The “Mickey Mouse Project” had nothing to do with fun.
The mousy appelation was the code name for an alleged terrorist plan devised by two Chicago buddies targeting Western European sites and people.
David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana are now facing federal criminal charges for their alleged roles in conspiracies to provide material support terrorists overseas and/or commit terrorist acts.
Officials said the Chicago area doesn’t face any imminent danger, but added that the investigation is continuing under the supervision of the Chicago FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The “Mickey Mouse Project,” also referred to as “mmp” or “the northern project,” allegedly involved planning one or more attacks at facilities and employees of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. The paper was at the center of a controversy in 2005, when it published a series of cartoons some Muslims considered anti-Islam.
According to initial reports, the two men studied together at a military school in the Pakistani town of Hasan Abdal.
If convicted, Headley, a U.S. citizen who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for conspiracy to murder or maim persons abroad.
Headley was arrested on Oct. 3 at O’Hare International Airport, just prior to boarding a plane for Philadelphia, en route to Pakistan.
In his checked luggage, officials found documental material on the offices of the Jyllands Posten in Denmark, a guide to Copenhagen and a list of phone numbers, some of which linked to suspected terrorists in Pakistan.
Headley was financially supported by Rana, a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origins.
Rana was arrested on Oct. 18, the same day FBI agents raided a goat meat-processing plant he owned in Grundy County. He now faces up to 15 years in conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism.