Tag: David Headley

Tahawwur Rana Terror Trial Resumes, David Headley Still on Stand

The Chicago terror trial of Canadian businessman Tahawwur Hussein Rana, charged with conspiracy in the Mumbai bombings and a planned attack on a Danish news agency, continues today in Chicago. Former DEA informant Daood Gilani, aka David Coleman Headley, is still on the witness stand, undergoing cross-examination by Rana's attorneys.

Many are hoping today's testimony will reveal more on the nexus between al-Qaeda, ISI and LeT. There are still no answers on the identity of alleged Pakistani ISI officer Major Iqbal or Major Sameer Ali, both of whom are indicted in the case.

Some new articles on David Headley's credibility issues: Economic Times, and from Pro Publica, How Do We Know [Headley] Is Telling the Truth?

Unfortunately, Globe and Mail reporter Colin Freeze is back in Toronto and not live-tweeting today. Updates may be available by others at #Rana Trial. All of our coverage of the case is available here.

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Jury Picked in Tahawwur Rana's Chicago Terror Trial

An anonymous jury has been selected in the Chicago terror trial of Tahawwur Hussein Rana, charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the Mumbai bombings and a planned attack on a Denmark news agency.

The jury is composed of 8 women and 4 men, most of whom are minorities. The six alternates include 4 men and 2 women.

Opening arguments begin Monday. The Government will be relying on the testimony of admitted co-plotter and former DEA informant David Coleman Headley, aka Daood Gilani. Both Headley and Rana have said current members of Pakistan's intelligence agency and former military officers were working in concert with the terrorists. All of our prior coverage is available here.

I wonder if the Government will be successful in keeping all references to the ISI and military out of the trial, or if we'll finally find out who Major Iqbal is.

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Jury Selection Begins in Tahawwur Rana Terrorism Trial

Jury selection began today in Chicago in the trial of Tahawwur Hussein Rana, charged with conspiracy in the Mumbai bombings and a planned attack on a news agency in Denmark. The jury was given a questionnaire and told to return tomorrow. You can view the questionnaire here.

The trial may have major implications for the Pakistani ISI:

The proceedings are likely to add fuel to a diplomatic crisis over suspicions of official Pakistani complicity with terrorism after U.S. commandos killed Osama bin Laden on May 2 in a garrison city just 55 kilometers from Islamabad.

Pakistani intelligence, under the microscope following the revelation that the al-Qaida chief lived for years under the noses of Pakistani authorities, will come in for further scrutiny because the indictment names officers of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency as conspirators in the Mumbai attacks.

More on the implications for Pakistan-US relations today at The Guardian. All of our coverage is available here.

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U.S. Seeks to Exclude Defense Expert in Chicago Terror Trial

Jury selection begins next week in the Chicago terror trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, charged with participation in the 2008 Mumbai bombings, the planned attack on a news agency in Denmark, and providing matierial support to Lashkar e Tayyiba (LeT.) The Second Superseding Indictment is here. Both Rana and the Government's star witness, former DEA informant David Headley, who cooperated in exchange for taking the death penalty and extradition to India and Pakistan off the table, insist they were receiving instructions from Pakistan's ISI and military. While the Judge won't let the information about ISI and Army in the front door, it's bound to come in the back door.

Today the Court entered a minute order directing Rana to respond to the Government's motion to exclude his expert witness, Marc Sageman. Sageman is a counter-terror expert, former CIA agent and psychiatrist who is the leading proponent of the theory that al Qaeda as a central organization is no longer a big threat, that Pakistan houses the main terror groups in the region. Here's his 2009 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Global terror is more of a grass-roots thing in recent years, composed of leaderless jihadis. They may be affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda but al Qaeda, the core group, is too weak to provide much more.

So why does Rana want to call Sageman, and why does the Government object? [More...]

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What's Holding Up U.S. Interrogation of Osama bin Laden's Wives?

Pakistan and the U.S. say they are still in dialogues over the U.S. "interviews" of Osama bin Laden's three wives. What's holding it up and why does Pakistan say it has not yet received a formal request for access?

My guess: The U.S. is not just asking for permission to interview the women in Pakistan. It wants to extradite them to the U.S. for interrogation. The State Department is now making statements about the women and the interview requests. Why would they be involved if extradition was not on the horizon? State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said yesterday: [More....]

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India Releases Dossiers on LeT Handlers in Headley-Rana Case, Exposes ISI Connections

India today released its dossiers on the five new defendants in the upcoming federal terror trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, charged with conspiracy in the Mumbai bombings and planned attack in Denmark. Rana will be on trial by himself, as none of the others have been arrested. David Headley, aka Daood Giliani, who was originally a defendant, will be the star witness against Rana, having cooperated and pleaded guilty in exchange for avoiding the death penalty and extradition to India or Pakistan.

