Kiss and Tell: Intimacies with David Headley`s Ex-Wife, Faiza Outalha
Old Manali, India May 2008 - Old Manali is a small village in the Kullu Valley which is in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It sits approximately 2,000 meters above sea level and is located in an auspicious location with an awe-inspiring and magnificent view of the Himalaya mountains.
Photo: David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana
By George Mapp
View from Old Manali
Old Manali is dubbed 'magic Manali' for a variety of reasons, however, one of them being the majestic view of the Himalaya mountains which are snow-capped for nearly most of the year. There are other reasons of course why it is called 'magic Manali', perhaps I will mention more later. It is here in May 2008 where I had the unforgettable and sometimes regrettable experience of meeting Faiza Outalha.
Faiza, well at least when she let her burqa down, was a very outgoing, friendly, dynamic, voluptuous, charismatic, warm beautiful young lady with very large bright gorgeous eyes and a full head of dark wavy hair. Faiza was at times very flirtatious, at least towards me, and had a warm and gentle smile that could make you do almost anything; even if you know that you shouldn't. At first glance I thought that she was Israeli but she later revealed to me that she was Moroccan and currently living in Pakistan.
It was through a mutual acquaintance of ours named Nickey that we met. I was staying at Double Dutch guest house and Nickey at nearby Prakash guest house. Faiza lived directly in the room next door to Nickey, thus the three of us became very well acquainted rather quickly.
Faiza occasionally mentioned her ex-husband but was often vague and revealed very little details about him to me. I do know through a reliable anonymous source in Indian intelligence that she was much more specific with another acquaintance of ours who I will leave nameless. Perhaps, it is because Faiza felt differently towards me than our mutual acquaintance and chose to talk to me about herself rather than her ex-husband.
Faiza and I became very close and spent a lot of time together, we ate dinner out in Old Manali village, frequented each other's respective room's. Therefore, it was the world's worst kept secret that we knew each other. In fact, the entire village of Old Manali knew we were very close including Nickey. One evening when the three of us were eating dinner together at People's restaurant, (which is located directly opposite Lazy Dog restaurant) there was a dispute between Nickey and Faiza which was witnessed by mutual friends. It was caused by Faiza apparently being too flirtatious towards me in front of Nickey. Which ultimately lead to Nickey storming out of People's restaurant.
People Restaurant, Old Manali
Faiza and I knew each other only about six weeks but anyone who has traveled and befriended other travelers knows that it is possible to become friends for life in an extremely short span of time. In fact, I have well over fifty friends that I met whilst traveling , mostly in India, that I remain close to and in contact with to this day. As far as my relationship with Faiza Outalha, I will not go into very many specifics at this point. I am saving that for my book project where I plan to delve deeper and divulge information in much greater detail.
I was with Faiza in front of the infamous English Bakery (which is located towards the top of Old Manali and across from Om's Acme Travel) waiting for her taxi on the night that she was to go back to Pakistan. I was the last one to say goodbye to her as she entered the taxi that was going to drive her all the way to the Wagah border where she would eventually cross back into Pakistan.
Chello is Hindi for to go, or leave, thus chello Pakistan could be expressed as, for Faiza to leave to or go to Pakistan. However, it is slang and used quite regularly in North India. It is similar to saying: c'mon, let's go or I'm outta here or I'm Audi 5,000. It can also be used rather impolitely, like get out of here or go to Pakistan basically like telling someone to fuck off. Many parts of India are not so acceptable to this phrase and it could be life threatening or cause you to be arrested if said in the wrong company or said in the impolite context.
Chello Pakistan was an inside joke between Faiza and I. Since I spent a great deal of time in Old Manali and since it was quite acceptable and a commonly used phrase, my nickname for Faiza was 'chello Pakistan'. You see, Faiza was the only person I met that was actually leaving to or chello'ing to Pakistan.
Ironically, months later when the India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) first questioned me about Fazia, I still had her number in my phone saved as 'chello Pakistan'.
Sajid Shapoo and the National Investigation Agency
Mumbai Taj Mahal Hotel bombing
Eventually India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) also got wind of the world's worst kept secret, that I knew Fazia Outalha. When Faiza was still in Old Manali, her and I spent a great deal of time communicating to each other if we were not physically with each other. We called and sent each other numerous mobile text messages frequently at all hours of the night and day. Once Faiza returned back to Pakistan, we continued to call each other communicate via mobile text messages but a lot less frequently because of the cost's involved. Eventually the communication dwindled and eventually halted completely. Our last communication was via a Facebook message where Faiza said goodbye to me less than two months before the horrific Mumbai attacks. I will talk more specifically about this last letter at the end of this article.
