Friday, 10 June 2011

{EOB}Tahawwur found not guilty of assisting in Mumbai attacks



Chicago: An American court on Thursday found Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana not guilty on charges that he assisted in carrying out the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people.
But he was convicted by a jury in federal court for his role in a thwarted plot targeting a Danish newspaper that printed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
He was also found guilty in assisting the militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Rana’s terrorism trial drew international attention, particularly for the startling testimony of the prosecution’s star witness, convicted terrorist David Coleman Headley.
Rana allowed Headley to use his immigration business as a front so Headley could research sites for the deadly plots, prosecutors said.
But defense attorneys said Rana, 50, was unaware that his childhood friend was scheming overseas.
Headley, who took the stand for the bulk of the eight-day trial, gave an insider’s account of a complex terrorist network involved in the attacks and claimed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency and the militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, separately gave him identical instructions for scouting and surveilling locations for the Indian siege.
“They coordinated with each other,” Headley said, describing what he believed to be a cozy relationship between Lashkar-e-Taiba and the government intelligence agency.
“ISI provided assistance to Lashkar” through military and financial assistance and moral support, he continued.
Headley’s characterization of LeT and the ISI working in concert was a stunning admission given outstanding questions of the ISI’s possible role in helping protect Osama bin Laden as he hid in Pakistan before he was killed by US forces on May 2.
Headley also said he met with Ilyas Kashmiri to discuss an attack on the newspaper offices of Jyllands-Posten, whose 2005 depictions of the Prophet Muhammad sparked protests in the Muslim world.
Kashmiri, believed to be a senior al-Qaeda member, was killed in a US drone attack earlier this month.
Headley has pleaded guilty for his roles in the Mumbai attacks and the Denmark plot.

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