In May 2009, India’s National Investigative Agency — which was et up after 26/11 — claimed it
had found an American who was part
of the attack.
George Mapp was in India on a holiday and a chance meeting with Faiza
Outalha, one of David Headley’s
wives, is what led the NIA to him.
Mapp, who was questioned several
times by the NIA, tells India Abroad
the ordeal he faced.
“Ifirst met Faiza Outalha in Old Manali, Himachal Pradesh, in
May 2008. Since Faiza and I met, our
lives have been drastically altered. It
left us, our close friends and our families emotionally scarred for life.
We met each other through a mutual friend, strictly by chance. She was
divorced from Headley, but appeared
to me to be heartbroken and scorned.
She was a young, vibrant, beautiful
and an energetic tourist trying to leave
her past behind her. We became extremely close in a short time.
About a year after the 26/11 attack, I
was walking on the beach in Palolem,
Goa, with my then pregnant girlfriend, Natasha — now my
wife — when policemen and officials from the NIA surrounded me and escorted me back to my flat for intense
questioning. I initially underwent over 30 hours of intense
questioning that some nights lasted into the early morning.
About 4, 5 hours into the process, on the first day of questioning, I then learned about the connection between
Outalha and Headley.
I was shocked and overwhelmed when the NIA first
approached me on November 23, 2009. There was much
more than a lookout notice against me. I was treated like a
terrorist and had to basically prove
myself innocent. There was not one
shred of evidence whatsoever connecting me to terrorism.
I was the Number One terrorist
suspect in India because David
Headley and I knew the same
woman; I was in Old Manali, so was
Faiza; Headley had a five-year visa, I
had a 10-year visa; he was American,
I was American. There was a lot of
circumstantial evidence, but that’s it!
It would have been much more
valuable to the NIA had they treated
me as a witness rather than as a terrorist. My United States passport was
confiscated, as well as my Apple
Macbook Pro computer — which the
NIA has refused to give back. Armed
police slept outside our door for over
two weeks, and followed me and my
everywhere we went.
They even followed us to the beach
swimming practically naked. Natasha
delivered our daughter December 12,
2009, less than three weeks after the
never-ending investigation began.
Sajid Shapoo from the NIA had
alluded to me that if it were not for
my white, nine-month-pregnant girlfriend, I would have been arrested
simply by being guilty by association
as opposed to being questioned at
Even after Natasha and our new-
born daughter Zoya left India for
Thailand awaiting Natasha’s US K-1
visa, the NIA investigation led to an
FBI investigation. The nightmare continued.
It was as a direct result of Faiza’s then ex-husband,
David Headley, who she later re-married — and is still
currently married to him — that our lives became a
combination of a surreal dark comedy and a living
Unfortunately, the inadequacies, unprofessionalism and
lack of skill of India’s brand new intelligence agency created
specifically to combat terrorism, the NIA, just added to our
Indian intelligence has been for years trying to question
Faiza. There was an NIA operation dubbed ‘Operation
Morocco’ that has only been aborted within the last year.
In my opinion, Faiza is a victim. Headley has been found
guilty and sentenced to 35 years in a US federal prison for
being the mastermind of a terrorist attack. He was in and
out of Pakistan and India several times, undetected
by Indian intelligence.
Any person that can do this and not get caught
has to be extremely intelligent and be able to keep
secrets even from his wife.
I know for a fact that Faiza was lied to and used
and abused by Headley. If you do any research into
Headley’s past you can tell that he was extremely
selfish and would turn on anybody including his
childhood best friend Tahawwur Rana (sentenced
to 14 years in prison in the US for helping Lashkar
plot an attack on the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten) to save his own skin.
This modus operandi by Headley is what led him
to his career in US intelligence. He became a Drug
Enforcement Agency snitch in order to avoid jail
time. He was very cunning, manipulative, charming and a great liar, which enabled him to be such
a successful deep-cover operative.
