|Headley listed among 5 high-value targets|
|President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan has listed convicted key Mumbai terror attack plotter David Coleman Headley among five high-value targets that had been captured with US intelligence support.|
Brennan, Obama’s nominee to be the next chief of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), listed Pakistani-American Headley, who was last month sentenced to 35 years of imprisonment by a Chicago court for his role in the Lashkar-e-Taiba staged November 2008 Mumbai attack, in response to questions from a Senate panel.
Since January 2009 when he became Obama’s terrorism adviser, “dozens of individuals have been arrested, detained, interrogated, and convicted of terrorism-related offences in federal court,” he told the Senate Intelligence Committee in written answers Friday.
“Individuals arrested here in the United States include David Headley, Mansoor Arbabsiar, Najibullah Zazi, Faisal Shahzad, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.”
“Individuals initially taken into US custody overseas include Ahmed Ghailani, Jesse Curtis Morton, Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, and Betim Kaziu, and subsequently brought to the United States for interrogation and prosecution,” Brennan said.
In response to other questions, Brennan said setting up a special court to oversee deadly drone strikes against American citizens is worth considering but raises difficult questions over how much authority it would have in decisions currently made by the president.
“It would raise some novel, and potentially difficult, questions and furthermore would grant courts authority over decisions that have traditionally been exercised principally, if not exclusively, by the executive branch,” he said.
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|Mumbai attacks plotter faces US sentencing in January|
|[Dawn] A US national who used his Western appearance to carry out surveillance ahead of the deadly 2008 Mumbai siege will be sentenced on Jan 17, a judge ruled Wednesday.|
David Coleman Headley, 52, formally admitted to 12 terror charges in March 2010 after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty or to allow him to be extradited to either India, Pakistain or Denmark to face related charges.
He is expected to be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
The Mumbai siege, which began on Nov 26, 2008 and lasted nearly three days, saw 166 people killed and was the deadliest onslaught on Indian soil since independence.
The United States came under fire in India for reaching the deal with Headley, but prosecutors said it was well worth it given the valuable intelligence he provided in order to save his own skin.
Headley also testified against his childhood friend, Pakistain-born Chicago businessman Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who was convicted on two terrorism charges last year.
Rana, 51, faces up to 30 years in jail for helping the banned group (LT) plan an attack on a Danish newspaper that sparked outrage by publishing blasphemous cartoons.
a jury found there was insufficient evidence that Rana was involved in the Mumbai attacks -- even though Headley described how he had used Rana's immigration services business as a cover while conducting surveillance in India's financial capital. Rana will be sentenced on Jan 15.
|Mumbai terror suspect's taped voice comes to life|
|[Dawn] The voice had long haunted Indian police investigating Mumbai's deadly 2008 terrorist attack. |
They had repeatedly listened to a tape of cell phone intercepts containing chilling words from one of the men guiding 10 through the gun-blazing rampage that killed 166 people in India's financial capital.
"Pass this message to the media--'this is just the trailer; the real film is yet to come,"' the voice said.
Anti-terror police engaged in one of India's largest investigations had no idea who the man was, only that he had a Mumbai accent and used Hindi words unusual for Urdu speakers like the attackers on the ground.
Police believe they finally have the man behind the disembodied voice after ferreting out the suspect from where he was hiding, according to officials close to the investigation. They say he had given himself away to the police by opening a Facebook account under his real name--Syed Zabiuddin Ansari.
Ansari--an Indian citizen whose aliases include Abu Humza, Abu Jindal and Abu Jundal--was at New Delhi airport on June 21 after Saudi Arabia agreed to hand him to Indian officials and put him on a flight home.
Indian told The that Ansari was considered a key player in the plans for attacks on India. They say he was so central to the Mumbai attack plans he was among those giving orders by the minute to the attackers or directing them on their cell phones from a control room in , Pakistain during the Nov 26-28 bloodbath.
The spoke on condition of anonymity because they were disclosing sensitive information.
Ansari's interrogation is expected to bolster the Indian government's accusations -- and accepted as a fact by most ordinary Indians -- that Pakistain was behind the attack, the most brazen terrorist operation on India's soil.
His arrest is a rare piece of good news for a government reeling from economic and political troubles.
