Indictment against Canadian alleges involvement in planning 2008 Mumbai attack

CHICAGO — A Canadian living in Chicago is one of two men who have been indicted on U.S. terrorism charges.

CHICAGO — A Canadian living in Chicago is one of two men who have been indicted on U.S. terrorism charges.

Tahawwur Hussain Rana has been accused of planning a violent attack on a Danish newspaper.

A 12-count superseding indictment unsealed Thursday has for the first time alleged that Rana was in on the planning of the 2008 attack on the Indian city of Mumbai by a team of 10 terrorists.

Rana, a Chicago-based businessman, has maintained he knew nothing of the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including two Canadians.

Rana, 49, was picked up by the FBI in October.

U.S. prosecutors claim Rana knew in advance of the attack in Mumbai, and they say he sent congratulations to its perpetrators for their excellent planning.

Also named in the indictment is American David Coleman Headley, also of Chicago.

Headley already had been charged in connection with the Mumbai attacks but the indictment added Rana as an alleged conspirator in planning the bloody rampage.

Headley and Rana, who have been in business in Chicago for more than a dozen years, are both in custody in Chicago.

Headley’s attorney, John Theis, had no comment Thursday on the new indictment. A message was left for Rana’s attorney, Patrick Blegan.

Retired Pakistani military officer Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed and reputed terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri, who has been linked to al-Qaida and described as a leader of the terrorist group Harakat-ul Jihad Islami, were also charged in the new indictment.

The charges were the first for Kashmiri in the case that surfaced with the October arrest of Headley and Rana in Chicago.

Syed previously had been charged with involvement in the plans to attack the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, which had printed 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that sparked outrage in the Muslim world.

Officials says all the defendants were linked to the terrorist organization Lashkar e Taiba, translated as “Army of the Good,” which has long been involved in violent conflict with India over Kashmir, a disputed territory. The Indian government has blamed the group for the Mumbai attacks.

The charges against Headley, formerly named Daood Gilani, are the same as those included by the government in a criminal information filed in federal court last fall. But the charges against Rana have been expanded to include participation in the Mumbai attacks.

Prosecutors have alleged that in a secretly recorded conversation in September 2009, Rana and Headley discussed the possible attack in Denmark as well as attacks on Bollywood, the Indian film industry; Somnath, a temple; and Shiv Sena, a political party with strains of Hindu nationalism.

They said Headley and Rana also spoke about a meeting between Rana and a man they called “Pasha” days before 10 gunmen rampaged through Mumbai. Prosecutors said Pasha is Syed. They said Syed helped put Headley in touch with Kashmiri, described as a leader of the terrorist group Harakat-ul Jihad Islami.

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