13 May, 2021

When FBI Killed Naipaul A Decade Before He Died

David Headley was one of the weakest links, but Indian authorities failed to sniff him out. That’s an important lesson in how to avoid another 26/11.

David Headley
When FBI Killed Naipaul A Decade Before He Died

Sir Vidiya S. Naipaul passed away in August this year. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the US had declared him dead nearly a decade earlier. Lorenzo Benedict, special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had, while filing a chargesheet against a Pakistani named Abdul Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha, in a Chicago court in October 2009, referred to Sir Vidiya as “the late Lord V.S. Naipaul, a Nobel prize-winning ­author”.  App­arently, the FBI can also err.

How was it that Sir Vidiya’s name figured in a terrorism-related chargesheet filed against a Pakistani in a US court? There is a tragic story behind it. The Nobel Laureate’s wife was the sister of major general Amir Faisal Alvi, who gave up his British citizenship to join the Pakistani Army and rose to command the elite Special Services Group. It was under his leadership that the Pakistani Army took on the Taliban for the first time and registered a significant victory at Angoor Adda in 2004. But Gen. Alvi had to leave the military in 2005 and a former army...

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