"Clearly there was state support for the 26/11 massacre," Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said Friday.
Indian say Ansari has already told them that Pak intelligence officials were in the control room during the 60-hour siege -- corroborating testimony by American terrorist suspect David Coleman Headley, who said during his Chicago trial last year that Pak intelligence officials were involved.
Ansari has also told he fled India in 2006 across the border to Bangladesh, escaping from a police raid in the western Indian town of Aurangabad on an illegal cache of weapons and explosives intended for future attacks within India, the officials said.
The assault was like no other India had experienced. Bombs and grenades went off at the famed Taj Mahal and Trident hotels. Then, 10 trained fanned out through the hotels and through the main train station and a Jewish cultural centre and people in their paths.
The attack went on for three days, as Indian police scrambled to keep up with the who were receiving detailed instructions by cell phone.
Eventually all but one of the were killed.
The survivor, Ajmal Kasab, told a special Indian court he and the others were tutored by a man named Abu Jindal on how to speak with a Hindi accent to avoid detection in India and confuse police about their origins.
Police are now looking for a second man who is heard on the tape from the control room. That man, who police believe is Muzammil Butt, based on testimony from other suspects, is heard cutting the attackers off as they exclaimed about the size of the television screens and the luxury fittings in the five-star hotels.
At one point, he is heard saying: "How hard is it to throw a grenade? Just pull the pin and throw it."
Investigators had been looking for Ansari for years after he was implicated by other suspects in the Mumbai attacks, but they never knew his exact role in the attack, said officials close to the investigation.
India learned Ansari was living in Saudi Arabia on a Pak passport, officials said.
Both India and Pakistain then began lobbying for his release into their custody, but India clinched the arrest by providing DNA samples from Ansari's Indian family members, who live in the western state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, the officials said.
Intelligence agents are now interrogating Ansari in a secret location on the outskirts of New Delhi.
Ansari told Indian he had gone to Saudi Arabia to raise funds and recruit more Indians as s. Investigators say groups routinely try to recruit Indians from among the two million Indians living in Saudi Arabia or the millions who visit the country to perform the Haj.
He might have remained in the shadows had he not opened a Facebook account in his real name to find new recruits, the officials said. The Times of India reported last week that Ansari also used the account to contact accomplices, who may have been under global scrutiny by intelligence agencies.
Indian followed his electronic trail to Riyadh, and this week used voice recognition tests to match Ansari's voice with the man on the tape. While the Hindi he spoke is similar enough to Urdu that speakers understand each other, there are many words that differ.
The man recorded giving instructions to the attackers used a few Hindi words an Urdu speaker would not use, such as "prashasan" for "administration," officials said. The Urdu word would be "intizamiya."
Investigators have sent the voice samples to a lab for further analysis, newspaper reports said.
Saudi Arabia's decision to hand Ansari over to India, rather than Pakistain, appeared to surprise Indian officials.
Foreign Ministry Syed Akbaruddin described the arrest as something "rather new" in Saudi-Indian relations.
"Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is expanding in a variety of ways."
Analysts said Riyadh's decision marked a significant shift.
"It is a signal to Pakistain that it will get isolated if it thinks state sponsorship of terrorism can be a viable policy option," said Ajit Doval, former chief of India's Intelligence Bureau.
|Tried to prevent Mumbai attacks, but US authorities didn't bother: David Headley's ex-wife|
|The estranged wife of admitted Pakistani American terrorist David Coleman Headley claims she tried to prevent the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack by going to US authorities abroad, but they did not bother.|
"So I went to them and I then started saying
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Headley, who has confessed to his role in scouting targets for the Mumbai in a plea deal with the US government was an avowed terrorist when he married Outalha, according to the television station that tracked her to Morocco.
"I'm covering my face right now, yes, because I'm afraid that people really could look at, see my face and pursue me or come and try to harm me," she was quoted as saying.
"It was love at first sight, you know, and we just married and, you know, it was so quick," Outalha said. "He betrayed me in every way, many lies, he's been lying to me, I mean the marriage, he fooled me to this marriage."
Headley, alias Daood Gilani, claims he worked with officials from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency to survey attack sites in India, even while on a Mumbai honeymoon with his new wife.
