David Headley, the American-Pakistani also known as Daood Gilani, lived a double life. One day he would stroll through Central Park in his tailored Armani suit as a true New Yorker, and the next he would browse in the bazaar in Lahore wearing traditional Pakistani clothes. One day he would drink champagne at the most extravagant clubs; on another he would prostrate himself in prayer in remote Pakistan and pledge fidelity to Allah.
Born in 1960, the son of an American mother and Pakistani father, with one blue eye and one brown, Headley grew up between East and West. He was attracted to both worlds, even working as an informant for the US government, until one day he found he had to choose between the place of his birth and a radical form of Islam preaching global jihad. This is the disturbing story of the mastermind behind the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people—who two months later flew to Copenhagen to plan another act of terror with the help of al-Qaeda sleeper cells in Europe.
Veteran journalist Kaare Sørensen has reconstructed his movements and planning in a tense feat of reportage. His account, based on extensive reporting, eyewitness interviews, and documentation including wiretaps, court transcripts, and emails by Headley accessed from a chat room cache of nine thousand messages, offers unprecedented insight into the mind of the terrorist. The author has provided updates and a new preface for the English-language edition.
Cosponsored with the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School, Harvard University.
No pattern of actual attacks on U.S. territory has yet emerged that provides a clear basis for predicting how serious any given form of attack might be in the future, what means of attack might be used, or how lethal new forms of attack might be. As a result, there is a major ongoing debate over the seriousness of the threat and how the U.S. government should react. This work is an invaluable contribution to that debate.
As the first researcher to apply the Techniques of Neutralization Theory, a traditional criminological theory, to explain such religion-terrorism, Al-Khattar examines the primary data to understand the motivations beyond the surface explanations offered by the perpetrators and adherents to their causes. Terrorists are considered as traditional criminals, despite their claims of nobler callings. Through utilization of this theoretical approach, the study offers practical suggestions on how this criminal behavior might be dealt with by law enforcement, society, and religious institutions themselves.