Ex-army doctor convicted of providing support to Lashkar-e-Taiba

Published: January 18, 2013

A courtroom artist's sketch shows Tahawwur Rana (L) looking on with his lawyer Patrick Blegen during a sentencing hearing in federal court in Chicago, Illinois January 17, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: A Chicago judge on Thursday handed Tahawwur Rana a 14 year jail term for providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba and for conspiring to provide material support for a plot involving attacks on the office of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The sentencing was announced by US District Judge Henry Leinenweber, and includes an additional five years of supervised release.

A jury had convicted Rana, a friend of David Coleman Headley who has pleaded guilty to plotting the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, in June 2011.

Rana had previously been acquitted of providing support to the Mumbai attacks’ plot.

According to a statement issued by the US Attorney’s office in Chicago, the judge said, “This certainly was a dastardly plot.”

The statement held that Rana had been convicted of conspiracy to “provide material support to a plot from October 2008 to October 2009 to commit murder in Denmark, including a horrific plan to behead employees of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, and throw their heads on to the street in Copenhagen, as well as providing material support, from late 2005 to October 2009, to Lashkar, a militant jihadist organisation operating in Pakistan.”

The Assistant Attorney General for National Security Lisa Monaco said in the statement that “as established at trial, Tahawwur Rana provided critical support to David Headley and other terrorists from his base in the United States, knowing they were plotting attacks overseas.”

Rana, who was childhood friends with Headley and attended the Hasan Abdal cadet college with him, moved to Canada after refusing to go back to duty as a doctor for the Pakistan Army, following which, he settled in Chicago with his family. Throughout the trial, Rana’s wife and daughter attended the hearings, and heard as Rana was accused of, amongst other things, comparing Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Sajid Mir to Khalid Bin Waleed, and calling the 26/11 attacks “tactically brilliant.” Rana, who ran an immigration office in Chicago, was arrested in October 2009 along with David Headley.

The statement said that Rana had admitted to knowing that LeT was a terrorist organisation, and that David Headley had attended LeT’s training camps in Pakistan.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Basit
    Jan 18, 2013 - 2:15AM

    Army Medical Corp attract a lot of people not fit to be true soldiers as you can get short service commission bypassing PMA. Another one was a medic behind GHQ attack now in custody.

    That is one reason AMC is looked down by many in army.

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  • Syed Nasir Mehdi
    Jan 18, 2013 - 3:45AM

    We hope that our police, Courts and witnesses will not fear from these lashkars,talibans and so called jehadists without fear to save Pakistan.Also our President, PM and other ministers and political heads will must go deep in Baluchistan and Waziristan. The religious party heads and great Mullas be brought in front of TV program to declare killings against Holy Koran and Sunnah.

    I tried to take part in your survey which you have made complicated.

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  • Atheist
    Jan 18, 2013 - 4:21AM

    Well..Pakistanis say another conspiracy by the USA..:P

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  • Raja
    Jan 18, 2013 - 4:56AM

    Turn of Hafiz Saeed is not too far. Sooner or later he too will have to pay for his crimes.

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  • Babloo
    Jan 18, 2013 - 6:03AM

    So what is the Pakistani response to another of their ex-nationals and ex-army man convicted by a US court for conspiring with LeT terrorists ?

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  • Pragmatist
    Jan 18, 2013 - 6:35AM

    There is a drone somewhere with the letters “HS” imprinted on it.

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  • John B
    Jan 18, 2013 - 6:51AM

    Welcome to the USA! Have a pleasant stay.

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  • Feroz
    Jan 18, 2013 - 7:40AM

    Pakistan is barking up the wrong tree when saying poverty and lack of education creates terrorists. It is a hate based upbringing that does, seeing the background of most of these individuals.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Jan 18, 2013 - 5:24PM

    The trial of Dr. Rana appears to have been contrived and controlled by US intelligence with Dr. Rana possibly being set up as number one patsy. Conveniently, Mr. David Headley, his childhood friend who, it is said worked for US DEA, master minded the 26/11 Mumbai attack and agreed to a plea bargain in return for lenient treatment. We will know better on January 24 what Mr. Headley’s punishment will be, but in return for telling lies about his ex-friends he will escape the death sentence and will not be sent to India. Apparently, the best major point US Assistant Attorney General, Liza Monaco, could come up with, about Dr. Rana, was that he knew that LeT was a terrorist organization, and that Mr. David Headley had attended LeT training sessions. She forgot to mention in court that Dr. Rana is not Robinson Crusoe in this regard. I would make a rough guess that some five hundred million people in Pakistan/India alone know what LeT is all about and they also would know many people who are involved with LeT. Do we all go to trial over this? Further, India quite rightly, made a big fuss over executing Ajmal Kesab for the 2008 Mumbai attack, but was very quiet over Mr. David Headley, a US operative, whom it now appears was the master mind behind 26/11. It is starting to look, with a reasonable degree of certainty, that there has been a US/Indian intelligence cover-up, possibly through embarrassment, and one can only guess what caused the Indian media reporting lapse.

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  • Insaan
    Jan 26, 2013 - 1:11AM

    Mr Rana helped 10 Pakistani terrorists attack and kill 162 people from 12 different countries in Bombay on 26/11. I hope Mr Rana enjoys his stay in US prison.

    FBI should investigate his business and personal connections with other Muslims. He probably belongs to a sleeper cell meant to go in action on demand.

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