Indian authorities have sent a formal request to Morocco to hand over Outalha in the continuing investigation of the Mumbai attacks. If she cooperates, they hope that Outalha will offer information about the LeT founder and leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, for whose successful prosecution US announced a $10 million bounty two weeks ago, WLS-TV said.
|US offers $10 million for Hafiz Saeed|
Pakistan banned the group in 2002 under US pressure, but it operates with relative freedom under the name of its social welfare wing Jamaat-ud-Dawwa — even doing charity work using government money.
The US has designated both groups as foreign terrorist organizations. Intelligence officials and terrorism experts say Lashkar-e-Taiba has expanded focus beyond India in recent years and has plotted attacks in Europe and Australia. Some have called it “the next Al-Qaeda” and fear it could set its sights on the US
Saeed operates openly in Pakistan from his base in the eastern city of Lahore and travels widely, giving public speeches and appearing on TV talk shows. He has been one of the leading figures of the Difa-e-Pakistan, or Defense of Pakistan Council, which has held a series of large demonstrations in recent months against the US and India. He has rallied against any moves by the Pakistani government to reopen NATO and US supply lines into Afghanistan that were cut to protest the deadly November airstrikes.
Pakistan placed Saeed under house arrest for several months after the November 2008 attacks in India’s financial capital but eventually released him after he challenged his detention in court. The government has resisted Indian demands to do more, saying it doesn’t have the necessary evidence. Saeed denied involvement in the Mumbai attacks in an interview with Al Jazeera television and said the US was just angry about his anti-American demonstrations.
“We are not hiding in caves for bounties to be set on finding us,” said Saeed. “I think the US is frustrated because we are taking out countrywide protests against the resumption of NATO supplies and drone strikes.”
The reward for Saeed is one of the highest offered by the US and is equal to the amount for Taleban chief Mullah Omar. Only Ayman Al-Zawahri, who succeeded Osama Bin Laden as Al-Qaeda chief, fetches a higher bounty at $25 million.
Pakistani defense analyst Hasan Askari-Rizvi said the move against Saeed could be payback for his recent demonstrations against US drone strikes and allowing NATO supplies meant for troops in Afghanistan to travel through Pakistan. Rizvi said it would likely have little impact on Pakistan’s stance toward Saeed, both because of his historical links to the government and the political danger of being seen as doing Washington’s bidding in a country where anti-American sentiment is rampant.
“The government is in a difficult position,” said Rizvi. “On the one hand, they will be pressured by the US, but they are not really in a position to arrest him.”
The US State Department describes Saeed as a former professor of Arabic and engineering who heads an organization “dedicated to installing Islamist rule over parts of India and Pakistan.” It also noted that six of the 166 people killed in the 2008 attacks in the Indian city were American citizens.
A Pakistani-American, David Coleman Headley, pleaded guilty in a US court to helping Lashkar-e-Taiba plan the Mumbai rampage targeting a hotel and other sites.
Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna welcomed the US announcement, saying it would signal to Lashkar-e-Taiba and its patrons that the international community remains united in fighting terrorism.
Lashkar-e-Taiba, which means Army of the Pure, belongs to the Salafi movement, an ultraconservative branch of Islam similar to the Wahabi sect — the main Islamic branch in Saudi Arabia from which Al-Qaeda partly emerged. Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al-Qaeda operate separately but have been known to help each other when their paths intersect.
Analysts and terrorism experts agree that Pakistan’s intelligence agency, known as the ISI, is still able to control Lashkar-e-Taiba, though the ISI denies it.
|Bangladesh link to Mumbai blasts tests ties|
|DHAKA - The suspected mastermind of the serial bomb blasts that last week killed at least 19 people in Mumbai and injured over 130 more is in Bangladesh, according to Indian media reports. |
Abdullah Khan, of the Indian Mujahideen (IM), probably orchestrated the blasts and his movements had been tracked over the past few months, the Times of India quoted investigators as saying in a July 17 report.
If proven true, that report and others like it may stifle the progress that India and Bangladesh have made in improving ties over the past two years.
