Rana, Headley indicted
Chicago, January 15
In its 12-count superseding indictment against Headley and Rana, the jury gives extensive details of the planning of the Mumbai attack by the LeT and how its leaders guided the terrorists during the four-day siege beginning November 26, 2008, that killed 166 people, including six Americans.
Headley, 49, a Pakistani American was arrested in October by the FBI and chargesheeted on December 7, while Rana, 49, a Pakistani-Canadian, has remained in federal custody in Chicago since he was arrested on October 18 for planning a terror attack on a Denmark newspaper which had published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad.
Today’s indictment contains identical charges that were slapped against Headley on December 7 and adds Rana as a defendant in three of the counts charging him with providing material support for terror plots in India and Denmark and for supporting Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Also indicted were Ilyas Kashmiri, an influential terrorist organisation leader in Pakistan, who was said to be in regular contact with Al-Qaida leaders, and Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Abdur Rehman), a retired major in the Pakistani military, both of whom were charged in two conspiracy counts relating to the Denmark terrorism plot, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
Today’s indictment charges Kashmiri for the first time although he was identified by name in the charges filed previously against Rana, Abdur Rehman and Headley.
Rana was charged with providing material support in preparation for and in carrying out the Mumbai attacks and for the Denmark terrorism plot, besides offering material support to LeT. No date has been set yet for Rana to be arraigned in Federal Court in Chicago. The case is assigned to US District Judge Harry D Leinenweber.
The chargesheet said Headley played a pivotal role in the planning of the Mumbai attack by providing extensive video footage of the potential targets to his LeT handlers in Pakistan and point to point information about various routes to be taken by terrorists during the attack, including their arrival from the sea side.
In March 2008, LeT instructed Headley to take boat trips in and around the Mumbai harbour and to take surveillance video of various locations. More than a year earlier, Headley took pictures and made videotapes of various targets in Mumbai in particular the Taj Hotel where he made detailed videos of second floor conference rooms and ballrooms. He also took videos of the Oberoi hotel.
In April 2008, Headley conducted surveillance of the Mumbai harbour and surrounding areas, using the GPS device and making videotapes. He also conducted surveillance of, among other locations, the Chhatarapati Shivaji Terminus train station.
Just ahead of the attack, Headley was asked by LeT to do further surveillance of Taj hotel and landing points for the attackers, including videotaping the route from a police station to the Taj Mahal hotel. — PTI