On November 23, 2009 I was strolling leisurely on the beach in Palolem, Goa with my Russian girlfriend whom was nine months pregnant when my best friend Raj came to say hello. Shortly thereafter I noticed a lot of activity and many policeman walking towards us from all directions until we were suddenly surrounded. There was a vast number of policeman standing around us and many whom were heavily armed. Later I discovered that Raj had been instructed to point me out to the police. Then they escorted us to a car that was parked on the road very close to the beach and a well-dressed and polite gentleman introduced himself as Mr. Shapoo of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). He explained to me that it was like the FBI of India. That was the start of a very interesting relationship.
The David Headley / Faiza Outalha Connection
David Headley aka Daoud Gilani
We were then escorted by numerous and various police vehicles to my flat that began a day that turned out to be one of three worst days of my life that I will never ever forget and that had a permanent negative impact on me. Day one was when I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was twenty years-old, day two I was an eye witness to 9/11 and watched live both towers fall and felt the ground shake from my office when the the fist tower fell and lost many, many friends that day. Day three was when I met Sajid Farid Shapoo. In the last case it was much more the circumstance of events of why I met Shapoo than the actual man himself. I can not find the words to describe, the confusion, despair, hurt, disappointment, sadness, depression and anger of being accused of being a terrorist and being at the time the number one suspect in the entire country of India.
As the days of questioning took place, Shapoo and I got to be very well acquainted due to the very nature of the investigation which led him to eventually know virtually everything about me. It was at this time that he told me that Faiza Outalha's ex-husband was David Coleman Headley aka Daoud Gilani.
The Entrails of The NIA Investigation
Try to imagine a a foreigner, whose girlfriend is about to give birth in a matter of days or weeks, whom is the number one suspect in the country of a terrorist investigation, whose passport was taken, Apple Mac Book Pro confiscated for forensic analysis (which has not been returned to this day), financial statements, documents and who was followed by plainclothes armed guards 24 / 7. The armed plainclothes police slept outside our door, followed us everywhere including to the beach, to the supermarket, to Raj's son christening and even my girlfriends doctor appointments with Dr. Dhavalikar.
Thank goodness for Dr. Dhavalikar, my girlfriends gynecologist that delivered our daughter on 12 December, 20009, who we saw quite frequently. He became a friend, a counselor and psychiatrist who prescribed me medication more than one occasion to help reduce my stress levels and so that I could sleep.
The ramifications and repercussions of the investigation have left me scarred permanently. I will mention a few examples here and after that not go into any more specifics at this time as the article would be too lengthy and as I will have many more details in the upcoming book project.
As Palolem is a small village, everyone wanted to know why the police were following me 24/7 and no arrests have been made. As I found out through my various friends, people kept saying that George doesn't do drugs. Most of the police cases in India that are in tourist areas are drugged related. I must admit on first thought when Shapoo came to me, I thought for sure it was drug related. Not me directly but because of some of my friends that I know and also because Manali is located near Parvati Valley where the all the charas or hand-made hashish in India is produced. Manali is infested with drugs, drug-users, smugglers and mules. I know the local MDMA salesperson, who has a small shop as a front, as well as the local cocaine dealer. In Kasol you can buy opium in the corner store and almost every local in Manali sells charas.
This is another reason that people sometimes refer to Manali as 'magic Manali'. It is the combination of charas, the high altitude, being surrounded by nature eclipsed with a spectacular view of the Himalaya mountains. You can imagine the effect it might have on ones sense and perceptions.
In fact, Old Manali (as well as the entire Parvati valley) is full of young Israeli's that usually come for six months after military service to get completely stoned. In Kasol, the are more signs in Hebrew than there are in Hindi or English. That is why I initially thought that Faiza was Israeli because of the huge amount of Israeli tourist's that populate Old Manali.
As I started to discuss before, one of the many effects and impacts of the investigation was that of the press. There were several articles that mentioned me but not by name specifically. It got to the point that my friends would call me and said that I see they are talking about you in the paper again. The following quote is from The Times of India, January 3, 2010.
On the basis of her statement [Faiza Outalha], the NIA team has also quizzed an American national in Goa who knew Headley. The US national, who is not (not) a suspect in the case, has been hopping in and out of India and had stayed in Manali and Goa with his Russian girlfriend. The American, who works as a masseur, has not violated any of the visa rules of the country and he had informed the investigators about Headley's activities in Goa.
Obviously this was after the investigation was finally over and I was cleared of all charges. However, the ramifications continued and are still felt to this day. My girlfriend, our six week old daughter and we had to leave to another part of Goa unexpectedly and unannounced to somewhere that no one knew me or about my connection to the Headley investigation.
As a result of the police following me, a drugged out paranoid British citizen named Adam Bills, unprovoked, attacked, assaulted and punched me in front of my nine and a half month pregnant girlfriend who then became hysterical and started to cry in front of many eye-witnesses at Filomenia's guest house. I then called Shapoo and screamed at him because of the incompetence of the local police force acting solely on his behalf. To this day, Shapoo has not made good on his word and promises in regards to Adam Bills.