Given Bangladesh's track record at fighting terrorism since 2009, a coordinated manhunt between the two countries to track down Khan, who goes by the aliases of Khurram Khaiyam and Nata, could turn out be a blessing in disguise for India's developing neighbor.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was one of the first leaders to offer condolences to her Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, in a letter expressing her "deep shock and concern over the death of innocents" in three consecutive explosions that took place during the Indian financial capital's rush hour at the crowded Zaveri Bazar at 6:54pm, the Opera House a minute later and at the suburb of Dadar at 7:04pm local time on July 13.
Soon after the explosions, Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said the timing of the blasts showed a coordination that made it "quite obvious that some terror element is involved in the attack".
Mumbai police said they suspected the bombs to be the work of the IM, although Chidambaram declined to speculate who was behind them. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan denied that there had been any intelligence failure.
Abdullah Khan is now "operating the IM module which is assigned to maintain liaison with the Bangladesh-based Harkat Ul Jihad Al Islami (HuJI) and, in a joint venture, has recruited a few new cadres for their outfit", according to the Times of India article. "Investigators said even six months ago, he [Khan] was stationed in Nepal and used to shuttle between Bangladesh and Pakistan."
On July 18, rediff.com reported that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India arrested Riazul Sarkar from Bihar in connection with the Mumbai serial blasts. The report quoted intelligence bureau sources as saying Sarkar "may have links with HuJi in Bangladesh", although it added that the agency didn't have many details about the alleged link.
The report also mentioned that the National Investigation Agency, India's top unit to combat terror, was homing in on IM members across India and was already questioning a suspected operative known as Haroon, who is in a Kolkata jail after being arrested in June.
An Intelligence Bureau (IB) source referred to a change of tactics by the IM after the terror strike on multiple targets, including five-star hotels, by 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, left 166 people dead and many injured.
"After 26/11, with Pakistan under the scanner for their role in sheltering handlers and perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage, the IM had started conducting training camps in Bangladesh," the source told the Deccan Chronicle in a July 18 report.
IM terrorists find it easier to penetrate India from Bangladesh through West Bengal with support from the HuJI, the source said in the report.
The source also speculated that since one of the IM founders, Amir Raza, is from Kolkata, his awareness of "the topography of West Bengal" makes it more convenient for him to coordinate movements along the border.
LeT members had planned a simultaneous attack with the 26/11 atrocities in Mumbai, in the shape of a strike on the US Embassy and Indian High Commission in Bangladesh. However, as two of the three terrorists who had ordered the attack, India-born US citizen David Coleman Headley and Pakistan-born Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, had been arrested in Chicago in October 2008, and the third, Pakistani-born Abdur Rahman Sayeed was arrested in Pakistan around the first week of November, Bangladesh detectives foiled the plot. Mufti Harun Izahar and two associates from Chittagong were arrested, along with three Pakistani LeT members.
In November 2009, Indian authorities also arrested two Indian nationals and LeT members - T Nasir and Sharfaraz - who crossed the border into India from Bangladesh. The pair were part of the 15-member squad that failed to attack the US Embassy and Indian mission in Dhaka, the authorities said at the time.
In a bid to combat such cross-border terrorism, organized crime and the drug trade, during Hasina's visit to India in January 2010, Bangladesh and India decided to form a coordination committee comprising representatives of law-enforcing agencies and the two countries' intelligence wings to "deal with international terrorism and drug smuggling, investigation and completion of trial in such crimes". The agreement has yet to be ratified by either country. But the continued movement of terrorists across the border makes it highly likely that it will be signed off during a planned visit to Bangladesh by Manmohan in September.
The signing of the initial agreement and the arrest of numerous high-profile terrorists was behind the United States in August 2010 lauding Bangladesh's efforts "to deny domestic and transnational terrorists safe haven and targeting opportunities in Bangladesh". Bangladesh and India now have to join hands to apprehend suspected IM terrorists. At stake are bilateral ties between the neighbors, whose cooperation framework has the potential to improve livelihoods significantly and save lives in both countries.
|India says US Mumbai attacks acquittal 'no setback'|
|[Dawn] India on Friday said it would press on with attempts to try a Pakistain-born Canadian citizen over the 2008 Mumbai attacks, despite a US jury finding him not guilty of involvement.|
"I do not see it as a setback as our case is still under investigation," said the country's internal security secretary, U K Bansal, referring to Tahawwur Hussain Rana's acquittal in a Chicago court.
