Chicago man pleads not guilty in terror cases
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago businessman accused of leading a double life as an international terrorist pleaded not guilty Monday to playing a role in terrorist attacks that left 166 people dead in the Indian city of Mumbai.
Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 49, a Canadian national born in Pakistan, also pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he helped to lay the groundwork for a terrorist attack on a Danish newspaper.
Rana appeared before Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys in the orange jumpsuit of a federal prisoner and wearing leg irons that rattled when they caught momentarily in the wheel of a courtroom chair.
If convicted, he could get life in prison.
Rana and one of his co-defendants, David Coleman Headley, 49, is charged with helping to lay the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks. Ten terrorists rampaged through the city with guns and explosives in November 2008, leaving a trail of destruction. Nine were eventually shot and killed and the tenth is in custody in India.
Rana, Headley and two other men, retired Pakistani military officer Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed and terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri, are charged in connection with plans for an attack on the Danish newspapers Jyllands Posten. That attack never came off.
The newspaper set off weeks of protests in the Muslim world after publishing a dozen cartoons in 2005 that depicted the Prophet Muhammad. One showed him with a bomb in his turban and many Muslims saw them as disrespectful.
Prosecutors say that the terrorist plans were tied to a Pakistan-based terrorist group, Lashkar e Taiba (Army of the Good) that has been in violent conflict with the government of India over the disputed territory of Kashmir.
Headley, an American citizen who was born in this country but went to school in Pakistan, is due to answer to the charges against him on Wednesday.