Before ’08 Mumbai Attacks, U.S. Was Warned Key Figure in Plot had Terror Ties

Federal officials acknowledged Saturday that David Coleman Headley, the U.S. businessman who confessed to being a terrorist scout in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was working as a Drug Enforcement Administration informant while training with terrorists in Pakistan.

Headley is the son of a Pakistani father and an American mother. He became an informant for the DEA in the late 1990s, after he was arrested on heroin charges. His U.S. wife told investigators that he told her he started training with Lashkar in early 2002 as part of a secret mission for the U.S. government.

The revelations came after a report Friday by ProPublica and The Washington Post that the FBI had been warned about Headley’s terrorist ties three years before the Mumbai attacks. Headley was arrested 11 months after those attacks.

On Saturday, the New York Times reported that another of Headley’s wives – he apparently was married to three women at the same time – also had warned U.S. officials about his terrorism involvement. In December 2007, the Moroccan woman met with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan and told them about Headley’s friendship with Lashkar members, his hatred of India and her trips with him to the Taj Mahal Hotel, a prime target of the Mumbai attacks, the Times reported.