The US Department of Justice announced Jan. 14 that four men have been charged in connection with the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and an attempted attack on Denmark‘s Jyllands-Posten newspaper in the ongoing cartoon backlash. The superseding indictment reiterates the 12 charges against Chicago resident and US citizen David Coleman Headley filed last month and adds three defendants.
Tahawwur Rana, a Chicago resident with Canadian citizenship, is charged with three counts of providing material support to terrorism, one each for his alleged roles in the Denmark plan and Mumbai attacks, and a third for alleged involvement with terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba. Retired Pakistani military officer Abdur Rehman and Ilyas Kashmiri, an alleged terrorist leader believed to have ties to al-Qaeda, are also named in the indictment. Both face one count of conspiracy and one count of providing material support to terrorism for their alleged participation in the Danish newspaper plot. Headley and Rana are in federal custody, though no date has been set for Rana’s arraignment before the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Rehman and Kashmiri remain at-large.
The lone surviving suspected gunman from the Mumbai attacks, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, is currently on trial in India after withdrawing his confession last month. Kasab claims to have met Headley, but only after the attacks when Headley allegedly came to question Kasab in the company of three FBI agents. The judge hearing the trial has removed lawyers representing Kasab on two separate occasions for ethical violations, once in April and again in November. A verdict is expected early next year, and, if convicted, Kasab could face the death penalty. The Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan has indicted seven men accused of planning the attacks, charging them under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act. The men, who allegedly belong to LeT, have pleaded not guilty. Pakistan has postponed the trial of five others allegedly connected with the 2008 attack, which claimed at least 170 lives at 10 locations across the city. (Jurist, Jan. 15)