ibnlive » India

Nov 24, 2009 at 03:36pm IST

Who are David Headley, Tahawwur Rana?

New Delhi: Pakistan-born American national, David Coleman Headley is accused of having links with the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba. He had changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006 to David Coleman Headley.

Headley was arrested in the US last month (October) by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Joint Terrorism Task Force at O'Hare International Airport before boarding a flight to Philadelphia, intending to travel on to Pakistan.

He was held for plotting terror attacks on behalf of the LeT against India and on charges of plotting a terror attack against the facilities and employees of the Danish newspaper which had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.

TRAVELING TO PAKISTAN: The duo was arrested in the US in October by the FBI at the Chicago airport.

Forty-nine-year-old Headley is currently in custody in the US. The probe to figure out Headley's role in planning the Mumbai terror attacks took off after Indian intelligence officials obtained "good leads" from their American counterparts

According to the FBI affidavit filed in a Chicago court, Headley was in close contact with Ilyas Kashmiri and several unidentified leaders of Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Kashmiri is the operational chief of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir section of Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI), a Pakistani-based terrorist organisation with links to al-Qaeda. Kashmiri, who is presently believed to be in Pakistan's restive Waziristan tribal region, issued a statement this month that he was alive and working with al-Qaeda.

Who Is Rana?

Headley's accomplice, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, is a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin and has also been named in the case of the now foiled terror attacks plotted by the Lashkar-e-Toiba. The suspect also goes by the name Tahawar Rana and was a resident of Chicago, US.

Rana is the owner of several businesses, including First World Immigration Services, which has offices on Devon Avenue in Chicago, as well as in New York and Toronto.

Rana reportedly told the FBI during his interrogation that the Lashkar-e-Toiba planned attacks on National Defence College in New Delhi, two high-profile boarding schools in northern India and tourist destinations frequented by foreigners ahead of 26/11 anniversary.

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