Local Terrorist's Visa Biz Hasn't Been Shuttered

Hussain Rana runs a visa biz in Little India that helped David Headley get to Mumbai

By Steve Bryant
|  Tuesday, Dec 22, 2009  |  Updated 10:05 AM CDT
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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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The visa procurement service run by one of the men accused of planning to attack several Danish newspapers -- and allegedly used by his accomplice to help plan the Mumbai attacks -- is still in operation in Chicago's "Little India" neighborhood.

But why?

The federal government hasn't moved to restrict the operations of Tahawwur Hussain Rana's First World Immigration on Devon Avenue, which specializes in procuring visas for south Asian immigrants, according to The Daily Beast.

First World was used, the FBI alleges, to provide David Coleman Headley with cover while traveling through India and Europe to scout for targets for the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The FBI says Headley also used business cards from First World Immigration to gain entry to Jyllands-Posten, the Copenhagen newspaper he allegedly planned to attack. Headley said he was interested in placing an advertisement.

Despite the firm's alleged ties to terror, the Justice Department says there is value in allowing Rana's business to continue operating, as it allows them to monitor its clients for possible terrorist ties.

“If you shut it down, those people are lost to the wind,” the spokesman said to The Daily Beast.

First World Immigration did not return calls from NBCChicago.com for comment.

While his business continues as normal, Rana is being held without bail in Chicago.

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