Businessman Tahawwur Rana and his associate
David Coleman Headley already had been charged with assistance to terrorism but
the 12-count indictment expanded allegations against Rana to include the Mumbai attacks. Both are in federal custody in .
Retired Pakistani military officer Abdur
Rehman Hashim Syed and reputed terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri — described as
having been in regular contact with al-Qaida's No. 3, Sheikh Mustafa Abu
al-Yazid — also were charged in the new indictment.
Abdur Rehman and Kashmiri are accused of
being involved with the plans to attack the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten,
which in 2005 printed 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that sparked
outrage in the Muslim world.
Officials say the defendants were linked to
the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, translated as Army of the Pure,
which has long been involved in violent conflict with over the disputed
territory. The Indian government has blamed the group for the Mumbai attacks and the government has designated it as
a foreign terrorist organization.
Headley, 49, formerly named Daood Gilani, is
the son of a Pakistani father and an American mother. He has authorized the
government to disclose that he is cooperating in the investigation, prosecutors
said. His attorney, John Theis, declined to comment Thursday.
Rana, 49, is a Pakistan-born Canadian
national who has based his First World Immigration Service company and other
businesses in for more than a dozen years. A message seeking comment was left
for his attorney, Patrick Blegen. Blegen has called Rana a legitimate
businessman who was duped by Headley and denies the charges against him.
Kashmiri has been described as a leader of
the terrorist group Harakat-ul Jihad Islami. The indictment marks the first
appearance in the case for al-Yazid, described as a leader of al-Qaida's
activities in .
The indictment alleges Headley attended
terrorism training camps run by Lashkar in in 2002 and 2003. He is accused of
conducting surveillance of Mumbai targets in
five trips over two years preceding the 2008 attacks.
Headley received approval from Rana in June
2006 to open a Mumbai branch of First World
Immigration Service as a cover for his surveillance activities, according to
the indictment. It said Rana directed a
employee to prepare documents supporting the story and showed Headley how to
get a visa for travel to .
The indictment said Headley photographed and
videotaped potential targets, including the Taj Mahal Hotel and other sites
later attacked with firearms, grenades and improvised explosive devices by 10
terrorists who stormed through the city, killing dozens and wounding hundreds
more, including Americans.
Two men were indicted Thursday on charges
they planned a violent attack on a Danish newspaper and helped lay the
groundwork for the November 2008 terrorist rampage killed 166 people in the
Indian city of .
Headley also is accused of
conducting surveillance at Jyllands Posten newspaper offices in the Danish
cities of and Aahus. Rana allegedly sent a January 2009 e-mail to the newspaper
pretending to be interested in placing an ad for , the indictment said.
The following month, Abdur Rehman allegedly
took Headley to meet with Kashmiri in the
region of . Kashmiri reviewed Headley's surveillance and suggested using a
truck bomb on the paper, according to the indictment.
That May, Kashmiri told Headley to meet with
unnamed contacts in who would provide money, weapons and manpower for the
attack, the indictment said. But Headley was arrested while the plans still
were under way, it said.
Headley is charged with 12 counts. Six charge
a conspiracy to murder and maim people in and provide material support to a
foreign terrorist organization. The maximum punishment is the death penalty.
Rana is charged with three counts of
providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, with a maximum
sentence of life in prison.
Kashmiri and Abdur Rehman are charged with
conspiracy to murder and maim people. They would face a possible death penalty
if they were to be brought to trial and convicted.