A federal grand jury has added Pakistan born Canadian terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana to charges filed against David Coleman Headley, accusing them of laying the groundwork for the Nov 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Pakistani-American Headley had already been charged on Dec 7 in connection with the Mumbai attacks, but the 12-count superseding indictment unsealed here Thursday also added Rana as an alleged conspirator in planning the bloody rampage.
Rana is charged on three counts of providing material support in preparation for and in carrying out the Mumbai attacks; providing material support to a terrorism plot in Denmark; and providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taeba (LeT).
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 Abdur Rehman were charged separately in previous court filings, but Thursday’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 and Headley were previously accused of conspiring to attack a Danish newspaper, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, which published cartoons in 2005 of the prophet Muhammad. One of the cartoons showed the prophet with a bomb in his turban.
No date has been set for Rana’s arraignment. His attorney, Patrick Blegen, has said his client is innocent. Rana, 49, has remained in federal custody in Chicago since he was arrested on Oct 18 in connection with the planned attack in Denmark.
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 US custody.
Headley, 49, a US 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 US citizens in India.
In 2002 and 2003, Headley allegedly attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan maintained by LeT, and conspired with its members and others, including Rana, Kashmiri and Abdur Rehman, in planning and executing the attacks in India and Denmark.
He allegedly conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years before the Mumbai attacks.
Headley has remained in federal custody in Chicago since he was arrested in Chicago on Oct 3. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges but is said to be cooperating in the ongoing investigation.