"That the city of Mumbai was under siege was not
something that came like a bolt out of the blue to Rana. He
knew about it. He knew about it ahead of time. He knew about
it because he knew about it from David Headley, and he knew
about it because Pasha had tipped him off in Dubai," Assistant
US Attorney Victoria Peters told jurors during closing
arguments in Rana's trial before the Chicago court.
In summer of 2008, Rana was told by his childhood friend
Headley, who has confessed to his involvement in the Mumbai
strikes, all the details about the attack plan that was going
to occur a few months in the future, Peters said.
"He knows that Lashkar fighters are finalising their
plans to take over the city of Mumbai. He knows that Headley's
activities in Mumbai, the things that he's been doing while
using the cover that he has provided, he knows that Headley's
activities are leading to something very, very serious and
that it is on the near horizon," she said, adding that is why
Rana is so security-conscious.
When the attacks in Mumbai began, Rana was not surprised,
"He knew they were coming. He knew from Headley, but he
also knew from Pasha. Headley had asked Pasha (also known as
Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed) to tell Rana not to stop in Mumbai
on Rana's way back to the United States. In Dubai, Pasha did
just that. He gave Rana that warning. You know from Rana's own
words that he knew that the attack in Mumbai was going to
happen before it started," she said.
Under the US laws, the government cannot appeal against
the verdict, even though if it disagrees with the verdict of
The US Government had expressed disappointment at the
Peters presented before the court transcripts of a
conversation between Rana and Headley in this regard.
Headley: "Did Pasha not say that"? Rana: "Yes."
Headley: "When he mentioned that." Rana: "What?" Headley:
"Pasha had mentioned that in Dubai that this is how ..." And
Rana says, "That he said to me as well."
The US attorney said Pasha gave Rana the warning.
"Members of the jury, this exchange between Rana and
Headley, this exchange speaks volumes. What does it tell you
about Rana that Pasha gave him this warning that the attacks
"What it tells you is that Pasha knows that Rana is part
of the inner circle. Pasha can trust Rana. Pasha knows that
Rana knows. What if Rana weren't part of this inner circle?
What if Rana had absolutely no idea that there was going to be
an attack in Mumbai?" she said.
Peters continued: "Think about that. Wouldn't you expect
Rana, if he didn't know that this attack was imminent,
wouldn't you expect him after the attack happens and the city
of Mumbai is basically held siege by these armed men for three
days, wouldn't you expect him to go to the FBI or the police
or somebody and say, 'Guys, there's this guy I met in Dubai,
Pasha, he told me something really strange before these
attacks took place, he told me, don't go to Mumbai.'
"If Rana wasn't playing on the same team, why would Pasha
have told him that? Pasha trusts Rana. He knows that Rana is
Headley's trusted friend. So there's no risk on Pasha's part.
There's no risk for him to give this warning," she said.
Washington: Tahawwur Rana, cleared by a
Chicago court of involvement in Mumbai attacks, knew about the
26/11 plot as he was part of "the inner circle" and was tipped
off about the "imminent" strikes by none other than LeT's
Pasha during a meeting in Dubai, according to US prosecutors.
First Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 16:19