Pakistan Official is David Headley's Half-Brother

It turns out David Headley, aka Daood Gilani, the former DEA cooperator now indicted for terrorism in Chicago and suspected of playing some role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, is the half-brother of the Public Relations Officer to Pakistan's Prime Minister. In a statement, Danyel Gilani says:

Seeking to de-emphasize the connection, the PRO said, “Being much younger to Daood, I have heard that he studied at the Hasan Abdal Cadet College for sometime and in the mid-1970s shifted to America to live with his mother. Since then, the family here only had occasional links with him. In fact, because of his involvement with issues related to drugs my father wanted the rest of the family to stay away from his influence.”

Speculation keeps mounting that the feds here used Headley to infiltrate Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and that at some point he either went rogue and joined LeT, or became a double agent. [More...]

Headley had come into contact with US authorities after he was busted on a drug trafficking charge in 1998. Because he “sang like a canary” to authorities, he served a minor sentence. But this was used against him to have him work as an “agent”.

Suspicion is growing that for the next few years, Gilani worked as a “double” agent. It stems from many reasons, including intriguing ease with which Headley could move in and out of Pakistan. In post 9/11 world, a Pakistan-origin man making frequent trips to Pakistan would have been marked by US tracking agencies, particularly if he was a US national. The fact that Headley managed to have a free run in this dangerous region without setting off alarm bells has been found by many to be odd.

The explanation that Gilani changed names to make travel easier is also drawing skepticism:

They are not convinced by Headley’s explanation that identity switch helped him dodge surveillance. It is a common knowledge that in US agencies keep tons of data on drug offenders. A simple camouflage like change of name by a frequent flier to Pakistan and UAE could not have kept the over-cautious border and customs officials from putting out red flags. The ‘rogue agent’ school has been reinforced by FBI’s specific warning of the terror attack that Lashkar had planned on Mumbai in September 2008. That the FBI was bang on mark has been corroborated by Kasab who has said that the attack on Mumbai was planned for September, but had to be aborted. Besides the timing, what has also struck people here is the specificity in the FBI alert about targets. The warning mentioned hotels, especially Hotel Taj, among targets drawn by LeT.

It is suspected that he may have provided the jehadi squad of Lashkar with maps that helped them zero in on their targets with deadly precision on 26/11.

What may make the most sense: He wasn't working both sides at the same time, but switched, abandoning the DEA and FBI and they it wasn't until the Brits alerted them to Headley's activity that they figured it out and put him under surveillance.

What is also being discussed is the possibility that the “double agent” defected to the jehadi camp just afterwards. That is why the Americans could not sniff the 26/11 plot. Immediately afterwards, stung by the betrayal, they put Headley under surveillance leading to his arrest. That FBI which warned India of an imminent terror attack and helped unravel the conspiracy behind 26/11, has been cagey about giving Indian investigators access to Headley and Rana has also puzzled many.

It's also becoming likelier that Headley set up Rana.

Those who view Headley as an undercover US agent who went rogue, feel they also leaned on Tahawwur Hussain Rana, Headley’s accomplice, to plant the latter in LeT and HuJI. The choice of Rana was not random. He was like Headley, an alumnus of Hasan Abdal Cadet College and had, to boot, a track record of facilitating fake visas.

The question is, did Headley con an unsuspecting old acquaintance, or was Rana in on it too. Rana has a bail hearing in Chicago on December 2.

Here's more on Headley and the DEA:

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    This is getting interesting. (none / 0) (#1)
    by ChiTownDenny on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 11:47:35 AM EST
    Can't wait for the movie.

    Already a novel (none / 0) (#2)
    by mirobird on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:02:29 AM EST
    There is a book out featuring an American who infiltrates Al-Qaeda and the question is has he gone rogue.  See The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson, winner of the Edgar for Best first Novel,.