Tahawwur Rana's conviction sets the clock ticking on ISI

Discussion in 'China' started by SHASH2K2, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    May 10, 2010
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    Bihar, BanGalore , India

    NEW DELHI: The conviction of Tahawwur Rana by a federal jury in Chicago for providing material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is a blow to Pakistan's support to the terror group. This could have implications for the outcome of another 26/11 case in New York where the ISI has been directly charged.

    The other case pertains to a lawsuit filed in New York by family members of some of the 26/11 victims saying that ISI be declared a terror organization. Indian officials have said they might consider becoming a party to the lawsuit to help the petitioners achieve this. With these cases, LeT is getting squeezed internationally. By being one of ISI's prized assets, the spy agency too is getting squeezed.

    Official sources here believe this might help India's case that Pakistan should expedite the trial of the seven 26/11 accused currently in Pakistani custody. But Pakistan government is not yet ready to give up on its LeT connections. Rana still faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and will remain in federal custody without bond.

    Rana's conviction on grounds of collusion with LeT, sources here feel, is more significant than his acquittal on the charge of aiding 26/11 attacks. It's a precedent that can be used against other "supporters" of LeT, even if their fingerprints are not actually in an attack. Certainly, this precedent would help in the conviction of those who helped Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber. "It's a blow to LeT," said a source.

    Rana's acquittal of conspiracy to provide material support to the 26/11 attacks was expected because there was little evidence. But the fact remains that he provided cover to David Headley knowing full well that his mission was to work for the LeT/ISI combine to plan terror attacks in India. That's the basis for his conviction.

    According to Rana's own testimony during the trial, he had even spoken to Major Iqbal of the ISI who appears to have been a key planner of the attacks. Rana's conviction also involved participating in a conspiracy involving a terrorism plot against a Danish newspaper.

    "Today's verdict demonstrates our commitment to hold accountable not only terrorist operatives, but also those who facilitate their activities. As established at trial, Tahawwur Rana provided valuable cover and support to David Headley, knowing that Headley and others were plotting terror attacks overseas," said Todd Hinnen, acting assistant attorney general for national security.

    "The effort to combat terrorism and bring justice to the victims is a global effort, requiring the cooperation and collaboration of many countries and many people," said Robert D Grant, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago office of FBI. The Indian government recently authorised its consulate in Chicago to depute an official to testify in the case, which is unusual in itself, because India famously tries to stay clear of cases in foreign countries. But India's acquiescence is proof of how important the government considers this case.

    According to a US statement, Rana is the second defendant to be convicted among a total of eight co-defendants who have been indicted in this case since late 2009. David Coleman Headley, 50, pleaded guilty in March 2010 to all 12 counts against him, including aiding and abetting the murders of the six US victims.

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