prediction, Segismundo fulfills the prophecy. As a analyst of Calderon’s work summarizes,

Affirming a “better reality,” Segismundo’s message speaks as well to all of Europe: the “new European man” is the real monster. (from The subject in question By C. Christopher Soufas).

No Prisoners! Survivors? None

Posted in America, Desert Bloc, India, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on November 28, 2011
No prisoners ... No survivors | Extract from 'NATO as the Left Hand of God' By Slavoj Zizek; from an anthology of essays - Law, justice, and power: between reason and will By Sinkwan Cheng.  |  Pages 25-45

No prisoners ... No survivors | Extract from 'NATO as the Left Hand of God' By Slavoj Zizek; from an anthology of essays - Law, justice, and power: between reason and will By Sinkwan Cheng. | Pages 25-45

Neither fish … nor fowl

Slávoj Zizek, the writer of this extract above, cannot support the narrow Right-Wing Christian Democrat political constructs. The empty cupboard of Leftist ideology, leaves him with little choice. A status quo-ist like Gandhiji, is unacceptable to Slávoj Zizek. The ‘success’ of the Anglo-Saxon model of governance, has left no survivors or even prisoners.

His dilemma!

Having to choose between two दुरातन्त्रिक duratantrik systems (like socialism or communism), Slávoj Zizek’s is having a difficult time.

And Slávoj Zizek is not alone.

Staring down the barrel

With a global recession staring at the world, unemployment at record levels, gold prices in the stratosphere, there is need to understand where nations – and their country-models are going.

Communism has failed, Capitalism died with end of African slavery – and in a world made of socialist flavours, it may be worthwhile to understand what works – and for how long.

Does empty rage count as a reason to expose nations to unknown rulers and uncertainty? Unknown devils instead of known devils? Does a change in government without modifying governance-model make any difference?

Without a viable ‘reason’ for revolt, what made so many people come out in the open? Occupying Wall Street, in India at Ram Lila Maidan, at Tahrir Square in Egypt. And sometime back, at Tiananmen Square in China.

Global Problems … in a Globalized World

In the post-globalized world, political ideology, lack of leadership, economic crisis are all global problems – respecting no boundaries or territories.

Not just multinationals that have globalized. People living with a globalized form of socialistic governments also face the same globalized problems. Corruption is one of them.

From Wall Street to RamLila Grounds, from Tahrir Square to Athens, people are displaying a lack of faith in political leadership. Mainstream media is speculating if there is a global crisis of leadership. An end to political models. There is a crisis of leadership.

After having invested to much power in the hands of polity, after having moved in a linear direction – with Desert Bloc systems that progressively need more laws, more powers that limit freedom, there is global disaffection with current political and economic models.

What we need is less political power – and more intellectual leaders.

Post-British Raj, India had a difficult choice. Which political system to choose? (Cartoon by RK Laxman; courtesy - timesofindia.com).  Click for larger image.

Post-British Raj, India had a difficult choice. Which political system to choose? (Cartoon by RK Laxman; courtesy - timesofindia.com). Click for larger image.

Many Disguises – One Result

It is worth remembering that the concepts of political Right and Left were defined, when European economies struggled with the end of slavery (1830-1860) and serfdom (1830-1910). Faced with a restive labour force, Europe adopted two distinct paths. Left and Right.

In both cases the end results were the same – concentration of wealth, power and land in the hands of the elite. To European citizenry, it finally was a choice between two elites – a Leftist coterie and Rightist cliques. These European concepts never worked well in India, where polity changes followed a different trajectory.

But Indian leaders are trying …

India’s ruling elite and the oligarchs ‘helping’ Indians to ‘integrate’ India with global system. Deliver us bound, gagged and powerless to international cartels. Oil, food, retail, entertainment, banking & currency, technology cartels.

Bankruptcy of ideology – ism, cracy and archy

Modern nation-States based on various ‘isms’ (Capitalism, Communism, Socialism) combine with various ‘archy’ (monarchy, oligarchy) and ‘cracy’ (democracy, plutocracy, bureaucracy) continue to ensure that power and wealth remains in the hands of very few. The Rest of Us have to be happy with illusion of being equal, of having power over leaders, etc.

In the last 250 years, just 4 countries succeeded with Republican democracy without a significant breakdown in their first 50 years. Of the four, Switzerland (pop. 80 lakhs), Israel (pop. 75 lakhs) are tiny countries to generate any valuable data, models, norms or precedents.

That leaves the world with just USA and India.

Democracy oversold

The West scorns the Chinese one party rule.

How does one more, collusive party in the national polity, in a ‘democratic set-up, become the paragon of political virtue. Two-party democratic polity is just a more polished and conniving way of exercising the same authority – in a more invisible manner? Instead of focusing on the behavior of rulers and politicians, democracy diverts our minds to replace one bad ruler with another. It creates a collusive polity where bad rulers conspire with each other, against us.

In India, with more than 70 crore voters, the winning party got less than 13 crore votes and the final difference between the winning party and the second largest party. Approximately 5 crore voters. This leaves people with little or no choice – much like the choice between one-party ‘dictatorship’ and two-party ‘democracy’.

Given a choice of two candidates, selected from some 2,000 collusive politicians, we have been lulled into believing that democracy is greatest thing since sliced bread. Can’t stand either.

Both give me indigestion.

Hoot – and ROFL

In any other day, age and society, the Republican-Democracy model would have been laughed off – and not studied by millions.

The political constructs of the West have hit a wall – and there is no way, but down! Since the West is busy hiding elephants in the room, the need for a different political ideology remains unaddressed. The development of the four Western political systems – i.e. Feudalism, Capitalism, Socialism and Communism, is related to two factors. Property (and loot of property) and slavery – the two elephants in the room of Western history.

Indians needs is start working on a exit route of this quagmire of Desert Bloc polity.

Thin Is In

A system that works on more freedom - not increased governance, as the solution.

India must work on more freedom, less governance model of polity – unlike Desert Bloc systems that need more laws, more powers that limit freedom. This thin governance model has been progressively diluted over the last 800 years of regression from भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

Instead we are stuck with a bloated State, an over-sized bureaucracy that controls every aspect of our life.

