WASHINGTON – The wife of a businessman linked to the Mumbai terrorist attacks in India spoke to the FBI about her husband in 2005, three years before the attacks. But a government official said Saturday that the wife of David Headley provided information that was general in nature and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task force found no connections to a specific threat, plot or terrorist group.
The official told The Associated Press that the wife informed the FBI that Headley had expressed to her his support for Pakistan in its bitter dispute with India over Kashmir.
The official, who is familiar with the matter, said the FBI interviews in New York City occurred three years before the 2008 attacks that killed 166 people.
Headley last March pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in Chicago to laying the groundwork for the massacre in Mumbai and performing similar surveillance in anticipation of an attack on a Danish newspaper whose cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad were offensive to Muslims.
The independent investigative news organization ProPublica reported on the website of The Washington Post Friday that Headley's wife told federal agents that her husband was an active militant in the terrorist group Lashkar-i-Taiba, which carried out the Mumbai attacks.
The ProPublica story also said that Headley's wife told the federal agents that her husband had trained extensively in the terrorist group's Pakistani camps and had shopped for night-vision goggles and other equipment.
The official told AP that the woman did not say that her husband was an active militant or that he expressed a desire to engage in violent acts. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Headley case is still an open matter. The FBI declined to comment on Saturday.
The government official said that Headley's wife spoke generally of her husband having hiking supplies, but not that she knew of membership involvement in a group.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has said that the United States regularly provided threat information to Indian officials in 2008, and that had the United States known specifics about the attacks "we would have immediately shared those details with the government of India."
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