US shares proof of Tahawwur Rana-LeT link

US shares proof of Tahawwur Rana-LeT link
New Delhi The US has handed over voluminous documents to India related to Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who is accused of offering support to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, and his confessional statements that will help National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file a charge sheet against him.

The documents, which include evidence collected by US authorities, tapped conversation between Rana and another 26/11 conspirator David Headley, phone records, personal diaries, intercepted email and others, were sent by the US Department of Justice.

Sources said the NIA was examining the documents and finding grounds to file a charge sheet against Rana, who was running an immigration consultancy firm and let Headley use his business as a cover for two terror plots, including the Mumbai attack.

When the charge sheet will be filed, the NIA is likely to press for the court's permission for extradition of Rana as he would be required in India during the trial.

However, sources said, India has no plan to seek access of Rana in the United States.

Last month, during the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue in New Delhi, American Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute had conveyed to Union Home Secretary R K Singh that the US would cooperate in India's trial against Rana.

The documents received under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty from the US also include Rana's activities in India during his multiple visits.

It is immediately not clear how much information has been shared by the US about Rana and Headley's links with Pakistan's government machinery and militant groups working against India.

The US government has submitted before a Chicago court, where Rana was tried, that he was running an immigration consultancy firm and let Headley use his business as a cover for two terror plots, including the Mumbai attack.

The US prosecutors said it has been proved beyond doubt that Rana was involved in these attacks.

"Rana provided material support to terrorists for attacks in India. There is no dispute that there was a conspiracy to bomb and kill in India. It is crystal clear that Headley along with Sajid Mir and Pasha (or Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired major of the Pakistani Army) planned and executed the Mumbai terror attacks," the US prosecutors had said.

Rana knew that Lashkar was a terrorist organisation and had agreed to provide material support for terror attacks in India. "The evidence in this case is overwhelming," the US Attorney had said during the trial of Rana.

The US court, however, acquitted Rana of the charges of plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks but held him guilty of supporting Pakistan-based terror group LeT and planning a terror strike in Denmark.
Story First Published: August 08, 2011 21:27 IST

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