‘Rana, Headley were playing for the same team’June 7th, 2011 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS
Chicago, June 7 (IANS) Pakistan-born Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana and his boyhood friend Pakistani American David Coleman Headley “were playing for the same team”, a Chicago court was told Tuesday.
“Rana and Headley were playing for the same team,” Assistant US Attorney Victoria Peters told the jury as closing arguments began in the trial of Rana, who is accused of providing material support to the Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack that claimed 166 lives.
“He knows exactly who Headley is and what he is up to,” said Peters of Headley, aka Daood Gilani, who has pleaded guilty to scouting targets for the Mumbai attack by using the cover of Rana’s immigration business, local WLS-TV reported.
Peters said a taped conversation from September 2009 proves he knew about the terror attack. “You have to use your common sense,” she told jurors.
Rana waived his right to testify. But jurors got to hear from him on videotapes recorded shortly after he was arrested. Rana sat down with FBI agents in October 2009 after waiving his right to remain silent.
Approximately 18 minutes of the nearly six-hour interview were played in court Monday. During the interrogation, Rana mentions the names of suspected terrorists, including Ilyas Kashmiri, who was believed to be Al Qaida’s chief of military operations in Pakistan until he was reportedly killed in a US drone strike.
“And we also know that David has met Ilyas Kashmiri,” an FBI official said to Rana during the recorded interrogation.
“Yes,” Rana said.
“Ilyas Kashmiri is the leader of the Azaad chapter of Harakat-Ul Jihad Islami,” the FBI agent responded.
While Peters argues that “this recording alone proves Rana knew”, Rana’s defence attorneys say there is nothing on the tapes that proves Rana is guilty.
“What did he say? ‘I knew that he talked about those people.’ Did he say, ‘I know about any plots?’ No. Did he say, ‘I know what David Headley was doing?’ No,” Rana’s Attorney Charlie Swift was quoted as saying. “And Doctor Rana wasn’t going to testify any different than that.”
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Tags: boyhood friend, canadian businessman, closing arguments, david coleman, david headley, defence attorneys, fbi agent, fbi official, gilani, harakat, immigration business, jihad islami, jurors, kashmiri, lashkar e taiba, material support, rana, team chicago, terror attack, wls tv