Rana Terror Trial Hinges on Headley

Prosecutors claim Tahawwur Rana knew of Headley's plans to scout targets for deadly attacks on Mumbai

By Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Monday, May 23, 2011  |  Updated 12:17 PM CDT
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Rana Terror Trial Hinges on Headley

AP

In this Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 file courtroom sketch, Chicago terrorism suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana appears before federal Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan, in Chicago. Federal prosecutors say Rana knew in advance about the deadly Mumbai terror attacks and offered congratulations to the killers.

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It is obvious from opening arguments that the case against Tahawwur Rana and his defense will hinge on the Chicago businessman's boyhood friend and convicted drug dealer David Headley.

Headley already has pleaded guilty to scouting the targets for the deadly attacks on Mumbai, India, and a planned attack on a Danish newspaper. He is cooperating with the government and may talk about allegations that the government of Pakistan knew, or possibly even helped plan, the attack.

"Rana not only knew what Headley was doing, but he approved it and helped him," prosecutor Sarah Streicher told the jury Monday.

The government alleges that Rana let Headley use his business as a cover for his activities in India and Denmark. But the defense claims Rana was indebted to Headley because of a $100,000 business loan.

"David Headley is a master manipulator who made a fool of Dr. Rana," said defense attorney Charles Smith.

Rana has pleaded not guilty.
 

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