The dossiers, available here, expose the connections between Lashkar e Tayyiba (leT) and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). [More...]

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Forget Osama's Home Videos, Let's Talk About Pakistan

"When I look at the television,
I want to see me staring right back at me
We all want to be big stars,
... when everybody loves me,
I'm going to be just about as happy as I can be"
What is the big deal about Osama bin Laden watching videos of himself on TV? Who cares? Why release them now? Is it to deflect attention from the bungled narrative Administration officials presented all week as to what happened during the raid on the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad? Does the Administratin think they show us something negative we didn't know about Osama?

The Administration should count its blessings that everyone is glad Osama is dead, otherwise it could be in deep doo-doo over this raid and have a lot more explaining to do, particularly over its relationship with Pakistan's military and intelligence agency, which is costing us a fortune. There sure doesn't seem to be much bang for the buck. [More...]

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Stockholm Bombing E-Mail References Cartoonist

There were two bombing incidents in Sweden today. One was a car bomb and one was a pipe bomb carried by a suicide bomber. One person was killed -- the suicide bomber.

An email was received by a news agency TT, shortly before the blasts:

The agency said the mail had sound files in both Swedish and Arabic attached. It said the voice on the sound file addressed Sweden and the Swedish people and talked about Sweden's silence over the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed by artist Lars Vilks and Sweden's presence in Afghanistan.

"Our actions will talk for themselves. As long as you do not end your war against Islam and humiliation of the prophet and your stupid support for the pig Vilks," TT quoted the man on the sound file as saying.

There have been several other attacks aimed at Lars Vilks over the last few years. While some think today's bombs in Sweden were the result of a few lone wolves, not an organized terror group, no one really knows yet.

Closer to home, Vilks' cartoons and the Danish newspaper that published them, along with Lashkar e Tayyiba, the terrorist group that allegedly was hatching the plot against the newspaper, will be featured prominently in a U.S terror trial in Chicago beginning in February. It's the case of David Headley, aka Daood Gilani's co-defendant. [More...]

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More on David Headley and the DEA

For the past year, I've been writing about the sweetheart deal back in 1998 the DEA and DOJ gave David Headley, aka Daood Gilani, who this year pleaded guilty in federal court in Chicago to his involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks. (McClatchy has as well.) It's good to see more of the mainstream media now following this aspect of the story. Three weeks ago Pro Publica and the Washington Post obtained some new details, mostly about an ex-wife of Headley's who had reported in 2005 after their break-up that Headley had terrorist leanings.

The New York Times today breaks more new ground , having obtained the transcript of his Nov. 16, 2001 hearing for early termination of supervised release. My favorite paragraph is the one describing what happened at the hearing, which took place one month after the first of three of Headley's ex-girlfriends/wives reported she suspected he had terrorist leanings: [More...]

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FBI Overlooked Tip on Mumbai Bomb Complicitor David Headley

Pro Publica has a lengthy investigative article on admitted Mumbai bombing complicitor and former DEA informant Daood Gilani, aka David Coleman Headley.

The focal point of the article is that Headley's ex-wife told the FBI he had become an extremist involved with Lashkar-i-Taiba back in 2005 when she reported a domestic violence incident between them. The FBI either did nothing or glossed over it. [More...]

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Mumbai Terror Suspect David Headley to Plead Guilty

Daood Gilani, aka David Coleman Headley, charged in Chicago with assisting in the Mumbai attacks and in plotting an attack on the Danish newspaper that published cartoons critical of the Prophet Mohammed, will plead guilty on Thursday.

He's been cooperating. The plea details aren't available. Will he get less than a life sentence when 8 Americans were killed in the Mumbai attacks? Stay tuned.

Our prior coverage of Headley, including his days as a DEA informant and his potential double agent status, is assembled here.

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Rana Pleads Not Guilty in Mumbai-Danish Terror Plots

On Jan. 15, we wrote about the Superseding Indictment returned against David Headley, formerly known as Daood Gilani, and Tahawwur Rana regarding the Mumbai attacks and alleged planned attack in Denmark. Also indicted were Retired Pakistani military officer Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Pasha)and alleged Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) leader Ilyas Kashmiri. The U.S. Attorney's office released this detailed press release (pdf) on the charges.

Rana, who is still appealing the denial of bond, was arraigned today and pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, Patrick Blegen, asked the court to appoint him under the Criminal Justice Act so he can be paid from public funds. [More...]

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