26/11 Mumbai terror attacks
Tourists are silhouetted against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal hotel, which was one of the targets of the November 26, 2008 attacks, in Mumbai November 26, 2012.Reuters

India has asked the United States to hand over Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist David Headley, a key conspirator in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, 'temporarily' for a year so to get more information in connection with the terror attacks.

India also sought extradition of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, an accomplice to Headley, during the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue held in Washington between 20 May and 22 May.

"The US interlocutors assured us to actively consider the request," a top Indian official, who participated in the meeting," told Press Trust of India.

If the US agrees to hand over Headley, it would be the second time that India would get access to the Pakistan-American terrorist. India sought the temporary custody of Headley after it realised that his extradition is not possible.

Headley had pleaded guilty on charges of 12 counts including his involvement in the Mumbai attacks. Headley travelled to India five times between 2006 and 2008 to carry out surveillance work and provided significant details to the Pakistani terrorist organisation LeT, which was behind the attacks.

Headley entered into a plea with the US authorities to avoid death penalty and extradition to India. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison by a Chicago court this January. Based on his plea bargain with the authorities, Headley will not be extradited to any foreign country.

According to the investigators, the 51-year-old Headley and his accomplice Rana could provide more details on the conspiracy hatched to carry out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that claimed the lives of 166 people.

Rana has been sentenced to 14 years in jail followed by five years of supervised release by a US court, for providing material support to LeT, and also for supporting a plot to attack a Danish newspaper in retaliation for the newspaper's publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

The US has not given India any opportunity to question Rana so far. Following the Home Ministry's request to US authorities, Washington has assured that it will positively consider the request to extradite Rana, reported PTI.

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