Rana was accused of allowing his immigration business to be used as cover for his friend David Coleman Headley to scout out potential targets in India's financial and entertainment capital before the attacks.
Headley testified against him but a jury on Thursday found there was insufficient evidence to convict.
Federal are preparing a case against both Rana and Headley, with a view to trying them in India, Bansal told s in New Delhi.
"When the probe is over, we will produce the evidence in the court," he said, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
A total of 166 people were killed and more than 300 when 10 heavily-armed belonging to the banned, Pakistain-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) stormed Mumbai on November 26, 2008.
The sole surviving gunman, Pak national Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, was convicted of 'waging war' against India, murder, attempted murder and terrorism offences at a trial in Mumbai last year and sentenced to death.
Two Indian nationals who were on trial alongside him were acquitted of providing information to the attackers about targets, with their defence teams insisting that it was Headley who provided reconnaissance details.
But the trial judge ruled that implicating Headley was not admissible.
Rana still faces up to 30 years in jail, as the Chicago jury convicted him of helping the LeT to plan an attack on a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Headley was in 2009 and has admitted 12 terror charges after prosecutors agreed not seek the death penalty or allow him to be extradited to either India, Pakistain or Denmark to face related charges.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Conviction in Danish cartoon attack plot|
|[Al Jazeera] A US federal jury has convicted a Chicago businessman of helping plot an attack against a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.|
But the jury in the US state of Illinois cleared Tahawwur Rana of the most serious terrorism charge of co-operating in the deadly 2008 rampage in the Indian city of Mumbai.
The jury reached its split verdict after two days of deliberations on Thursday, finding Rana guilty of providing "material support to terrorism" in Denmark.
He was also found guilty of providing support to the Pakistain group that claimed responsible for the three-day siege in India's largest city that left more than 160 people dead, but he was found not guilty of taking part in the attack itself.
The jurors declined to talk to the media to explain their decision, which defence attorneys described as conflicting.
Rana, a Canadian national who has lived in Chicago for years, faces up to 30 years in prison on the two charges.
"We're extremely disappointed. We think they got it wrong," defence attorney Patrick Blegen told s.
Connecting the dots
At the centre of the trial was testimony by the government's star witness, David Coleman Headley, a longtime friend of Rana who previously pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks and planning to attack the Danish paper in retaliation for printing the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, as is prohibited in Islam. That plot was never carried out.
Headley's testimony was closely watched worldwide because it provided a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Pak group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which took credit for the Mumbai attacks, and the alleged co-operation with Pakistain's top intelligence agency, known as the ISI.
Defence attorneys spent much of their time trying to discredit Headley, who they claimed duped his friend from a Pak boarding school.
They attacked Headley's character, saying he initially lied to the FBI, lied to a judge and even lied to his own family, claiming that he implicated Rana in the plot because he wanted to make a deal with prosecutors, something he had learned after he became an informant for the US Drug Enforcement Administration after two heroin convictions.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, claimed that Rana, 50, knew exactly what he was doing when he helped Headley.
Rana, who did not testify, was on trial for allegedly allowing Headley to open a branch of his Chicago-based immigration law services business in Mumbai as a cover story while Headley conducted surveillance before the attacks in November 2008.
He was also accused of letting Headley, whose co-operation means he avoids the death penalty and extradition, travel as a representative of the company in Copenhagen.
Prosecutors used a recorded phone call recorded between Rana and Headley on September 7, 2009, as the centrepiece of their evidence against Rana. In the call, the men discussed the Mumbai attacks and Headley talked about future targets, including the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald told s after the verdict that he was gratified by the jury's decision and disagreed with defence attorneys who said the verdict was conflicting because he was convicted of supporting Lashkar-e-Taiba but acquitted of charges that he helped in the Mumbai attacks.
"There's lots of ways you could explain it, but I haven't spoken to the jury," Fitzgerald said. "There was clearly evidence that he knew he was working with Lashkar."
