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Committed to bring 26/11 attackers to justice: US

Last Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 09:25

Washington: Ahead of the Chicago trial of the Mumbai attacks on May 16, US has said it was committed to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 terror strikes to justice.

"We are committed to bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice. We call on other countries to do the same," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.

"Our message is that we sympathise with India, which has also been the victims of terrorism," he said.

While the Obama administration has publicly refrained from making any comments on the alleged role of Pakistan`s ISI in the Mumbai terror attacks, its latest indictment filed in the Chicago court names a suspect "Major Iqbal", whose
affiliation to the spy agency has been detailed in US and Indian case files.

"The on-going Chicago trial on 26/11 will throw fresh light on the ISI`s role in the Mumbai terrorist attack," investigative journalist Sebastian Rotella said in his latest
article in The Washington Post and ProPublica.Com.

Observing that ISI has long been suspected of secretly aiding terrorist groups while serving as a US ally in the fight against terror, The Washington Post said the discovery that bin Laden spent years in a fortress-like compound
surrounded by military facilities in Abbottabad has heightened those suspicions and reinforced the accusations that ISI was involved in the 26/11 attacks, which killed 166 people.

"The first public airing of the ISI`s alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks will begin on May 16 with the trial of Tahawwur Rana, owner of a Chicago immigration
consulting firm," the article said. Rana was arrested in 2009 and charged with providing material support in the attacks in which four suspects were indicted last week.

"The star witness will be David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani-American businessman-turned-militant who has pleaded guilty to scouting targets in India and Denmark. Rana allegedly helped Headley use his firm as a cover for
reconnaissance," it added.

Headley trained in LeT camps before being recruited in 2006 by an ISI officer, Major Samir Ali, who referred him to Iqbal in Lahore, according to the report.

Federal prosecutors have said Headley, a US citizen, was associated with LeT and attended its training camps in Pakistan which began in or around February 2002, August 2002, April 2003, August 2003 and December 2003. Headley assisted
senior LeT personnel in planning and preparing for terrorist attacks.

Currently languishing in a Chicago jail, Headley has bargained with the US authorities that in exchange for his guilty plea he would not be extradited to India or face death penalty.


First Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 09:25
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