Chicago Resident Found Guilty of Aiding Pakistani Terror Group
Posted: June 15, 2011
A Canadian citizen living in Chicago has been convicted for his role in a planned terrorist attack against a Danish newspaper and for providing support to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistani militant group with links to Al Qaeda.
On June 9, 2011, a Chicago jury found Tahawwur Rana guilty of supporting plans to attack the offices and employees of Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper that had previously printed controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Rana, a 50-year-old Canadian citizen from Pakistan, helped arrange a cover story for David Coleman Headley, his childhood friend, to use in Denmark to conduct surveillance of potential targets, according to court documents and testimony by Headley.
Headley, an American citizen, visited two different offices of the Danish newspaper, pleaded guilty to helping plan the attack in Denmark in 2010. He also pleaded guilty to helping plan the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 170 people in 2010. Headley conducted extensive surveillance of the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement and other locations targeted by suspected members of Pakistani-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET).
Headley was the prosecution's main witness against Rana. In his testimony, Headley said that in the summer of 2006 he approached Rana to discuss his mission to scout potential targets in India and that Rana granted him approval to open a branch of his company, First World Immigration Services, in Mumbai as cover for his activities.
Other government evidence against Rana included recorded conversations in which he and Headley discussed the Denmark plot. Rana also allegedly communicated with members of LET directly via e-mail and phone calls. In September 2009, he and a LET associate discussed a "loophole" to get an unnamed individual into the U.S. under false pretenses, according to court documents.
Rana was acquitted of a charge connecting him to the Mumbai attack.