Six others were charged in absentia in the case, including an ISI member known only as "Major Iqbal'' and Headley's Lashkar handler Sajid Mir.
While much of Headley's testimony had been heard before in the context of the indictment in this case and a report released by the Indian government last year, he did reveal a few new details.
i's 'stronghold approach'
Among them was that another man, Ilyas i, who US officials believed to be al-Qaeda's military operations chief in Pakistain, had plotted to attack US defence contractor Lockheed Martin.
i was reported killed on June 3 by inside Pakistain.
While US officials have not confirmed the death, Pak officials say they are sure i is dead.
Headley said he worked with i in the plot against the Danish paper, describing how the al-Qaeda leader wanted a "stronghold approach".
One plan included taking hostages in the building and killing them quickly by beheading them.
"He said we should throw out the heads of the hostages from the windows," Headley said of i, speaking in a monotone and seemingly detached voice. "He said shoot them first and then behead them later, so there wouldn't be a struggle.''
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|Attorney: Rana knew he was helping in Mumbai plot|
|[Arab News] A recorded phone call in which a businessman praises the who carried out the 2008 attacks in Mumbai is proof he was "playing on the same team" as an admitted terrorist and longtime friend who helped lay the groundwork for the deadly three-day siege, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday.|
Assistant US Attorney Victoria Peters told jurors during closing arguments that it was clear Tahawwur Rana knew and helped his friend, David Coleman Headley, as he took video surveillance in Mumbai before the attacks that killed more than 160 people, including six Americans.
Headley was the government's star witnesses in the federal terrorism trial and testified for five days about working for both Pakistain's main intelligence agency, known as the ISI, and Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pak terrorist group that took credit for the siege on India's largest city.
The trial has been followed closely around the world, especially because it happened on the heels of 's May 2 killing in Pakistain by US forces. The fact that the Al-Qaeda leader had been living in an army garrison town outside the Pak capital for years raised suspicions that the Pak government knew, or even helped hide, Bin Laden. Pak officials have denied the accusations.
Peters zeroed in on a Sept. 7, 2009, phone call between the men where they discussed the Mumbai attacks and Headley talked about future targets, including a Danish newspaper that in 2005 printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad ( ), angering many s. That plot was never carried out.
She showed an English transcript of the conversation, which took place in Urdu during a car ride and was recorded by the FBI, showing that Rana had praised the Mumbai , saying they should be honored.
"Rana and Headley were playing on the same team," Peters said. "These two old friends don't just talk about past accomplishments, they talk about future goals." Rana, a Pak-born Canadian who has lived in Chicago for years, did not testify at his trial. He is accused of providing cover for Headley by letting him open a branch office of his immigration law services business and pose as a representative as he carried out surveillance for the Mumbai attacks and the Danish plot.
Peters led the courtroom through a timeline of more than a dozen e-mails and recorded conversations in the case, including brief ones exchanged between Rana and ISI member known only as "Major Iqbal," whom Headley testified gave him orders on the Mumbai plots.
Peters said Rana, who printed business cards for Headley and arranged some of his travel, had knowledge of all the plots and all those involved. She asked jurors to appeal to their common sense.
"Rana knew Headley's main purpose," Peters said. "He was not a dupe, he was not a fool." Rana has to three counts: conspiring to provide material support to terrorism in India, Denmark and to Lashkar-e-Taiba, which the US has designated as a terrorist organization. Rana could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.
Headley and Rana met as teens at a Pak boarding school and have stayed in touch.
Defense attorneys have tried to paint Headley as lacking in credibility and have focused questioning on how Headley initially lied to the FBI as he cooperated, lied to a judge and even lied to his own family. They claim he named Rana in the plot because he wanted to make a deal with prosecutors and had to provide another arrest. Headley's cooperation means he avoids the death penalty and extradition to India, Pakistain and Denmark.
"Mr. Headley is about the most unreliable witness that has ever trod into a courtroom and that will become clear in closing argument," Rana attorney Charles Swift told s. Defense attorneys were expected to make their closing arguments later Tuesday.
Six others are charged in absentia in the case, including Ilyas i, who was believed to be Al-Qaeda's military operations chief in Pakistain. He was reportedly killed Friday in a US missile strike.