How 'isms' work. A popular cartoon on the internet.  |  Artist attribution missing at source.   |   Image source and courtesy - sodahead.com   |   Click for larger image.

How 'isms' work. A popular cartoon on the internet. | Artist attribution missing at source. | Image source and courtesy - sodahead.com | Click for larger image.

Geometry of a Pyramid

Globally four major companies and government monopolies control a US$400 billion trade in cigarettes. These cigarette monopolies, directly or indirectly controlled by governments, take away US$1 from every US$175 that people earn. China and USA are leaders in this extortion game.

This concentration of power at the top, creates a collusive system, where Big People help each other – and the rest of us are statistics. This pattern has been seen in Communist China and Russia, Socialist countries everywhere (everyone is a socialist now) – and in Capitalist England and America earlier. Small business failures is statistics – but big business failure is in ‘national interest’.

Way out of this? Onward to भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

Crime and corruption

On one side, these States speak of freedom, liberty, human rights.

The reality is increasing prison populations and an expanding police State. With 2 crore (20 million) drug users in the USA, prisons overflowing with more than 70 lakh (7 million) people in prison, on parole or under prosecution, the American policy establishment is stuck for answers. If bullets or swords could solve problems, Saudi Arabia would have been free of crime. And China free of corruption.

Both these miracles have not happened.

The answer is less – and even less, power to the Government.

In India

We have these ‘thought-leaders’ who are saying that killing and shooting is the answer.

Any example where it is working?

Anna Hazare leads with an agenda that is thin – very thin. Clueless on why Indians expect corruption free governance, or how India’s traditional rulers using भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra delivered corruption-free regimes, these movements are trying failed Western solutions on a successful India. Has thirty years of killings in record numbers solved China corruption problem?

The industrialization model will fail the moment when 'clean-up' and recycling costs are imposed. 'Polluter cleans' principle must to apply  |   Cartoon by David Horsey; courtesy - indianinthemachine.wordpress.com. |  Click for larger image.

The industrialization model will fail the moment when 'clean-up' and recycling costs are imposed. 'Polluter cleans' principle must to apply | Cartoon by David Horsey; courtesy - indianinthemachine.wordpress.com. | Click for larger image.

Does Propaganda Work

Western propaganda has made us aware of atrocities, genocides, massacres in Islamic and Marxist regimes.

Strangely, writers like Arun Shourie have no objections to non-communist and non-Islamic atrocities, genocides, massacres – in India and the world. For instance, Shourie, in his book, Eminent Historians talks of 1400 years of Islamic atrocities, genocides, massacres, (page 222). But, not a word of Christian atrocities, genocides, massacres.

Is it ignorance – or just plain infatuation with the West, Arunbhai?

Arun Shourie effectively brings out how Indian-Leftist political parties looked towards Soviet Russia and China now, for direction, inspiration – and even instructions (Chapter 9). How different is that from Shourie’s own loyalty to ‘capitalist-Western’ ideology. His rose-tinted view of capitalist ideologues makes his thesis brittle (Chapter 18).

Indian Think Tanks, based on working out solutions based Desert Bloc constructs and systems, are proposing such bad ideas – that the only debate seems to be whether they are shallow tanks or empty tanks. The Indic model, has the solution. One Vighneswara, sitting in a small town in Karnataka, wrote a legal text. Later, the Mitakshara, Vighneswara’s treatise became the law of the land of Bharat-ah.

What we need is less political power – and more intellectual leaders.

Emperor’s Clothes

Fundamentally, the country model of the West has failed. The answer to this crisis in leadership is Indic polity – भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

The answer – from India

India has been a rich country for most of recorded history. Yet, after 1500 years of recorded history, Indian kings have not left behind fortunes, palaces or monuments. Unlike Rome, Greece, Egypt, China, Babylon, Persia – and everywhere else. Now that is clean administration. How did India get clean administration for 1500 years?

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra gives you that. It was भारत-तंत्रwhich made Buddhist priests a force in the entire SE Asia.

But then, that begs a question

Is भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra alive? Even in India? Do Indians follow भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra? Modern Indian State has acquired Desert-Bloc-Platonic-Confucian authoritarian principles of State as parens patriae. The time for भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra draws near. In the last 200 years, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has gone into regression. But, in this period, the world has also learnt more about the limitations of the Desert Bloc ideology.

People get ready!

Go for भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story

Posted in America, Current Affairs, India, Indo Pak Relations, Islamic Demonization, Religion by Anuraag Sanghi on November 25, 2011

This is an extract from ProPublica’s post on the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai. Not very new or revealing -but useful, as it a rare case, where most of the information in the public domain is presented as a single narrative.

This extract is about the role of David Headley. It is 2ndlook’s opinion, that David Headley’s role is a window to the smokescreen – and ISI-Pakistani State involvement, if it is, is a small part of a bigger story.

The bigger story is Oil.

Hundreds of miles away in Pakistan, a youthful terrorist chief named Sajid Mir was preparing a different sort of religious mission. With the support of Pakistan’s intelligence service, Mir had spent two years using a Pakistani-American businessman named David Coleman Headley to conduct meticulous reconnaissance on Mumbai, according to investigators and court documents. He had selected iconic targets and the Chabad House, a seemingly obscure choice, but one that ensured that Jews and Americans would be casualties.

His name at the time was Daood Gilani, but he would become known to the world as David Coleman Headley.

Headley, now 50, differed from Sajid Mir’s other protégés. He was older, a ladies’ man, a globe-trotter at ease among American and Pakistani elites. Born in Washington, D.C. to a prominent Pakistani broadcaster and a Philadelphia socialite, he moved to Pakistan as an infant and grew up in a conservative, devout household, attending a top military school.

Returning to the United States at 17 with his mother, he lived in Philadelphia and then New York and slid into a wild lifestyle of heroin dealing and addiction. In 1988, the DEA busted him at the Frankfurt Airport trying to smuggle drugs from Pakistan to the United States. According to court documents he promptly betrayed his accomplices, cooperated with investigators and won a reduced sentence.

