NEW DELHI - Police in India suspect that David Coleman Headley, a man with Philadelphia ties recently arrested in Chicago on terrorism charges, conducted scouting missions of the targets in last November's attacks in Mumbai, including the city's main train station, the popular Leopold Cafe, and the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and the Oberoi Trident hotels.
Hotel records show that Headley stayed in both hotels in 2007, authorities said.
He also allegedly posed as a Jew to visit one of the other eventual targets, Chabad House, home to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish center, said a high-ranking official involved in the case, who is not authorized to discuss the matter with the media and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Mumbai attacks killed 166 people.
The U.S.-born Headley, 49, who had lived in Pakistan and changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006, was arrested Oct. 3 along with Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, a Pakistani-born businessman and Canadian citizen.
The two were charged with plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that had printed cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, according to criminal complaints unsealed in federal court in Chicago.
Indian authorities are investigating whether Rana as well as Headley had a role in the Mumbai attacks, government officials here said.
Headley is the son of a prominent Pakistani diplomat and the late Serrill Headley, founder and former owner of the Khyber Pass pub/restaurant in Philadelphia's Old City section. At age 16, he was taken out of Pakistan, where he attended a military school, and brought to Philadelphia by his mother. During his time in Philadelphia, he also operated a Center City video store with her.
He was arrested at O'Hare airport in Chicago as he prepared to board a plane to Philadelphia, where he still has relatives. Philadelphia was a stopover on a trip to Pakistan, the criminal affidavit says.
Detectives from India's National Investigation Agency fanned out across Mumbai this week to retrace Headley's and Rana's paths. They have interviewed members of a fitness center frequented by Headley and are talking to his neighbors and friends.
"We are looking into what they did when they visited India. Obviously, we have to look into whether they have a link with 26/11," Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in an interview, referring to the date of last year's attacks.
Indian investigators are expected to interrogate the lone surviving Mumbai gunman, Ajmal Amir Kasab, who is on trial there, about Headley's possible role.
Headley's attorney in Chicago has declined to comment. Rana's attorney, Patrick Blegen, has said his client may be an innocent dupe of Headley's, the Associated Press reported, while the FBI contends that Rana helped arrange Headley's travel.
India and the United States blame the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba extremist group for the attacks. One of the criminal complaints filed in Chicago says Headley was "conspiring with members" of Lashkar to commit attacks outside the United States.
Investigators here have long said that one of the biggest mysteries of the Mumbai attacks is how the 10 gunmen, who came ashore on a boat from Karachi, Pakistan, knew the location of the low-profile Jewish center in an obscure building along a crowded alley. The gunmen also seemed to have extensive knowledge of the mazelike layouts of the hotels they attacked, investigators have said.