David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, arrested last month by the FBI, were part of a LeT plan of a major terror attack on the facilities of a Danish newspaper and the National Defence College in India, federal prosecutors have said.
Opposing the bail application of Rana before a Chicago court yesterday, attorneys from the US Department of Justice said Rana is a danger to the community and might leave the country, if released.
Rana faces a maximum sentence of 30 years, if proved guilty.
Pakistani-born Canadian citizen and a resident of Chicago, Rana was arrested by the FBI on terror charges along with his school friend Headley, a US citizen, who was also arrested on the charges of plotting attacks in Denmark and India.
Headley’s bail plea is scheduled for December.
The reference to the National Defence College, New Delhi, as a target was made by the duo during their conversations on September 7, which was recorded by the FBI.
“In the same conversation, Headley and Rana discussed Denmark and other targets, including the National Defence College in India -- Rana, in fact, used the English word “target” in this discussion,” the FBI informed the court.
In its amended complaint filed before the Chicago Court last month, the FBI said Rana and Headley had discussed and named multiple targets of their planning in their conversation on September 7.
“More specifically, Headley listed four targets, one of which was ‘Denmark’, then commented ‘[a]fter that if I will pray for any other action call me a thief. God may help me complete this task’
“Later in this same conversation, Rana asked Headley to ’pass along a message’ to Individual B (unidentified LeT leader),” the FBI said in its previous affidavit.
The two Chicago-residents then discussed a fifth target.
More specifically, Headley referred to the earlier discussion, and stated words to the effect of “oh my friend, not four, five, five”.
While Rana laughed, Headley stated “Defence College” twice, and Rana commented “right, this is it. I knew already“.
After other discussion, Rana continued “That one, uh, I thought that was the target”. Headley responded, “I don’t know but once he comes then it will be known, but I am going to ask him to do that one first.
Rana responded, “in this matter -- defence [UI],” the FBI said.
The conversation indicates that the LeT was giving priority to its attack on the National Defence College in New Delhi over the other targets, including the facilities of the Danish newspaper, which had published a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad.
The Department of Justice also contested Rana’s plea in his bail application that he was “duped” by Headley and that he is innocent.