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Headley aide Rana visited Kochi before 26/11: Kerala Police

Last Updated: Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 19:44

Thiruvanathapuram: Tahawwur Hussain Rana,
arrested along with suspected LeT terrorist David Coleman
Headley of the US, had visited Kochi before the Mumbai terror
strikes posing as an immigration consultant and was
accompanied by a woman, Kerala Police said on Sunday.

Intelligence agencies and state police have come across
evidences regarding Rana`s visit. Rana, who arrived in Kochi
on November 16, 2008, along with a woman called Samraz Akthar,
had checked into a five-star hotel in the city and left for
Mumbai the next afternoon, police sources said.

Besides confirming the hotel records, investigators had
also found an advertisement that appeared in a newspaper
stating that he would be in Kochi, New Delhi, Ahmedabad and
Mumbai for offering visas to United States and Canada for job

The advertisement claimed Rana was a Chicago-based
emigration consultant.

"A man named Tahawwur Hussain Rana had stayed in a hotel
in Kochi on November 16. We are checking the details," state
Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose said.

State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the police
was examining if the person who had visited Kochi was the same
Rana now under arrest in the United States.

Intelligence agencies were also looking into the angle
whether the purpose of Rana`s visit was to recruit youth
for terrorist activities, the sources said.

The investigators were also verifying the mobile telephone
numbers and e-mail address mentioned in the advertisement and
also the persons he had contacted on arriving in the city,
the sources said.

Headley, 49-year-old Pakistan-born US citizen, was
arrested in Chicago last month by FBI which said he was part
of a LeT plan to carry out terror attacks in India, including
Delhi`s National Defence College, Dehradun`s Doon School and
Woodstock in Mussoorie.

Officials of IB and RAW had visited the US last week and
met FBI counterparts to get details of the plot but had failed
to question Headley who is lodged in a Chicago jail.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 19:44

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