Thursday, January 14, 2010

3 More Charged In Chicago In Danish & Mumbai Terror Plots

A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment adding three defendants, including Tahawwur Rana, to charges filed last month against David Coleman Headley, alleging that they and others participated in conspiracies involving a planned terrorist attack against a Danish newspaper and the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, that killed approximately 164 people including six Americans.

The 12-count superseding indictment contains the identical charges that were filed against Headley in December while adding Rana as a defendant in three of the counts charging material support of the terrorism plots in Denmark and India, as well as in support of the designated foreign terrorist organization Lashkar e Tayyiba. Also indicted were Ilyas Kashmiri, an allegedly influential terrorist organization leader in Pakistan who is alleged to be in regular contact with leaders of al Qaeda, 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.

Both Rana and Rehman were charged separately in previous court filings, but 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, 49, a Canadian citizen, Chicago resident and native of Pakistan, has remained in federal custody in Chicago since he was arrested in October in connection with the planned attack in Denmark. He was indicted today on three counts of providing material support to terrorism or a terrorist organization — one count of providing material support in preparation for and in carrying out the Mumbai attacks; one count of providing material support to the Denmark terrorism plot; and one count of providing material support to Lashkar e Tayyiba (Lashkar). Translated as the “Army of the Good,” Lashkar operated in Pakistan for the principal purpose of fighting to separate from India portions of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Lashkar was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States in December 2001.

No date has been set yet for Rana to be arraigned in federal court in Chicago. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber.

Kashmiri and Abdur Rehman, also known as “Major Abdur Rehman” and “Pasha,” were each charged with one count of conspiracy to murder and maim persons in Denmark, and one count of providing material support to the Danish terrorism plot. Neither man is in U.S. custody.

Headley, 49, a U.S. citizen and Chicago resident, faces the same 12 counts that were filed against him last month — six counts of conspiracy involving bombing public places in India, murdering and maiming persons in India and Denmark, providing material support to foreign terrorist plots, and providing material support to Lashkar, and six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of U.S. citizens in India. Headley has remained in federal custody in Chicago since he was arrested in Chicago in October. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges but previously authorized the Justice Department to disclose that he is cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

In 2002 and 2003, Headley allegedly attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan maintained by Lashkar, and conspired with its members and others, including Rana, Kashmiri and Abdur Rehman, in planning and executing the attacks in Denmark and India. He allegedly conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the November 2008 attacks that killed 164 people and left hundreds more injured.

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