After a bust in New York in 1997, Headley became a prized informant of the Drug Enforcement Administration. At the same time, he radicalized after years of a casual attitude toward Islam, according to associates. While spying on drug traffickers in Pakistan and participating in undercover DEA stings in New York, he began raising funds and recruiting for Lashkar. During a visit to his father’s home in Lahore in 2000, he became friends with Saeed, the Lashkar spiritual chief who draws tens of thousands to his rallies, and embraced the group’s ideology.

Headley juggled women as well as allegiances. He entered into an arranged marriage with a Pakistani in 1999 and now has four children with her. But he continued a longtime relationship in New York with a blonde make-up artist whom he married in 2002, according to court documents and interviews.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. authorities decided Headley’s unique profile would help them respond to a dire need for intelligence from South Asia. Prosecutors and DEA agents went to a federal judge and won an unusual decision ending Headley’s probation three years early, according to court documents and anti-terror officials. Weeks after the December 2001 ruling, Headley headed for Pakistan. U.S. officials say he was still a DEA informant when he began training in the Lashkar camps in early 2002 and may have remained an informant until 2005 or later.

Although the Pakistani instructors in the camps decided Headley was too old and too slow for combat in Kashmir, the charming American hit it off with Sajid Mir, the coordinator of foreign recruits. The two bonded because they both had smooth, aggressive con-man personalities, investigators say. Mir decided to cultivate this man of many worlds as a clandestine operative, according to documents and officials.

Later that year, Sajid Mir’s experience in international operations and his skills as a handler of Western recruits paid off. Lashkar chose him to develop its most ambitious plot to date, a strike on Mumbai, India’s economic and cultural capital. Mir turned to Headley, his prize American recruit.

Headley was eager to put his talents to use. He had studied ideology, weapons, hand-to-hand-combat and survival skills during five extended stints in the Lashkar camps. He had become friendly with Lashkar bosses, some of whom were his neighbors in Lahore. Mir, his friend and protector, lived near the airport and a golf club in that city, according to Headley’s interrogation.

During a trip to New York in August 2005, Headley survived a close call with his wife there. New York police arrested him for assault after he allegedly slapped her in a domestic dispute, according to investigators and an investigative document. The wife reported his activities with Lashkar to a federal terrorism task force, describing in three interviews his radicalization, his training in the Pakistani camps and his claims that he was working as a U.S informant. Nonetheless, the FBI decided Headley did not pose a threat and closed the inquiry. His travels around the world continued, unimpeded.

Soon afterward, Headley met in Pakistan with Mir and other Lashkar bosses. They told him he had been chosen to do reconnaissance for a big job in Mumbai. He went to Philadelphia in November and legally changed his name from Daood Gilani to David Coleman Headley to conceal his Pakistani heritage. He also arranged to use the consulting firm of a Pakistani friend in Chicago, First World Immigration Services, as a cover for his terrorist reconnaissance.

“The change of name, establishment of an immigration office in India …use of an American passport and so on were my ideas,” Headley later told interrogators. “Lashkar appreciated these ideas.”

Headley had learned by now that Lashkar had an almost symbiotic relationship with the ISI, according to his confession.

The spy agency has “control over the most important operatives” of Lashkar, and every chief “is handled by some ISI official,” he told investigators, according to the Indian report. An ISI brigadier general served as handler for Zaki-ur-Rehmane Lakhvi, Lashkar’s military chief, who also “is close to the [Director General] of ISI,” he said. The ISI funded Lashkar and shielded Saeed, the spiritual leader, from interference, Headley said.

Saeed “is very close to ISI,” Headley said. “He is well protected.”

Headley’s confession confirms the assessment of foreign intelligence agencies, according to officials and experts: In exchange for ISI funding and direction, Lashkar has steadfastly avoided attacking the Pakistani state.

Pakistani officials deny such allegations. But U.S. and Indian investigators say Headley was more than a terrorist: He became a Pakistani spy.

“I don’t know of any other cases in which ISI has used and worked with Americans,” said Faddis, the former CIA counter-terror chief. “Having a guy like this would be great for LeT and ISI. The Indians are working off a profile of what they think enemy operatives look like. This guy does not fit that profile. He can walk through the screen without being seen.”

Headley’s relationship with the ISI began in January 2006 after Pakistani authorities briefly detained him for trying to smuggle arms into India. An ISI officer named Major Samir Ali interviewed the American, then referred him to a Major Iqbal, who became his main handler in Lahore, according to Headley’s account.

Major Iqbal, described as a fat, deep-voiced cigarette-smoker in his mid-thirties, brought Headley to a meeting with a man identified as Lieutenant Colonel Shah. The two officers promised Headley financial support for terrorist operations against India, according to the interrogation report.

At subsequent meetings in safe houses, Major Iqbal gave Headley secret documents on India. He assigned a noncommissioned officer to give the American standard intelligence training. Headley learned techniques for detecting surveillance, developing sources and other skills, then practiced with the lower-ranking officer on the streets of Lahore. The specialized training lasted several months and continued intermittently as Major Iqbal taught Headley how to use cameras and other devices for missions, the report says.

“I became close to Major Iqbal,” Headley said. “The training given by this NCO under the guidance of Major Iqbal was much more scientific and effective than the trainings I did in the LeT camps.”

Phone and e-mail evidence have corroborated Headley’s contact with Major Iqbal and other suspected ISI officers, U.S. and Indian officials say. Major Iqbal has been detected directing intelligence and terror operations in other cases, officials say.

Because Lashkar keeps the spy agency informed about its foreign militants, Headley’s arrest near the Pakistani border may have been part of a plan to recruit a promising American operative, an Indian counter-terror official said.

Pakistani officials say they haven’t been able to identify Major Iqbal. They deny that any serving military officers were involved in the plot.

“It’s possible people impersonate the ISI or the army,” the Pakistani official said. “Uniforms have been stolen in the past for this kind of thing.”

In the summer of 2006, according to U.S. court documents and investigators, Major Iqbal gave Headley $25,000 to pay for expenses and to establish his cover, a new office of the U.S. immigration consulting firm in the city that was his target: Mumbai.

