Pakistani-Canadian LeT operative Tahawwur Hussain Rana, indicted for involvement in the Mumbai attacks, is set to appear in a court here today to respond to the charges against him.
Forty nine-year-old Rana will be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys in the District Court in Northern District of Illinois, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The arraignment of the co-accused in the case, Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, has been set for January 27.
Headley and Rana, both of whom were based in Chicago, were indicted by a federal grand jury on January 14 on charges of being involved in the Mumbai attacks and planning a terror strike against a Danish newspaper.
The 12-count superseding indictment contained the identical charges that were filed against Headley on December 7 while adding Rana as a defendant in three counts charging material support of the terrorism plots in Denmark and India, as well as support to the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistan-based terrorist linked to al-Qaeda, and Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired major in the Pakistani military, were also indicted along with Headley and Rana.
Headley, who the government says is cooperating in the terror investigation, had in December last year pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him.
Rana, in custody since his arrest last year, has been making desperate attempts to be released on bail while federal prosecutors are opposed to this and fear that he may flee.
Rana, in his bail plea, argued that he is a Pakistani army deserter and if he flees the US, he will be forced to live as an “international fugitive“.
A status hearing scheduled last week for Rana’s appeal of detention was cancelled and has not yet been rescheduled