Rana sought to sneak in people into US: FBI

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - 09:54

Washington: Pakistani-born-Canadian citizen, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who was arrested by the FBI on charges of plotting terror attacks in India and elsewhere, sought to illegally sneak in people into the US.

Federal prosecutors told a Chicago court yesterday that
Rana communicated with a Lashkar-e-Taiba leader in this regard
and provided him the loopholes in the US immigration system on
how to bring people into the country.

Rana, who was arrested last month on charges of plotting
attacks in India and Denmark, in association with his friend
David Coleman Headley and LeT, sought bail from the court by
providing a security of nearly USD one million.

The proceedings of the court on his bail application
will continue till November 10.

Referring to the several email and tapped telephone
conversations, federal authorities said Rana has not only the
knowledge and ability to engage in immigration fraud, but also
has the willingness to do so.

As recently as September four, the LeT leader -– whose
name has not been identified, and Rana discussed over phone
the "business" loophole in obtaining immigration status in the
US.

After the LeT leader noted that "this person`s degree was
in "textiles" and thus his work did not fall into one of the
38 categories of "occupations", Rana, according to federal
prosecutors stated as follows: "But, it... it is not necessary
that it should fall in there... Make him a cook...

"Tell him that he has a diploma for a two-year, four-year,
it can even be from some food stand -– which, but it must
confirm that `yes, I`m a cook. And he should learn something.
The whole purpose is immigration, right."

The same day, Rana had a telephonic conversation with a
third party regarding the employment history of an individual
seeking immigration status, federal authorities said in their
additional submission made before the Chicago court.

"After the third party explained that this individual`s
employment history had overlapping information, Rana noted
that this would be a problem.

"The third party then suggested that, to address that
issue, he could back-date a letter from an employer to a date
in 1983," the submission said.

"Careful to avoid detection, Rana then noted that he
would have to use a typewriter, reminding the third party that
there were no laser printers in 1983.

"Further, after this third party also informed Rana that
the employer would be a fictitious business, Rana advised him
to use a letter from a company that was real, even if it did
not exist anymore.

"Rana further advised that, in preparing this fictitious
letter, he should add that the applicant had left that
employment on his own accord," federal prosecutors said.

US attorney said Rana is fluent in the documents
necessary for immigration and border crossing through his
operation of First World Immigration.

Based on a review of intercepted communications,
including emails, Rana does not shy from using that knowledge
to assist others in immigration fraud, the prosecutor said.

"For example, in late 2008, the defendant and the
individual identified in the complaint affidavit as Individual
B, who is affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba, had discussed a
`loophole` to get individuals into the US under false
pretences," the attorney said.

"On or about December 3, 2008, Individual B sent Rana an
email, asking `if anybody only wants to land there and use
student visas as toll, what u say about that.`

"Rana responded the same day, suggesting to Individual B
a different `loophole`," the attorney said.

"Before answering Individual B`s question, however, Rana
first instructed: "[d]elete this email after reading.

"Go and delete the mail from the `Sent Mail` folders.

"Rana then continued: If everyone coming to US does not
go to school, obviously our business will be looked at closely
leading to arrests, etc.," the prosecutor quoted Rana as
saying in his email.

"These days school reports to immigration on a hot line
that students are missing and immigration at 5 am is at their
place of residence or work where ever they can pick them up.

"Then they offer them a deal and ask them to tell how
they came. How they paid, what amount whom, who did what,"
Rana said, according to the additional document submitted by
the federal prosecutors before the court.

"Whenever you find easy way to come to US immediately
think there is a catch to it. Only one loophole is business
which they believe is OK and intelligence can play a role,"
Rana said in his email, according to the court papers.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - 09:54
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