Ex-businessman facing murder charges in Mumbai terror attack
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former Chicago businessman arrested for supporting terrorist groups was arrested in Los Angeles for murder charges in India for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack that killed more than 160 people to become.
Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian born in Pakistan, has been accused in India of conspiring to plan and carry out the deadly attacks sometimes referred to as India's September 11th.
59-year-old Rana has been convicted of terrorist charges against the group behind the Mumbai murders, although the U.S. Attorney General's Office has failed to demonstrate that he directly supports the four-day killing spree.
Rana was serving a 14-year sentence when he was released early from a Los Angeles federal prison last week for poor health and a coronavirus attack. But he never came out of prison until he was arrested for extradition to India, the prosecutors said.
According to court records, he has been charged with murder and conspiracy in India. A request for comment from Rana's public defense attorney was not immediately returned.
Rana was convicted in Chicago in 2011 for providing material support to the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was planning the attack in India, and to support a never-before-run conspiracy to attack a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad Caricatures angered many Muslims because images of the prophet are prohibited in Islam.
The jury has released Rana from a more serious charge of supporting the attacks in Mumbai, India's largest city. 166 people were killed, nearly 240 injured and $ 1.5 billion in damage done.
Rana's lawyer said in court that he was cheated by his high school buddy David Coleman Headley, a licensed terrorist who planned the Mumbai attacks. The defense called Headley, the government's main witness, who testified to avoid the death penalty, a habitual liar and manipulator.
Rana has been accused of allowing Headley to open a branch of his Chicago-based immigration law business in Mumbai as a cover story and to travel as a company representative in Denmark.
Prosecutors said Rana knew that Headley had trained as a terrorist. Headley shared information about the fact-finding missions he conducted in Mumbai and the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, where armed men later slaughtered dozens of people.
Headley, who was born in the United States to a Pakistani father and American mother, said his hatred of India dates back to childhood when his school in Pakistan was bombed by Indian military aircraft in 1971 during a war between countries.
Months after the Mumbai attacks, Headley, who had not participated in the attacks, said Rana was "now even with the Indians," according to a court document. Rana said they deserved it.
Headley, who pleaded guilty to the murder conspiracy, was sentenced to 35 years in prison. As part of his plea, he cannot be extradited to India.
Only one of the 10 terrorists in Mumbai survived the attack and was brought to trial. He was sentenced to death and hanged in India.
Associated press journalist Eric Tucker from Washington, DC contributed to this.
This story has been corrected to reflect that the terrorist attacks lasted more than four days, not three days.
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