26/11 planner Headley’s aide to be stripped of Canadian citizenship

  • Anirudh Bhattacharyya, Hindustan Times, Toronto
  • Updated: Oct 06, 2015 07:53 IST
This collage shows photos of sevem 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused. In the top row, David Headley, Tahawwur Rana, HafizSaeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, and in the second row Ilyas Kashmiri, Sajjid Majid and Abdur-Rehman Pasha. (PTI File Photos)

The Canadian Government is moving to strip Canadian citizenship from Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who facilitated David Coleman Headley in his reconnaissance mission in Mumbai as the latter planned the 26/11 terror attacks in that city.

According to a report in the Canadian daily, National Post, Rana “is the only one of the 10 Canadians whose citizenship the government is seeking to revoke for terrorism who was convicted by a foreign court, the U.S. District Court in Chicago.” The Canadian Government has undertaken these measures under a new law that was enacted earlier this year that enabled it act against those holding dual citizenship and were engaged in terror activities.

Rana, who is also a Pakistani citizen, operated from Chicago, where he ran First World Immigration Services, which also had offices in New York and Toronto. While Rana was acquitted of conspiracy to provide material support for the 26/11 attacks, he was convicted of providing material support, from late 2005 to October 2009, to the Lashkar-e-Toiba, the Pakistan-based terror group, that planned and executed the Mumbai attacks. He was also convicted on similar charges relating to a plan to behead employees of the Copenhagen-based Danish publication, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten.

Rana was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment, followed by another five years to supervised release by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber in January 2013. According to a US Justice Department statement of that time: “Headley 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 directed an individual associated with First World to prepare documents supporting Headley’s cover story and advised Headley how to obtain a visa for travel to India, according to Headley’s testimony, as well as e-mails and other documents that corroborated his account.”

While Rana is currently incarcerated in a prison in California, if the Canadian move to revoke his citizenship goes through, he is likely to be deported to Pakistan on his release.

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