Who is Tahawwur Hussein Rana?

Who is Tahawwur Hussein Rana?
Tahawwur Hussein Rana, who was sentenced by a US court today to a 14-year-imprisonment for helping his childhood friend David Coleman Headley - the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks - is a military doctor-turned businessman, who opened a visa facilitation office in Mumbai for the operation.

50-year-old Rana's case had turned him into a newsmaker as his trial was closely watched for revelations about Pakistan's spy agency ISI's role in the Mumbai attacks. He was convicted in 2011 for providing support to David Headley for the LeT operation as well as for his role in backing a never-carried-out plot to attack a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. He has been, however, acquitted of terrorism charges.

Rana, who was born in Chichawatni in Pakistan's Punjab province, had his education at Cadet College Hasan Abdal, a military residential college, before becoming a citizen of Canada. Headley also went to the same college.

After getting a medical degree, Rana joined the Pakistani army's medical corps. He served in the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and got injured there and recuperated in Germany.

Rana was then posted in the glacier region in Pakistan where he declined to go, following which he was declared a deserter by the army and could not travel to his country again.

Rana and his wife, Samraz, also a doctor, became naturalised Canadians in 2001.

Before his arrest in 2009, he had been living in Chicago running several businesses, including an immigration and travel agency.

Three years earlier, he helped Headley open a branch of the immigration business in Mumbai. It is alleged that the office was set up to scout for possible terrorist targets in the city, which was attacked by LeT terrorists on November 26, 2008.

Headley, who pleaded guilty last year, has already admitted that he had links with both the Lashkar-e-Taiba and ISI.

Story First Published: January 17, 2013 11:51 IST

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