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Federal jury convicts terror suspect, acquits on Mumbai terror attacks

A federal jury on Thursday convicted Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Chicago resident with Canadian citizenship, on two counts of planning to attack a Copenhagen newspaper, but found him not guilty on charges of helping to plan the 2008 Mumbai terror attack [BBC Backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Rana was found guilty of providing material support to a plot against the Danish creator and publishers of controversial cartoons [JURIST news archive] depicting the Prophet Muhammad, and for supporting Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [CFR backgrounder], a terrorist organization. The government called [WSJ report] US citizen and Chicago resident David Headley to testify against Rana. Headley, who pleaded guilty [press release; JURIST report] to 12 counts of federal terrorism stemming from the same Mumbai and Copenhagen terror attacks, testified that Rana supported him in his efforts and allowed Headley to use his business for surveillance purposes. Prosecutors promised not to seek the death penalty against Headley in exchange for his testimony. Rana faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

In February, an Indian appeals court upheld the conviction and death sentence [JURIST report] of Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only surviving gunman from the Mumbai attacks. Kasab, whom India claims participated directly in the Mumbai attacks, said during his trial that he had met Headley while in jail after being arrested. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] charged [press release] Headley and Rana along with two other men roles [JURIST report] in the Mumbai attacks and plot against the Danish Newspaper. Retired Pakistani military officer Abdur Rehman and Ilyas Kashmiri, who is believed to have ties to al Qaeda [JURIST news archive], were 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. Rehman and Kashmiri remain at-large.

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