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|Mumbai terror trial defence done after two witnesses|
|[Dawn] Testimony in the trial of a Chicago businessman accused in the 2008 Mumbai attacks wrapped up swiftly Monday as defence attorneys called only two witnesses before resting their case.|
Tahawwur Rana is accused of providing cover for longtime friend David Coleman Headley, who has admitted to laying groundwork for the rampage on India's largest city. Headley pleaded guilty and was the government's star witness, spending five days on the stand detailing how he worked with both Pak intelligence and a group as he scoped sites ahead of the attacks.
Attorneys put on only a brief defence Monday, calling a computer forensics expert and an immigration attorney -- but not Rana -- after federal prosecutors rested their case earlier in the day.
"I waive the right," Rana said when asked by US District Judge Harry Leinenweber whether he wanted to testify.
Jurors did hear Rana's words earlier Monday during testimony from the prosecution's final witness, an FBI agent who questioned him in October 2009. Prosecutors played short video clips of statements from Rana, who had agreed to speak with FBI for nearly six hours after his arrest.
Rana could be heard in the clips recounting names and affiliations of others charged in the case, including members of the Pak intelligence agency known as ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group blamed in the attack.
But it was unclear from the statements whether Rana knew of the Mumbai plot ahead of time. Defence attorneys and prosecutors did not comment Monday.
Rana, a Pak-born Canadian, has
Rana owns several Chicago area businesses, including an immigration law services center with offices worldwide. Prosecutors allege Rana allowed Headley pose as a business representative and open a Mumbai office while doing his video surveillance.
Attempting to show that Rana sought to establish business in Mumbai long before Headley traveled there, defence attorneys called a Canadian immigration attorney who testified that he conducted seminars about Rana's business in Mumbai in 1997 and that Rana had placed ads in five Indian newspapers at the time.
Though Rana is on trial, much of the focus has been on Headley, an admitted terrorist who was born in the US and lived most of his life in Pakistain. Headley and Rana met as teens at a Pak boarding school.
Headley detailed through emails, phone conversations and testimony that he took orders from both the ISI and Lashkar ahead of the Mumbai attacks, and that everything was communicated with Rana.
He also testified about communications with Ilyas i, believed to be al Qaeda's military operations chief in Pakistain and one of six others charged in the Mumbai case in absentia. i was reportedly killed Friday in a US missile strike, but US officials haven't confirmed the death.
Headley's testimony revealed that i, leader of a Pak terrorist group called Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, had wanted to attack US defence contractor Lockheed Martin because he was angry about US drone attacks inside Pakistain.
i's name came up just briefly Monday as attorneys and the judge discussed jury instructions without jurors present. Leinenweber raised the possibility removing i's name from some court documents, but no action was taken.
"What the jury is looking at now is Dr. Rana," said defence attorney Charles Swift. "Much of the world is following this trial not because of Dr. Rana, but it's now time to focus on Dr. Rana, not on Ilyas i, not on all the other people."
Others charged in the case include an ISI member known only as 'Major Iqbal' and Headley's Lashkar handler Sajid Mir.
Defence attorneys have hammered on Headley's reliability, talking about how he initially lied to the FBI even as he said he was cooperating, lied to a judge and even to his own family. They claim he implicated Rana in the plot because he wanted to make a deal with prosecutors. Headley's cooperation means he avoids the death penalty and extradition.
Still, experts have said the US government clearly has confidence in his test.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Ilyas Kashmiri plotted to attack Lockheed Martin: Headley|
|[Dawn] An American admitted terrorist who is the US government's star witness in the trial of a Chicago businessman accused in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks said Tuesday that another with ties to al Qaeda had once plotted to attack US defence contractor Lockheed Martin.|
David Coleman Headley, who has pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork in the three-day massacre that left more than 160 dead in India's largest city, testified for five days in the trial of his longtime friend, Tahawwur Rana, in exchange for avoiding the death penalty and extradition.
Rana has to accusations that he provided Headley cover as the Pak-American conducted surveillance in India before the attacks. Rana, a Canadian national who has lived in Chicago for years and owns an immigration services business, has pleaded not guilty.
Though Rana is on trial, it was Headley's testimony that was closely watched for any clues in the fight against global terrorism, especially in the wake of the May 2 killing of by US forces outside Pakistain's capital city and amid suspicions that the country's government may have known or helped hide the former al Qaeda leader.
On Tuesday, Headley told jurors that in August 2009, he used one of Rana's work computers in Chicago to begin researching details about Lockheed Martin and its CEO for Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pak terrorist leader who has ties to al Qaeda.
"He had people who had conducted surveillance," Headley said of i.
Headley said i was angry over the US drone attacks inside Pakistain and wanted to target the defense contractor. i leads the group Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, which has launched attacks in India and Pakistain, including a 2006 against the US consulate in that killed four people, according to the State Department.
Headley did not provide details about the plot, which was not carried out, but said Rana did not know about it.
Rana's defense attorneys have tried to discredit Headley, who spent days detailing for prosecutors how he took orders from the Pak intelligence agency, known as the ISI, and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group blamed in the Mumbai attacks. Headley also has pleaded guilty to plotting an attack against a Danish newspaper that in 2005 printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which angered many s. Rana also is charged in that plot, which was never carried out.
The defense's main focus has been to portray Headley as a liar who has lived multiple lives. Attorneys have asked Headley to detail how he worked as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration after two heroin convictions while also first becoming involved with Lashkar.
Under defense questioning, Headley has admitted that he lied in his initial statements to law enforcement when he said Rana had no knowledge of his plans. On Tuesday he admitted that he had sought a psychiatrist for a "mixed personality disorder" diagnosis, but did not disclose that treatment when asked by the judge in the case. He also acknowledged that he omitted details about his second wife when he spoke to his first wife.
Defense attorneys showed clips of Headley's initial statement to , which showed a stark contrast to the man who has been speaking in a soft and nearly monotonous voice while appearing unaffected by days of questioning. In the video, a visibly agitated and fast-talking Headley keeps asking prosecutors if they had made any other arrests yet in the case.
Still, experts have said undermining Headley's credibility is a challenge for the defense. His testimony has involved numerous emails and transcripts of phone calls with others listed in the indictment.
"He's certainly an imperfect individual, but the fact that the US government put him up there and put him up there first, seems to suggest a reasonable level of confidence in what he has to say," said Stephen Tankel, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has written a book on Lashkar.
Besides Rana, six others are charged in absentia, including i, a man known only as 'Major Iqbal,' who Headley said was an ISI major, and Sajid Mir, Headley's Lashkar-e-Taiba handler.
Headley said he started working with Lashkar in 2000. He testified that the group and Pakistain's Inter-Services Intelligence agency operate under the same umbrella, though Pakistain has repeatedly denied the allegation. Headley said Lashkar and ISI coordinated in planning the attacks and that Rana was apprised of developments.
Rana and Headley, who are both 50, were schoolmates at a Pak military boarding school and have remained in touch.
|Pakistan-based LeT 'in same rank' as al Qaeda: US|
|[Dawn] The US Homeland Security chief said on Friday she viewed the banned Pak group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as an equal in danger to the al Qaeda network.|
Janet Napolitano, speaking on a trip to New Delhi where she met top Indian security officials, was asked about the threat posed by the group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.
"It is is one that seeks to harm people and the US perspective is that the LeT is an organisation which is in the same ranks of al Qaeda-related groups," Napolitano told s after day-long talks in New Delhi.
India believes the LeT and the Pak intelligence service staged the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, which severely strained ties between the countries and led to a breakdown in their peace talks.
David Coleman Headley, an American-Pak facing trial in a Chicago court in connection with the attacks in India's financial capital, has admitted to his links with the LeT and Pak intelligence.
The group, founded to fight India's presence in the disputed territory of Pakistain, denied any involvement in the Mumbai carnage.
Napolitano said the US had worked with India on investigations into the Mumbai attacks and would grant Indian further access to Headley, the key government witness in the trial of an alleged accomplice.
"The United States has given India full access to the witness and once the case (trial) is over more access will be given. It is an example of how our two countries operate," she said.
A twice convicted , Headley admitted to taking part in the Mumbai plot after prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty or to allow him to be extradited to India, Pakistain or Denmark on related charges.