Reconnaissance

Headley seemed like a gregarious, high-rolling American businessman when he set up shop in Mumbai in September 2006.

He hired a secretary and opened an office of First World Immigration Services, which brought hundreds of clients to the United States. He partied at swank locales such as the ornate Taj Mahal Hotel, a 1903 landmark favored by Westerners and the Indian elite. He joined an upscale gym, where he befriended a Bollywood actor. He roamed the booming, squalid city taking photos and shooting video.

But it was all a front. Headley was busy gathering intelligence, taking photos and shooting video of potential terrorist targets. When he returned to Pakistan, he reported to Major Iqbal in Lahore and Mir in Muzaffarabad, according to court documents.

Mir and Major Iqbal were both keenly interested in the iconic Taj, the centerpiece of the plan, according to U.S. and Indian court documents. Mir told Headley he needed more images and also schedules for the hotel’s conference rooms and ballroom, which often hosted high-powered events, according to investigators and court documents.

“They thought it would be a good place to get valuable hostages,” the Indian anti-terrorism official said.

Headley did more reconnaissance missions over the next two years, reporting to Mir and Major Iqbal before and after each trip. His Lashkar and ISI handlers met him separately, but they coordinated with each other, according to court documents and investigators.

In addition, Major Iqbal sent Headley on separate spying missions to scout an atomic research center and military sites around India. The ISI officer called Headley from a phone number with a 646 area code (one used in the New York area). This could have been a technique to conceal the origin of the calls in Pakistan and avoid eavesdropping by American and Indian intelligence agencies.

“The whole thing feels like ISI is trying to maintain plausible deniability,” said Faddis, using the intelligence term for operating through an intermediary who can be disavowed. “They are running in parallel with LeT and clearly leveraging sources for their own purposes, but they are still trying to avoid being directly tied to the attack planning, most of the time.”

In 2007 he and Major Iqbal sent Headley to assess several dozen targets in Mumbai and other Indian cities. Headley even befriended aides to a Hindu political strongman, a potential first step for an assassination plot, according to his confession.

Both Mir and Headley got married during this period, although Headley was still married to his Pakistani and New York wives, according to court documents. Mir wed the daughter of a former Pakistani navy chaplain. Headley’s new wife was a Moroccan medical student in Lahore.

Headley’s bride, Faiza Outalha, was a devout Muslim who covered her head with the traditional hijab. But she was also strong-willed. Soon after the wedding, she demanded that Headley take her with him on what she thought were his business trips to Mumbai. Headley did not want to blow his cover as a non-Muslim American, so he kept her at a distance from acquaintances and hotel staff and tried to avoid registering her at the Taj, according to his confession.

“It was very difficult to conceal her Muslim identity as she was wearing a hijab,” Headley told Indian interrogators. “Two persons had seen me with Faiza when I was with her in the lobby of the hotel….I managed to convince both of them by telling them that she was a client of mine.”

In September, Mir showed Headley a Styrofoam model of the Taj that was constructed using his photos, videos and reports. They talked about attacking a conference of software engineers at the hotel. The plan resembled previous Lashkar strikes in India: a bold but limited shooting attack on a single target by gunmen who escaped afterward.

But soon Mir began working on a more ambitious project involving multiple targets, including Western ones. The shift resulted from conflict in the ranks of Lashkar and the ISI, according to investigators and Headley’s account. Disillusioned militants who wanted a bigger role in fighting in Afghanistan and in the global jihad were defecting to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, because Lashkar and the ISI were keeping the main focus on Kashmir.

Lashkar’s leadership responded to this dangerous internal rift by deciding to carry out a spectacular al-Qaeda-style strike on Western targets in Mumbai. The ISI approved the shift in tactics, Headley explained.

“The ISI I believe had no ambiguity of understanding the necessity to strike India [and] …shifting and minimizing the theater of violence from the domestic soil of Pakistan,” he said.

The analysis rings true, according to officials and experts.

“Lashkar’s senior leaders are sometimes pulled between adherence to the ISI and their dedication to pan-Islamist jihad,” Tankel said. “Meanwhile, the ISI is trying to pressure the group enough to keep it in line and not so much that it fragments. That becomes more difficult as LeT integrates further with other outfits and a segment of its members agitate for breaking free of ISI control.”

Warning Signs

Headley’s tangled personal life soon caused trouble again. His quarrels with his new wife spurred her, like the wife in New York two years earlier, to report him to U.S. authorities.

During walk-in visits to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad in December 2007 and January 2008, Outalha told federal agents that she believed her husband was a terrorist. She mentioned militant training and suicide bombings and described his travels to Mumbai, including her stay at the Taj hotel, U.S. law enforcement officials say.

But U.S. agents at the embassy decided the woman’s account lacked specifics. Headley continued to roam free.

In early 2008, the FBI and CIA began hearing chatter about Mumbai as a Lashkar target. The intelligence may have come from communications intercepts or sources in Pakistan. But privately, some U.S and Indian anti-terrorism officials suspect that U.S. agencies were tracking Headley’s movements and communications and picking up bits and pieces about the plot-without realizing he was deeply involved.

U.S. intelligence officials alerted their Indian counterparts in early 2008 that they had general information about a Lashkar plot against Mumbai. Officials insist that they didn’t warn the Indians specifically about Headley because they didn’t know about his involvement. Although U.S. officials say Headley was no longer working as a DEA informant by early 2008, it isn’t clear when that relationship ended or whether it evolved into wider intelligence-gathering. The CIA and the FBI say Headley never worked for them.

Meanwhile, Pakistani security forces stepped up their support of the plot. In March 2008, Mir brought Headley to an important planning session in Muzaffarabad hosted by Lakhvi, Lashkar’s military chief. They were joined by Abu Qahafa, a training specialist, and Muzzammil Bhatt, one Lashkar’s most feared bosses. The guest of honor was a frogman in the Pakistani navy.

The crew-cut, clean-shaven frogman, identified as Abdur-Rehman, was in his mid-thirties. He spread a maritime chart on the table. For two days the plotters discussed options for sending an attack team to Mumbai by sea and using a hijacked Indian boat for the clandestine journey.

