Tag: Tahawwur Hussain Rana

U.S. Seeks to Exclude Defense Expert in Chicago Terror Trial

Jury selection begins next week in the Chicago terror trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, charged with participation in the 2008 Mumbai bombings, the planned attack on a news agency in Denmark, and providing matierial support to Lashkar e Tayyiba (LeT.) The Second Superseding Indictment is here. Both Rana and the Government's star witness, former DEA informant David Headley, who cooperated in exchange for taking the death penalty and extradition to India and Pakistan off the table, insist they were receiving instructions from Pakistan's ISI and military. While the Judge won't let the information about ISI and Army in the front door, it's bound to come in the back door.

Today the Court entered a minute order directing Rana to respond to the Government's motion to exclude his expert witness, Marc Sageman. Sageman is a counter-terror expert, former CIA agent and psychiatrist who is the leading proponent of the theory that al Qaeda as a central organization is no longer a big threat, that Pakistan houses the main terror groups in the region. Here's his 2009 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Global terror is more of a grass-roots thing in recent years, composed of leaderless jihadis. They may be affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda but al Qaeda, the core group, is too weak to provide much more.

So why does Rana want to call Sageman, and why does the Government object? [More...]

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What's Holding Up U.S. Interrogation of Osama bin Laden's Wives?

Pakistan and the U.S. say they are still in dialogues over the U.S. "interviews" of Osama bin Laden's three wives. What's holding it up and why does Pakistan say it has not yet received a formal request for access?

My guess: The U.S. is not just asking for permission to interview the women in Pakistan. It wants to extradite them to the U.S. for interrogation. The State Department is now making statements about the women and the interview requests. Why would they be involved if extradition was not on the horizon? State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said yesterday: [More....]

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India Releases Dossiers on LeT Handlers in Headley-Rana Case, Exposes ISI Connections

India today released its dossiers on the five new defendants in the upcoming federal terror trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, charged with conspiracy in the Mumbai bombings and planned attack in Denmark. Rana will be on trial by himself, as none of the others have been arrested. David Headley, aka Daood Giliani, who was originally a defendant, will be the star witness against Rana, having cooperated and pleaded guilty in exchange for avoiding the death penalty and extradition to India or Pakistan.

The dossiers, available here, expose the connections between Lashkar e Tayyiba (leT) and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). [More...]

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Forget Osama's Home Videos, Let's Talk About Pakistan

"When I look at the television,
I want to see me staring right back at me
We all want to be big stars,
... when everybody loves me,
I'm going to be just about as happy as I can be"
What is the big deal about Osama bin Laden watching videos of himself on TV? Who cares? Why release them now? Is it to deflect attention from the bungled narrative Administration officials presented all week as to what happened during the raid on the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad? Does the Administratin think they show us something negative we didn't know about Osama?

The Administration should count its blessings that everyone is glad Osama is dead, otherwise it could be in deep doo-doo over this raid and have a lot more explaining to do, particularly over its relationship with Pakistan's military and intelligence agency, which is costing us a fortune. There sure doesn't seem to be much bang for the buck. [More...]

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Court Denies Bail for Headley's Co-Defendant in Ill. Terror Case

A federal magistrate judge in Chicago yesterday denied bail for Tahawwur Hussain Rana, co-defendant of David Headley, aka Daood Gilani. Rana is charged with providing material support to terrorists via a planned attack on a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Court found Rana had immigration expertise and a net worth of $1.6 million and was a flight risk. The Government alleged in a brief (available on PACER) that recorded conversations showed Rana knew of the Mumbai attacks before they happened and expressed his approval of them. Rana is not alleged to have participated in the Mumbai attacks. His lawyer argued the recorded conversations were in large part unintelligible and Rana is not a flight risk. [More...]

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DOJ Charges David Headley With Conspiracy in Mumbai Attacks

New charges have been filed (pdf)in Chicago against accused terrorist and former DEA cooperator David Headley, aka Daood Gilani. The U.S. Attorney's office confirms he is cooperating with both the investigation into the Danish newspaper plot and that of the 2008 Mumbai bombings. The text of the new complaint is here (pdf).

In March 2008, Headley and his co-conspirators discussed potential landing sites for a team of attackers who would arrive by sea in Mumbai, and he was instructed to take boat trips in and around the Mumbai harbor and take surveillance video, which he did during his visit to India starting in April 2008, the charges allege.

At various times, Headley allegedly conducted surveillance of other locations in Mumbai and elsewhere in India of facilities and locations that were not attacked in November 2008, including the National Defense College in Delhi, India.

The Government today also unsealed charges (available here, pdf)filed in October against retired Pakistani army major Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Abdur Rehman). The two-count complaint charges him with conspiracy to murder and maim persons in a foreign country, and providing material support to that foreign terrorism conspiracy, in connection with the Danish plot. [More...]

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