Headley among top 5 high value targets arrested by US: Obama adviser

John Brennan

Obama's top counter terrorism adviser has listed David Headley, the Mumbai attack convict, among the high value targets arrested by the US in last four years.

In fact Headley is listed on top of the five high value targets arrested by the US in the last four years, which has been submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee by John Brennan, counter-terrorism adviser to the US President and his nominee to be the next CIA Director.

In January this year, a Chicago court had sentenced Headley to 35 years of imprisonment for his "unquestionable role" in the Mumbai terrorist attack, which claimed 166 lives including six US nationals.

"Over the last four years, the American criminal justice system has been used to arrest, detain, interrogate, and prosecute numerous suspected terrorists.

"Since January 2009, dozens of individuals have been arrested, detained, interrogated, and convicted of terrorism-related offences in federal court," Brennan said in a written submission of answers to questions asked by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of his confirmation process, the hearing for which was held last week.

"Individuals arrested here in the United States include David Headley, Mansoor Arbabsiar, Najibullah Zazi, Faisal Shahzad, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

"Individuals initially taken into US custody overseas include Ahmed Ghailani, Jesse Curtis Morton, Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, and Betim Kaziu, and subsequently brought to the United States for interrogation and prosecution," he wrote in his answers, the unclassified portion of which was released yesterday by Senate Intelligence Committee.

Brennan justified the decision of the Obama Administration to kill US nationals if he was a member of al Qaeda and is considered a threat to the US national security.

"An operation using lethal force in a foreign country outside an area of active hostilities, targeted against a US citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qaeda or associated forces, and who is actively engaged in planning to kill Americans, would be lawful," Brennan argued.

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