Rana, Headley indicted for Mumbai attacks

Last Updated: Friday, January 15, 2010 - 23:32

Chicago: Pakistan-born Canadian terror suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana allegedly provided co-accused David Coleman Headley the cover for opening an office of his immigration service in Mumbai to scout targets for the November 26, 2008 attacks.

A 12-count superseding indictment unsealed here on Thursday adding Rana as an alleged conspirator in planning the bloody rampage also accuses him with advising Headley, already charged on December 7 for the Mumbai attacks, on how to obtain a visa for travel to India.

According to the charges, unnamed Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) Member A, who served as a "handler" for Headley and another person associated with LeT, advised Headley in late 2005 that Headley would be travelling to India to perform surveillance of potential targets for LeT.

Headley changed his given name of Daood Gilani on February 15, 2006, in Philadelphia, enabling him to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani.

In the spring of 2006, LeT Member A and a LeT associate discussed with Headley the idea that he could open an immigration office in Mumbai as a cover for his surveillance activities.

Around June 2006, Headley allegedly travelled to Chicago, advised Rana of his assignment to scout potential targets in India, and obtained approval from Rana, who owned First World Immigration Services in Chicago and elsewhere, to open a First World office in Mumbai as cover for his activities.

Rana allegedly directed an individual associated with First World to prepare documents supporting Headley`s cover story of opening a First World office in Mumbai, and advised Headley how to obtain a visa for travel to India.

Headley misrepresented his birth name, his father`s true name and the purpose of his travel in his visa application, the indictment alleges.

In July 2006, unnamed Person A in Pakistan gave Headley about USD 25,000 to establish and operate the Mumbai office of First World and to pay for living expenses while Headley carried out his assignment for LeT, the charges add.

Headley later made five extended trips to Mumbai-in September 2006, February and September 2007, and April and July 2008 -- each time taking photographs and making videotapes of various potential targets, including those attacked in November 2008, and using his association with First World as cover for his travels.

Before each trip, LeT members and associates allegedly instructed Headley regarding specific locations where he was to conduct surveillance, and Headley travelled to Pakistan after each trip to meet with LeT members and associates, report on the results of his surveillance, and provide the surveillance photos and videos.

During his meetings with LeT members and associates in Pakistan after the September 2007 surveillance trip to Mumbai, LeT Member A showed Headley a styrofoam mockup of the Taj Mahal hotel, and Person A provided Headley with about USD 2,000 worth of Indian currency for expenses, according to the indictment.

Before the April 2008 surveillance trip, LeT Member A provided Headley with an additional USD 1,000 worth of Indian currency.

In addition, LeT Members A and B provided Headley with a global positioning system device and showed him how to use it to record the locations of possible landing sites and potential targets in Mumbai, which Headley then used during his surveillance trips in April and July 2008, the charges state.

Before the July 2008 visit, Person A provided an additional USD 1,500 worth of Indian currency to Headley to keep the First World office open, but approved closing that office in the future and opening a new business in Delhi to be used as cover for future activities.

During Headley`s July 2008 surveillance mission, Person A communicated with Headley by passing messages to him through Rana, the indictment alleges.

IANS



First Published: Friday, January 15, 2010 - 23:32

comments powered by Disqus