Tahawwur Hussain Rana, the Pakistani-Canadian operative of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba now in the Federal Bureau of Investigation custody in the US, tried to deceive the Pakistani Consul General in Chicago to get a visa for his partner, US citizen David Coleman Headley.
An affidavit filed by the FBI before a US court revealed this, following Rana’s arrest on October 18 this year.
The 47-page document detailed how Rana under the guise of running an immigration service, had been working for Pakistan-based LeT handlers and al-Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri.
Rana had influence over the Pakistani Consul General, as they went to the same high school. The diplomat also knew Headley as Rana’s friend.
The FBI affidavit said “on or about” September 25, Rana called the diplomat to get a five-year visa for Headley. But since the diplomat knew Headley by his original name, Daood Gilani, Rana said he wanted the visa for a white American.
When the diplomat asked Rana to send his friend over, Rana said since “he had sent his friend elsewhere …someone else will visit the consulate”.
Investigations also revealed that Rana and a woman, identified as Samraz Rana Akhtar, obtained multiple-entry visas from the Indian Consulate a month before the November 26, 2008 attack in Mumbai, despite strict home ministry rules in this respect.
What’s more, they were exempted from registering with the police here if their stay did not exceed 180 days. Both of them arrived in Mumbai on November 12, 2008 and travelled to Kochi, Kerala four days later.
On November 20, Rana left India. But Gujarat police later found that an advertisement was carried in an English newspaper in the state in November 18 and 19, seeking applications from those who aspired to work abroad. The advertisement was issued on behalf of Rana’s First World Immigration Services.