Even though I have three Hindu manta's tattooed to my body, I was at times afraid for my safety. From my vast living experience in India, which includes living in Amma's Ashram on more than one occasion for several months, I have learned first hand that almost entirely all Indians that I have met are not tolerable to other religions. It is the exact opposite of what I expected before I actually lived in India. Therefore, anyone with any experience in these matters would understand that since I was brandished a Muslim-terrorist, living amongst mostly Hindu's and Catholics, at times I was very fearful of my life. That and the fact that several publications said that I knew Headley. Here is a quote from India Express from December 27, 2009.
Following the trail of Headley and Outalha, investigators have found that the Moroccan national traveled to Manali in Himachal Pradesh during a 2008 trip and befriended another US couple at the hill station. While the reason for her trip to Manali is being investigated, the NIA has also questioned a US national who lives with his wife in Goa on a tourist visa for many years to find out details about his meeting with Outalha in Manali.
The last example that I will mention is a look out circular that the NIA had issued at all border points and crossings as well as airports. Sajid Shapoo was nice enough to give me a copy of the circular when I sat in his office at NIA headquarters on Monday March 1, 2010, which I have retained a copy of to this day.
During my meeting with Sajid Shapoo at NIA headquarters he confided in me that I was very perplexed and puzzled as to how Faiza could cross the Wagah border from India to Pakistan since she was Moroccan and not of Indian or Pakistani origin. He even asked me, how do you think she crossed the border?
I said, rather politely, you do the math. Then elaborated, she is the ex-wife of Headley who is a blood relative of the current Prime Minister of Pakistan whom both share the last name Gilani. That's right, Headley is the half-brother of Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. I continued, because of Headley's political connections I do not think that it would be difficult for her to cross the border. Finally I added that he is also allegedly a CIA / ISI agent according to what I read in the press.
Today we know that to be true of Headley rather than rumors and speculation. Also, very recently the media stated that, Faiza Outalha was able to talk her way past heavily armed guards (which doesn't surprise me) into the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad when she went to drop the dime on Headley apparently after she had dumped her.
This is from the Times of India, January 3, 2010, Another question bothering the probe agency was how Outalha entered India through Wagah border which is exclusively meant for Indian or Pakistani nationals. The woman is a Moroccan passport holder and could only use the route through special permission from the Pakistani foreign office.
The India express reported on December 27, 2009, In what suggests David Headleys links with the establishment in Pakistan, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has found that his 29-year-old Moroccan girlfriend Faiza Outalha was given special permission by Pakistan to cross over to India on foot through the Wagah border and back between May and July 2008.
Another tidbit of information which I will mention that might be embarrassing to Indian authorities, is that Faiza's original Indian visa expired. Indian authorities were surprised and amazed at the relative ease in which Faiza was able to talk her way into a two week visa extension (if asked you would be told that an extension is not possible) at police headquarters in Kullu which is about an hours drive away from Manali.
A Lover's Scorn
David Coleman Headley, was born in the United States, the son of a Pakistani diplomat and a socialite from Philadelphias Main Line. He confessed to surveying targets for the attacks that left 166 people dead in November 2008, made detailed claims about support from the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, according to Britain's Guardian newspaper.
I have witnessed Faiza Outalha's temper first hand. Thank goodness I was not the intended target of her verbal assault. Regardless of how Faiza really feels towards Headley, it is obvious to me by certain things that she has told me as well as by my observations, that she was definitely hurt by him. It is apparent that Headley's mistreatment of Faiza led her to so quickly and so willingly drop the dime on him.
Taj Mahal Hotel on fire
I often ask myself, is Headley more afraid of facing the Indian authorities or the wrath of a lover scorned, most notably Faiza.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported, In exchange for pleading guilty to the attacks, US prosecutors agreed he [Headley] would not face extradition to India or the death penalty.
The New York Times reported, Headley's 27-year-old Moroccan wife, Faiza Outalha, claims she even showed the U.S. embassy officials in Islamabad a photo of Headley and herself in the Taj Mahal Hotel, where they stayed twice in April and May 2007. Hotel records confirm their stay,...
As reported by the Times of India,While she [Faiza] claimed that she had since been divorced as Headley was having relations with several women, the investigators also found from her about the terror suspects relations with some upcoming Bollywood actors, prominent party-hoppers of Mumbai and socialites.
Another quote taken more recently from the same publication, "I told them, he's either a terrorist, or he's working for you," she recalled saying to American officials at the US Embassy in Islamabad. "Indirectly, they told me to get lost."
As reported by the New York Times, I told them anything I could to get their attention, she said of the American authorities at the embassy in Islamabad. It was as if I was shouting, This guy was a terrorist! You have to do something.