“They had discussed various landing options along the coast of Mumbai,” Headley recalled. “The frogman told them that the sea became rough after the month of June. … [He] told me to check the position of the naval vessels on the Indian side so as to avoid a gunfight.”

Soon afterward, Headley met with Major Iqbal in Lahore. The ISI officer already knew about the maritime strategy, Headley said. In that meeting and other conversations, he said, Major Iqbal offered tactical advice: escape routes for the gunmen, setting up a safe house, the hijacking at sea.

In April 2008, Headley’s Moroccan wife returned to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad with another, more specific tip. She warned that her husband was on “a special mission.” She also linked him to a 2007 train bombing in India that had killed 68 people and that India and the United States blamed on Lashkar at the time, U.S. officials say. Authorities haven’t implicated Headley in that still-unsolved attack, however. It is not known how the U.S. Embassy personnel responded to the wife’s allegations, but officials say the tip didn’t reach the FBI until after the Mumbai attacks.

Headley returned to Mumbai in April. He went on a series of boat tours, using a GPS device that Mir had given him to assess landing sites for the amphibious attack, U.S. court documents say.

In May, U.S. agencies alerted India that new intelligence suggested Lashkar was planning to attack the Taj and other sites frequented by foreigners and Americans, according to U.S. and Indian anti-terrorism officials. A map identifying the U.S. consulate and other targets in Mumbai was found when Indian authorities arrested an accused Lashkar scout.

Despite the pressure of planning his biggest project ever, Mir took time during this period for a rather odd personal enterprise. He underwent plastic surgery on his face, apparently for esthetic reasons rather than to disguise his appearance. Mir’s fellow militant chiefs made fun of him afterward, according to the report.

“In my assessment, his face has not changed much,” Headley told interrogators. “Zaki ridiculed Sajid by telling him that plastic surgery had widened [his] eyes.”

The Stronghold Option

Mir and the other Pakistani masterminds decided on a classic Lashkar “fedayeen raid” in which fighters inflict maximum chaos and casualties.

“Fedayeen” is an Arabic word for guerrilla fighters and means “one who sacrifices himself,” but the concept is not the same as a suicide attack. Mir and Major Iqbal still envisioned a scenario in which the attackers would escape in the confusion, according to investigators and documents.

Over the summer, Mir oversaw the work of Abu Qahafa, the veteran Lashkar trainer, who prepared 32 recruits during months of drills in mountain camps and at the group’s headquarters outside Lahore, according to investigators and court documents.

Fifteen candidates were sent to Karachi for swimming and nautical instruction. But the youthful country boys had little experience with water. Some got seasick. Some ran away from swim training. Trainers had to bring in eight replacements, Indian and U.S. anti-terrorism officials say.

In June, Mir discussed targets with Headley. For the first time, Mir said he wanted to attack the Chabad House, thereby singling out Jews, Israel and-because the rabbi was American-the United States.

“I was very impressed to know that Chabad House had been put as a target,” Headley told interrogators. “Sajid, as I understand is a ‘Saudi Salafi.’ They consider the Jewish people as the number one target.”

Headley then met with Major Iqbal, who “was very happy to know that Chabad House had been chosen,” according to the interrogation report.

Headley’s final reconnaissance trip lasted the month of July. When he returned, the planning gathered steam. The leaders of Lashkar held a special meeting to discuss the plot. Mir had Headley wait nearby, coming out of the meeting to consult with him about details.

The chiefs decided the attack would be too complex for the fighters to escape. Instead, they would barricade themselves and fight to the death. The planners called this “the stronghold option.”

In September, the anti-terrorism chief of the Mumbai police visited the Taj Hotel to discuss new warnings from U.S. intelligence about a Lashkar plot. Hotel management beefed up security, Indian officials say.

At about the same time, Headley’s Moroccan wife complained about her husband to “senior police officials” in Lahore. Headley said Pakistani police jailed him for eight days, but his account doesn’t specify the charges. His Pakistani father-in-law put up bail and the ISI intervened as well, the interrogation report says.

“Major Iqbal also helped me [in] this case,” Headley said.

A Pakistani official denied the story. He blamed U.S. officials for failing to tell Pakistan about the intelligence the United States had shared with India in 2008.

“Perhaps with Pakistan alerted, the plots could have been avoided,” the Pakistani official said.

In November, Headley went to Karachi to meet with Mir, who updated him on the status of the operation. Headley had no contact with the attack team, though Mir showed him photos of the youthful gunmen, according to documents and officials.

The attack squad set sail for Mumbai in the fishing trawler. On the evening of Nov. 26, they reached a point about five miles offshore and transferred to an 11-seat dinghy. They landed in Cuffe Parade, a slum scouted by Headley where lights, phones and police were scarce.

At the Karachi command post, Mir took a moment to send a telephone text message to Headley at home in Lahore. The message told Headley to turn on his TV.

As the bloodshed intensified, Indian intelligence officers frantically checked known phone numbers associated with Lashkar. They were able to intercept and record nearly 300 calls. Mir’s voice dominated the conversations, according to officials and documents. Thanks to Headley, he knew the targets inside-out.

Although the recorded conversations between handlers and gunmen were broadcast worldwide, Mir did not appear concerned that the notoriety would expose him to arrest. During a visit to Headley’s home, he looked tired but was boastful and talkative.

“Sajid made me hear the audios of the Mumbai attack,” Headley recalled. “Sajid played…the Mumbai video where along with others Sajid was instructing the attackers from the Karachi control room. I heard Sajid’s voice and he was instructing the attacker in the Chabad House to kill the women.”

Mir and Headley were already at work on their next target: a Danish newspaper that in 2005 had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The planning had begun before Mumbai, at a crucial meeting in November 2008. After maintaining a careful distance from each other for almost two years, Headley’s handlers from the ISI and Lashkar, Mir and Major Iqbal, paid him a joint visit in Lahore, the report says.

“This is the first time Major Iqbal and Sajid came together to my home,” the American said. “We discussed about the Denmark project.”

