Witness: Pakistani intelligence official ordered Chabad house attack


Pakistani government intelligence official directed terrorists to attack the Mumbai Chabad house in their November 2008 rampage through the Indian city, a witness in the terror trial testified.

David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani American who has confessed to conducting surveillance on the site and other targets in Mumbai for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group, gave the testimony in Chicago federal court Tuesday at the trial of an alleged accomplice.

Headley testified that his handler was an official of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate identified as Major Iqbal.

“Major Iqbal told me the Chabad house would be added on whatever list” of targets, Headley said, “because it was a front office for the Mossad.”

There is no evidence for the assertion of a link between the Chabad house and the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service.

Pakistan has denied involvement in the Mumbai attacks, which left at least 164 people dead. Six people, including three Americans, were murdered at the Chabad house.

Holtzberg Family Removes Objections to New Mumbai Chabad


The family of murdered Chabad emissaries Gabriel and Rivky Holtzberg has removed its objections to the reconstruction of the Chabad house in Mumbai.

The family last week removed its complaints against the Chabad-Lubavitch movement at the Indian Charity Commission, and formally recognized Chabad as the trustee of the Nariman House.

The Holtzbergs were killed in the center along with four visitors in the November 2008 attacks on several Mumbai sites. More than 170 people were killed in the attacks. The Holtzbergs’ son Moshe, then 2, was taken out of the house by his Indian nanny and survived the attack; the two are now living in Israel.

“We realize that our family made some mistakes along the way and hope that people will understand that they were committed purely out of love and attachment to Gaby and Rivky,” said Moshe Holtzberg, Gabriel Holtzberg’s brother, in a statement.

“In simple terms, our family originally reacted emotionally to the fact that the building was taking a long time to be built. It was too hard for us to accept that it could not be built right away, due to security concerns and building safety issues.”

For security reasons, the Chabad house in Mumbai has been operating since the attacks from an undisclosed location under the direction of the new permanent Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries there, Rabbi Chanoch and Leah Gechtman.

In the statement, the family also apologized for accusing Chabad of mishandling donations for the reconstruction. “We realize that these allegations were completely baseless and false and are deeply sorry for them,” the family’s statement said.

“We look forward to the rebuilt Nariman House being a truly fitting and lively tribute to Gaby and Rivky, complete with synagogue, tourist services and much, much more, and we know that their spirit will live on there forever proudly,” the statement concluded.

New Mumbai Chabad house to memorialize Holtzbergs


Tentative plans for a new Chabad House in Mumbai feature a memorial to the emissary couple slain in the 2008 attacks in the Indian city.

The plans for the new Nariman House, on the site of the previous Chabad House, are pending consultations with security experts, according to an announcement Tuesday by the Chabad organization.

For security reasons, the Chabad House in Mumbai has been operating since the attacks from an undisclosed location under the direction of the new permanent Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries there, Rabbi Chanoch and Leah Gechtman.

Under the new plan, the fifth floor will have a memorial to the slain Chabad House directors, Rabbi Gabriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, in what was their personal residence.

The Holtzbergs were killed in the center along with four visitors in the November 2008 attacks on several Mumbai sites, including luxury hotels, a train station and a popular cafe. More than 170 people were killed in the attacks.

“The terrorists may have murdered Gabi and Rivky, but they will not be able to end their work or their legacy — we won’t allow it,” said Chabad Rabbi Yosef Kantor, the Chabad official responsible for the rebuilding effort in Mumbai. “That’s why we are currently putting together the plan for this Chabad House, which includes making sure that when their son, Moshe, comes of age, this place will be here for him should he wish to follow in the footsteps of his parents.”

Moshe, then 2, was taken out of the house by his Indian nanny. Both are now living in Israel.

The fourth floor of the new Nariman House will contain a memorial to victims of terror.

Its first floor will feature a kosher kitchen for preparing food for tourists and for delivery to local needy people. The second floor will contain a synagogue for prayer and study; the third floor will serve as space for Chabad functions.