Faiza and I were reunited in Morocco face-to-face in December 2010 and January 2011. I spent
approximately six weeks with her in Meknes. We
saw each other every day except for two days during my stay. We have remained close friends.
Due to our life experiences together and sharing such
unlikely and unique circumstances in relation to the
Mumbai terrorist attacks, and to the man who orchestrated
the attacks, we have developed a close bond that I imagine
will last a life time.
I hope to complete my book, titled The Accidental
Terrorist, by the summer of 2014. It is a true account of my
travels to India, Thailand, Morocco and Russia. My initial
journey to India to meet for the first time my satguru
Amma in Kerala. When I leave the safe confines of the
ashram my life takes amazing twists and turns. I go from
being a tourist in foreign lands to an accidental terrorist.
How I met fascinating and interesting people like the
arms dealer Viktor Bout — I stay in touch with him —
accused spies in Russia and last but not least David
Headley’s third-wife, Faiza.
The missing papers of David Headley
During investigations into Headley in
2009, his visa documents were missing
from the Indian consulate in Chicago for a
considerable amount of time.
This broke the tempo of the investigation
and even when India’s National Intelligence
Agency sleuths visited the US to question
Headley, they did not have the access to
After much protest and repeated requests
by India, the papers were mysteriously
found in the record room of the consulate
from where it had gone missing. Indian
investigators said this led to a great deal of
Worse, Indian sleuths were not able to ask
Headley relevant about his travel details. He
only said his friend Tahawwur Rana had
helped him. India has not got access to
Who is Honey Bee?
In their book The Siege, writers Adrian
Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark mention an
Inter Services Intelligence agent in New
Delhi called Honey Bee.
Speaking to a cross-section of officers in
India’s Intelligence Bureau and also the
police, one does get the impression that this
person was not Rabinder Singh, the Central
Intelligence Agency mole who former
Research and Analysis Wing officer Amar
Bhushan had spoken about in his book
Escape to Nowhere.
When Headley was in India surveying the
attack sites, he was in touch with a lot of
locals. One of them could have been an
informer of the intelligence and the local
police, Indian intelligence sources say.
Sources tell India Abroad that Headley
was handed over information by the ISI
through a Major Iqbal about an informer for
the intelligence who could be easily cracked.
Sources point out that Headley did not
name this informer when the National
Investigation Agency was questioning him
for two reasons.
One, he did not want to let down a source.
Second, he was protecting him due to his
religion. Most police informers are criminals
and they have no loyalties. They can be easily lured them with money. Headley appears
to have done that.
It seems he was in touch with the local
informer, who gave him information on the
landing point that was used by the terrorists. During the attack the same person
could have extended help, the sources also
Former officials of India’s Research and
Is all of The Siege’s information authentic?
Analysis Wing say for such a major opera-
tion, Pakistan would not have engaged the
services of a major officer within India’s
Intelligence Bureau. Intelligence agencies
across the world set up moles in other agen-
cies, but when it comes to such a major
operation they do not take such a huge risk,
the sources insist.
Bhushan points out that Americans also
died in 26/11, and Washington has done
nothing really to nail the culprits who are
sitting in Pakistan. This is not the American
style of dealing with people who kill their
This book speaking about Honey Bee is
essentially a book written by the CIA,
Bhushan alleges, which is trying to indicate
that despite giving the Indians so much
information nothing was done about it.
“Americans never or hardly give complete
information,” Bhushan says. “All through
their manner of dealing with this case has
been surprising. They did not allow any
major access to Headley. Giving us vague
information and then blaming us for it
appears to be the intention behind this
book. Just remember that our intelligence
does not comprise a bunch of fools. Had
they been given proper information they
would not have sat over it.”
C D Sahay, a former RAW chief, also ques-
tions the authenticity of Honey Bee.
“Anyone can write anything, but I think it
would have sounded more authentic had the
Honey Bee been named,” Sahay says.
— Vicky Nanjappa
George Mapp, an American who
Indian sleuths thought was involved
in the 26/11 attacks, speaks to
ARKO DATTA/REU TERS