Mir directed and funded Headley’s subsequent reconnaissance on the newspaper’s offices in Denmark, according to the report and U.S. court papers. Major Iqbal’s previously undisclosed involvement in the high-stakes meeting to launch an attack in the heart of Europe is a “pretty seismic” revelation, said Sajjan Gohel of the Asia-Pacific Foundation, a London-based security consulting firm.

“They take it to the next phase,” Gohel said. “Either the hierarchy was aware or there was no accountability.”

Experts say Iqbal’s visit alongside Mir sent a message of trust to Headley. But the extent to which the major approved of the Danish plot, and the degree to which he was acting on his own, remain unclear.

“I think this was a particularly sensitive discussion, and somebody above Iqbal’s pay-grade told him to sit in and be present for the conversation between Headley and Mir,” said Faddis, the CIA counter-terror veteran.

Indian anti-terror officials think the ISI gave the operation its blessing, even if it did not participate directly. There is no record that Pakistani intelligence ever warned Denmark about Headley or the plot.

Mir gave Headley a thumb drive with information about Denmark and the Jyllands Posten newspaper, according to U.S. court documents and officials. They christened the new plot “The Mickey Mouse Project.”

In December, Headley suggested killing only the cartoonist and an editor. Mir disagreed. Despite the uproar over Mumbai, he seemed eager to take an audacious terrorism campaign into Europe, according to documents and investigators.

“All Danes are responsible,” Mir declared, according to U.S. officials and documents.

Across the ocean, the FBI was pursuing yet another tip about Headley. A friend of Headley’s mother in Philadelphia had come forward after seeing news about the Mumbai attacks. She told agents that she believed Headley had been fighting alongside Pakistani militants for years. Agents conducted an inquiry in December but then put it on hold because they thought Headley was out of the country, U.S. officials said.

Weeks later, Headley traveled from Chicago to Denmark. Using his business cover again, he visited the newspaper’s offices in Copenhagen and Aarhus and inquired about advertising his immigration firm. He shot video of the area and – because Mir mistakenly believed the editor was Jewish – of a nearby synagogue. He took careful notes, just as he had done when scouting in Mumbai, according to U.S. court documents.

But a few weeks later, Mir put the Denmark operation on hold. Pakistani authorities had finally arrested a big fish: Lakhvi, Lashkar’s military chief. The ISI also arrested Abu Al Qama, a Lashkar boss who had allegedly worked the phones with Mir at the command post for the Mumbai attacks, along with some low-level henchmen.

The ISI Reacts

The way the ISI handled the arrests deepens the mystery and ambiguity surrounding its role in the Mumbai case.

The agency held Lakhvi in a safe house for some time before putting him in jail, according to investigators. And Headley said Gen. Ahmed Suja Pasha, the ISI’s director general, met with Lakhvi after he was jailed.

“Pasha had visited him to understand the Mumbai attack conspiracy,” the report quotes Headley as saying, without further elaboration.

Pakistani officials deny that Pasha, one of the most powerful men in Pakistan, made the jailhouse visit. U.S. and Indian officials and experts are more willing to believe the story. Headley’s language suggests that Pasha, who had become director only two months before Mumbai, was surprised by the attack or at least by its dimensions. This reinforces the U.S. view that top ISI brass weren’t involved in the plot.

Meanwhile, Major Iqbal cut off contact with Headley and told him to get rid of compromising evidence, according to U.S. court documents and investigators. The ISI handler said, “the Mumbai investigation was getting bigger and hotter,” and a suspect had revealed “ISI cooperation” in the plot, the Indian interrogation report says.

But Headley did not sever all his links to the ISI. He remained in touch with Ali, the ISI major who had first recruited him, until June 2009, even during trips back to the United States, he said.

As for Mir, he stayed cool. Despite the evidence implicating him in the attacks, he visited Lakhvi, his Lashkar boss, in jail, according to the Indian interrogation report. If true, this reinforces suspicions that Mir was either an ISI officer or had powerful protectors, investigators say.

Headley’s Final Months

Despite Lashkar’s decision to hold off, Headley remained fixated on the plot against the Danish newspaper. In the spring of 2009, he gravitated increasingly toward al-Qaeda, according to U.S. and Indian court documents.

Lashkar veterans who had defected to al-Qaeda connected him with al-Qaeda’s chief of operations, Ilyas Kashmiri. At a sit-down in May, the veteran Pakistani militant offered to provide Headley with operatives in Europe for the attack. Kashmiri envisioned them decapitating hostages and throwing heads out of the newspaper office windows, U.S. court documents say.

In August Headley returned to Denmark for more reconnaissance. He also went to Britain and Sweden to discuss the newspaper plot with Kashmiri’s operatives, according to U.S. and Indian documents.

Despite occasional tensions, Headley stayed in touch with Mir. They discussed new reconnaissance in India as well as personal matters. The American asked about Mir’s baby son, referring to the boy in e-mails as “polar cub.” Headley also urged Mir to return to the Denmark plot, according to U.S. documents and officials.

In an e-mail, Headley described his trip to Copenhagen. He jokingly complimented Mir about his “music videos” – code for a TV program about Mumbai that had featured Mir’s voice directing the attacks.

With affectionate exasperation, Mir warned his operative to be careful, according to documents and officials.

“Your skin is dear to me, more than my own,” Mir wrote.

In September 2009, documents show that Headley again discussed joining forces with Mir for the Denmark attack, a sign that Mir was still operating freely. But Headley’s luck was running out. His contact with two known al-Qaeda suspects in the English town of Derby had put him on the radar of British intelligence, who alerted their U.S. counterparts. In October, the FBI arrested Headley in Chicago, where he had moved his Pakistani wife and children.

The FBI had been investigating Mumbai since a team rushed there right after the attacks. FBI leads- phone analysis, forensics, money trails – had been instrumental in the Indian and Pakistani investigations.

Now Headley gave U.S. agents a treasure trove of evidence and intelligence. He quickly confessed and spent days describing his exploits, according to U.S. officials.

