Rana's trial to resume today
The trial of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Husssain Rana, which led to several revelations of nexus between ISI and LeT in carrying out the Mumbai terror attacks, will resume today with the testimony of co-conspirator David Coleman Headley.Updated: Jun 01, 2011 09:32 IST
The trial of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Husssain Rana, which led to several revelations of nexus between ISI and LeT in carrying out the Mumbai terror attacks, will resume on Wednesday with the testimony of co-conspirator David Coleman Headley. In perhaps the most important terrorism trial ever to be held, it is still expected that some new information regarding the nexus between al Qaeda, ISI and LeT might emerge.
As the trial, which began last week, more links between ISI and LeT are emerging with Headley narrating his side of the story that he started straying away from the so-called "ISI Jihad" with Major Iqbal and Sajid Mir toward a more "holy jihad" with Pasha or Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired major from the Pakistani Army, who connected Headley with al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri.
It is expected that cross-questioning of Headley might finish by Wednesday.
After that FBI agents will be presented by the government at the trial that is being held on the 19th floor of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
While Headley has plead guilty, Rana has maintained that he is not guilty in the charge of "support to terrorism".
The trial is expected to last till June 15. If convicted Rana faces a possible life sentence.
Headley claims that Rana, who is his friend from military school in Pakistan and ran an immigration agency, provided a cover for him to survey places in Mumbai when he started to plan the attacks two years before the terrorists struck at the behest of the ISI.
Rana, a Pakistani Canadian, on the other hand, said that he was duped by Headley.
On April 25, in a second superseding indictment, US prosecutors charged four additional men, all Pakistani residents, in the 26/11 terror attacks that left 166, including six Americans, dead.
Rana was indicted by a federal grand jury under 12 counts on February 15 last year for planning out the attacks, providing material support to LeT to carry out the bombings, and guiding Headley in scouting targets in Mumbai in the process.
Headley, who was originally Daood Gilani, changed and anglicised his name in order to carry out the carnage without disclosing his Pakistani identity.
Rana, who had served as a doctor in the Pakistani Army Medical Corps, before he migrated to Canada, is also accused in plotting an attack with Headley on a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that published cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.
If convicted, Rana faces a possible life sentence.
First Published: Jun 01, 2011 09:30 IST