I will end this topic with one final quote taken from The New York Times which is by far my favorite.
"I wanted him in Guantanamo," she said, recalling the time when Headley had ditched her.
The Headley Effect
The Headley case was immensely important and the number one priority to the Indian government. In fact, the NIA was formed after and because of 26/11. So important that the Indian government was willing to drastically effect the foreign tourism business much to the dismay of those that depended and relied on the industry to earn an income.
The Hindustan Times reported on December 10, 20009, that visa regulations for American tourists wishing to visit India may soon be changed requiring them to take a 60-day break between each exit from India and re-entry. Indian security agencies are said to have pushed for the break following revelations about the activities of David Headley, the US citizen with alleged links with the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, who was arrested in October.
I can confirm that this has indeed gone in to effect and affects everyone of all Nationalities even those of Indian origin. The Indian visa controls have been drastically tightened in the name of terrorism. Since I have a ten year Indian visa, before the new regulations were imposed I was simply able to leave the country for a day once every six months and then return for another six months. Because of a bi-lateral trade agreement between the U.S. and India, the Indian visa regulations for U.S. citizens are the most lenient than any other country.
Look Out Notice
When I left India on March 4, 2010, empty-handed with out the Apple mac Book Pro that is still being illegally held by the Indian government, I flew to Thailand with a free two month visa that Royal Thai Embassy was giving away in New Delhi. Ironically, the new Indian visa requirements state that you must now stay out of the country for two months which is the exact same period of time as the Thai visa's validity.
Unfortunately my departure was as eventful as my stay in India. Someone, somewhere either forgot to or did not properly remove the lookout notice. I was travelling with my girlfriend and our nearly four month old daughter when I was held up at immigration. It was a very unpleasant, stressful and eventful departure. I immediately called Sjid Shapoo who did finally take care of the matter as all three of us were able to make our flight with special thanks to Thai air for being patient and holding the gates open specifically for the three of us.
David Headley's case is effectively the FBI's case whether the Indian authorities like it or not. The FBI, are the ones who arrested him and who are dictating to the Indian government what the can and an not do in regards to this specific case. The FBI, specifically special agent Reilly, came to my best friends house looking for me after they were tracking my bank accounts. Since I have spent several years overseas, all of my banking is done electronically. However, I had to pay for my post office box with a physical personal check because of the on-line system which was not working, at least for me. I accidentally over-drew my checking account and I was afraid that my check for the U.S. postal service might bounce (thus my post office box being shut) before I could transfer money from another account. At my request, a friend of mine deposited a small amount of cash into my account so that the check would not bounce but again it was another physical transaction.
It was just a few days after these two physical transactions in my TD bank account that the FBI surprised, shocked and scared my best friend and her family by showing up at their home and questioning them about me. I promptly called special agent Reilly and left a voice mail (it was midnight in New Jersey due to the 11 hour time difference) and said politely of course, that I was in Thailand, left him my number and said please don't bother my friends or family again. I ended the message with, or you can e-mail me since you already have my e-mail address. Sorry that is a personal joke between me and a close friend that I can not explain at this time.
Approximately six weeks later I did receive a call back in Thailand from special agent Reilly. It was quite a lengthy conversation. Unfortunately I can not discuss the details at this time. However, before the call ended I asked him because of this investigation am I on any type of no-fly list or TSA watch list of any kind. He told me in so many words, that he could not answer that question specifically but that I should expect some sort of inconvenience and questioning on arrival back in the States. He added that once you get into the 'system' in takes awhile to get out.
I am traveling back to the country where I was born, hopefully soon, with my Russian girlfriend whose U.S. visa process has taken over eight months, along with our 10 month old daughter who is also a United States citizen. Since I am a victim in this terrorist investigation and since I do not know whether or not I am on a watch list, or no-fly list I then called special agent Reilly and expressed my concern about this uncertainty and the stress it has caused all of us. What I told him was not in these exact words, but basically I said this whole situation is bull****. I have not heard back from special agent Reilly.
Many questions and details I have intentionally left out or unanswered at this time. I do plan to answer in great deal any unanswered questions that I raised as well as fill-in the gaps. In my previous article, David Headley goes Viral: Is the FBI really that stupid?, I mentioned that I would share with readers my final correspondence with Faiza before the Mumbai attacks occurred. I have decided to save the Facebook message sent to me on 14 October 2008, shortly before the attack on Mumbai occurred on November 26, 2008 for a later time. I will say this, in a phone conversation with Sajid Shapoo, after reading Faiza's letter, he told me, After reading this goodbye letter, I think that Faiza was actually in love with you.
After sharing with my girlfriend what Shapoo had said to me, she told me that, I think that he is right.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Kiss and Tell: Intimacies with David Headley`s Ex-Wife, Faiza Outalha