In March he pleaded guilty to helping organize the Mumbai attacks and the Denmark plot. As part of the plea deal to avoid the death penalty, he agreed to cooperate. Officials say his confession and the contents of his computer showed he had scouted scores of targets, including American ones, around the world. They say he did not do reconnaissance in the United States, but they noted a chilling detail: His immigration consulting firm had offices in the Empire State Building.

Headley helped investigators overcome a basic problem. American agencies lacked data on Lashkar: photo books, organizational charts, profiles.

It seems clear, however, that the government did underestimate Headley. A recent review by the director of national intelligence found that U.S. agencies had received six warnings about Headley from his wives and associates from October 2001 to December 2008. Yet federal agents didn’t place him on a terrorist watch list or open a full investigation until July 2009, eight months after the Mumbai attacks.

Between June 3 and June 9, investigators with India’s National Investigation Agency questioned Headley for 34 hours in Chicago in the presence of U.S. prosecutors, FBI agents and his lawyers. Headley’s account, contained in the interrogation report obtained by ProPublica, opened a rare door into a secretive underworld of spies and militants.

A Pakistani official said the Indian version was “totally distorted and fabricated.”

“There was no involvement of the ISI whatsoever,” the official said. “Nor did any serving official interact with Headley or any of the perpetrators.”

But U.S. investigators say much of Headley’s account is credible and essentially repeats his account in the federal case in Chicago. The investigators believe Major Iqbal was a serving member of the ISI and that several other officers also had contact with Headley.

FBI agents and their Indian counterparts have spent more than a year checking Headley’s story against other evidence: witness testimony, phone and e-mail intercepts, travel and credit card records.

“Most of the Headley statement is consistent with what we know about the ISI and its operations,” the Indian counter-terrorism official said. “And it’s consistent with what he told the FBI and what they told us.”

Physical evidence backs up Headley’s confession. The FBI identified a phone number that investigators believe connects the American, Mir and ISI officers. Headley called Pakistani officers at that number. It was also called by an accused ISI spy who went on the secret mission with Mir in India in 2005, investigators say. (via Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story – ProPublica).

Immigrants – A Solution to West’s Labour Shortage?

Posted in America, Business, China, Current Affairs, Desert Bloc, India by Anuraag Sanghi on November 20, 2011

What happens when West is no longer favored by immi-grunts from the Indian sub-continent, and Philippines.

The Chinese State was an enthusiastic supporter of the Western policy prescription of Population control - a decsion that they are already regretting.   |   A Chinese poster promoting single child family. Image source and courtesy - geographylwc.org.uk.   |   Click for larger source image.

The Chinese State was an enthusiastic supporter of the Western policy prescription of Population control - a decsion that they are already regretting. | A Chinese poster promoting single child family. Image source and courtesy - geographylwc.org.uk. | Click for larger source image.

Immigration and Population

Two inter-connected issues, have been a matter of much Western propaganda. The West would not like to admit how much they depend on immi-grunt labour – at the top of the pyramid and at the bottom.

Indian immigrants into the US – more than 20 lakhs (2 million) of them, occupy key positions in corporate, academic, and administrative sectors. This is fully 10% of key positions.

No wonder they have climbed the totem-pole of economic success in the US.

Cleft stick

This is more or less the situation in most of the Developed World. With record levels of unemployment on one side – and labour shortages on the other, the West is caught in a cleft stick. More immi-grunts will mean more unemployment – and fewer immi-grunts will mean labour shortages.

An aging population adds a few more wrinkles of complications to an already difficult scenario.|   Cartoon by Adam Zyglis; published July 22, 2007 : Titled - shrinking; source and courtesy  - adamzyglis.com   |  Click for larger image.

An aging population adds a few more wrinkles of complications to an already difficult scenario.| Cartoon by Adam Zyglis; published July 22, 2007 : Titled - shrinking; source and courtesy - adamzyglis.com | Click for larger image.

One curious aspect of this entire exercize is statistical projections.

By 2050 … kind of scenarios.

It reminds me of child-brides from Hyderabad – that Arab ‘sheikhs’ would ‘marry’ and take to the Middle East for use, usually as domestic help.

This entire ‘market’ has collapsed in the last 15 years. Increasingly, Muslims in cities like Hyderabad, depend less on the Middle East to improve their economic position.

What Statistics hides and reveals – is like a bikini

To extrapolating these trends, add five factors.

English is unlikely to remain as a significant language. Going by past cycles in the decline of Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Spanish, French – 2ndlook estimate is that English will be in decline between 2020-2050 period. The decline of English may be postponed, if large numbers of Indians embrace English – which seems like an unlikely prospect.

The current economic difference between the West, India, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka may shrink to insignificance. In which case, West may not be able to source immi-grunts from Asia – at all. But intra-EU and intra-West immi-grunt movement may increase. We may see the return to islands of prosperity in the West.

Cannot forget an aging population. With most societies in the West, either shrinking-and-aging or stagnant-and-aging, adds a new wrinkle to the mass of complications.

Western economies dominated by bureaucracies and a huge edifice of Welfare State. While the West had colonies – or neo-colonial structures like Bretton Woods, IMF and World Bank, these gold-plated benefits could be funded.

What after 15-20 years?

Recent talk of ‘reverse’ migration, from the West – back to India, is still a trickle. As action under the USCAP moves from China, it appears that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka may be the beneficiaries of USCAP. This will mean that India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka may attract a ‘reverse’ brain drain. The return of the Native. What happens to countries like the USA then.

Or to Germany.

Immigration is a highly sensitive and politically charged issue in Germany, which with more than 10 million immigrants has quietly become home to the world’s third largest immigrant population after the United States and Russia.

Both East and West Germany took in millions of low-skilled “guest workers” in the 1960s and 1970s, and in the three-million-strong Turkish community — the second largest group of immigrants after ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe and former Soviet states — many have struggled to integrate.

German sentiments on immigration were exposed last year after the publication of a book by former central banker and local Berlin political leader Thilo Sarrazin that asserted that families of Turkish and Arab origin sponge off the state and threaten Germany’s indigenous culture.

Right-wing politicians and the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGV) want the government to train unemployed Germans to fill labor shortages and oppose changes to the immigration laws.

The unemployment rate, at 7 percent, is the lowest since figures for a unified Germany were first published two decades ago.

