Rana Worked with Headley Every Step of the Way: Prosecution

Chicago, June 8 (IANS) Pakistan-born Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana was "no dupe" and was working with confessed Pakistani-American David Headley every step of the way in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, prosecutors told a Chicago court Tuesday.

Rana was part of the deadly "inner circle", Assistant US Attorney Vicki Peters said, wrapping up the prosecution's closing arguments in the trial of Headley's boyhood friend accused of providing material support to Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for the November 2008 terror attack.

Rana, 50, was not "duped" as defence attorneys have suggested, but was working with his friend Headley every step of the way, allowing Headley to use his immigration business as a cover so that Headley could scout sites overseas for fellow terrorists, Peters said.

"He knows exactly who David Headley is and he knows what he's about," she said of Rana, according to Chicago Sun Times.

"... Headley is not trying to keep Rana in the dark. ... Rana was a not a dupe. He was not a fool."

Peters spent more than two hours going over e-mails and conversations Headley had with Rana and members of LeT terror group held responsible for the carnage in Mumbai.

Peters pointed that Headley's cohorts often asked about Rana in e-mails and that Rana forwarded at least one e-mail from charged co-conspirator "Major Iqbal" to Headley.

Also telling was how Rana praised Mumbai attacks' mastermind, Sajid Mir, and the nine Lashkar members who were killed by Indian authorities as the rampage unfolded in Mumbai, Peters was quoted as saying.

In a secretly recorded conversation, Rana compared Mir to revered Islamic general Khalid bin Walid, and said the Lashkar "fighters" should get the Nishan-e-Haider, the highest posthumous Pakistani military honour.

Headley, who has pleaded guilty for his role in the plot, will avoid the death sentence, Peters said. But the FBI has "drained" out information from him that has saved lives, Peters said.

"David Headley is an awful man," she said.

But to carry out deadly plots, "it takes a group of people, not just one man. It takes a lot of planning. ... David Headley didn't do anything alone. He did it with the defendant's help".


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