“I do not believe that — in a labor market encompassing the entire EU and in which there are after all 20 million people without jobs — we need to seek workers from outside the EU,” Georg Nuesslein, a member of parliament from the conservative Christian Social Union, told Reuters.

But immigration experts say people are wrong to conflate the issue of low-skilled immigration and the easing of entry rules for high-skilled workers.

“We always talk about the immigration problems of the past but the challenge for the future is that we need immigrants,” said Reiner Klingholz, director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development.

“When people hear this they think, ‘this is more of the old problem.’ But we need those people. We depend on them.”

GOVERNMENT MOVES INADEQUATE, CRITICS SAY

The government is aware of the issue but so far has been unable to find a solution.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed changes allowing firms to hire engineers and doctors, where the shortages are especially dire, from non-EU states without having to prove they could not find EU candidates.

She also wants to cut the minimum annual salary that German employers have to pay non-EU workers to 40,000 euros.

Experts say those measures are helpful but are not enough.

Experts like Herbert Bruecker, an economist and immigration specialist with the Federal Labour Office, advocate a points system using such criteria as education, work experience and language skills, as exists in Canada.

“These measures for doctors and engineers will not lead to mass immigration,” he said. “We would be doing well if we could attract even 1,000 workers like this each year.”

A Berlin Institute study projects Germany’s population of 81.8 million will shrink by 12 million by 2050. That’s equivalent to emptying Germany’s 12 largest cities. The German workforce is forecast to fall by over 30 percent by 2050. (via Germany looks to migrants to fight labour shortage | Reuters).

Killings and Assassinations – Modern State Policy

Posted in America, China, Current Affairs, Desert Bloc, India, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on November 19, 2011

Suspicions have swirled in the air for decades now about the deaths of Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai. How valid are these doubts?

Death of Bhabha

For decades now, there has been a speculation about the death of Homi Bhabha. To my mind, till today, these were ‘conspiracy’ theories - of a weak and poor nation, which probably saw ghosts under their beds.

Bhabha died in mysterious air crash near Mont Blanc in Swiss Alps, when Air India Flight 101, a scheduled Boeing 707 flight from Mumbai to New York, crashed on January 24th, 1966.

Officials investigated bombing that killed an Iranian scientist in January, 2010  |  Source: telegraph.co.uk

Officials investigated bombing that killed an Iranian scientist in January, 2010 | Source: telegraph.co.uk

The pilot did not report any problem with the aircraft, and was preparing to land at Geneva, when without any forewarning the plane crashed. All 106 passengers and 11 crew were killed.

A subsequent enquiry concluded that it was pilot error, who had miscalculated his position – and started descent for Geneva, while still in the mountains, only to crash in to the Swiss Alps.

Some other individuals concluded otherwise.

Two deaths in two weeks

Bhabha’s death was 15 days after Shastri died at Tashkent – again by mysterious heart attack.  Before that in 1955, in another Air-India crash, it was suspected that Chou En Lai was the intended victim.

Strangely, Vikram Sarabhai, also died in his sleep at Kovalam, even though he suffered from no signs of any heart disease. Before Pokhran in 1974, Nehru claimed from 1958 onwards, that India could produce a nuclear weapon in a few years time.

Massoud Ali Mohammadi's home in Tehran. Fears of violence escalating as bomb kills Iranian scientist  |   By Katherine Butler, Foreign Editor  |   Wednesday 13 January 2010   |   Physicist had criticised regime's treatment of protesting students

Massoud Ali Mohammadi’s home in Tehran. Fears of violence escalating as bomb kills Iranian scientist | By Katherine Butler, Foreign Editor | Wednesday 13 January 2010 | Physicist had criticised regime’s treatment of protesting students

Of late

In the last 4 years, 4 Iranian scientists died with questions attached to their deaths.

The Americans deny everything.

The Israelis also deny everything — but with a smile, according to a senior U.S. official.

Regardless of who is killing Iran’s nuclear scientists — the Israelis, the Americans or the Iranians themselves — there’s no question that researchers and officials linked to Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program keep turning up dead.

Since 2007, four different scientists allegedly associated with the nation’s nuclear weapons program have died via bomb, gunshot or poisoning, while a fifth barely survived a car bombing.

The most recent victim, 35-year-old Darioush Rezaeinejad, was shot in the neck outside his daughter’s Tehran kindergarten on Saturday by two gunmen on a motorcycle. According to an unconfirmed report in an Israeli intelligence publication, Rezaeinejad was working on a nuclear detonator, and was seen daily at a nuclear lab in northern Tehran.

This extract below, from a post in nytimes.com, casually admits that Iran’s enemies (US and Israel at the fore) did kill Iranian scientists to slow down the Iranian nuclear program.

I see four key elements. First, Iran is fiddling around with nuclear triggers and high-precision detonators because it seeks a military-nuclear capability common to its region (Israel, Pakistan, India and Russia).

Second, its halting progress toward this goal, far slower than Pakistan’s, relates not only to effective countermeasures (Stuxnet, dead scientists) but also to a deep-seated inertia and ambiguity; Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, is the “guardian of the revolution” and as such in a conservative business where he will be judged on the Islamic Republic’s survival. The nuclear program is nationalistic glue for a fragile society even if it goes nowhere.

Third, Iran, shaken by the 2009 uprising, a young nation with a stale revolutionary regime, is uneasy: a feverish demand for hard currency has pushed the unofficial dollar rate way above the official one, prices for staples are soaring, a huge banking scandal has underscored rampant corruption, and the tensions between the Islamic Republic’s divine superstructure (Khamenei) and its (fraudulently) elected president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are virulent.

Fourth, the big loser from the Arab Spring has been Iran because the uprisings are about accountability and representation, which is precisely what the Iranian Revolution denied its authors after promising freedom. Nobody finds inspiration in the Iranian model. (via Contain and Constrain Iran – NYTimes.com).

All this, makes me question my lack of belief in validity of conspiracy theories.

It also reminds me of the world’s first spy mission – when Kachcha was sent to spy on the Shukracharya and his secret to reviving the asuras, who were killed by the devas in battle.

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