Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Chicagoan Faces Conspiracy Charges in Mumbai Attacks

(CN) - A Chicago man was charged with helping to plan the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 170, the Department of Justice announced Monday. Prosecutors say David Headley conducted surveillance of targets in Mumbai for 2 years before the November 2008 attacks on India's largest city.

Headley was arrested in October and charged with planning to attack the Danish newspaper, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, which published cartoons in 2005 that depicted the Prophet Mohammed and offended many Muslims.

In the new indictment, the Justice Department claims Headley, a U.S. citizen, attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan and conspired to plan the attacks in Denmark and India.

Headley, 49, faces 12 counts, including conspiracy and aiding and abetting. He also faces charges for the murder of the six Americans killed in the Mumbai attacks.

No date has been set for his arraignment.

"This case serves as a reminder that the terrorist threat is global and requires constant vigilance at home and abroad," said Davis Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

Headley changed his name from Daood Gilani in February 2006 in Philadelphia to "present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani," the Justice Department said in a statement.

He later led five surveillance trips to Mumbai, each time taking pictures and making videotapes of various targets, the feds say.

Multiple targets were hit in Mumbai from Nov. 26-28, 2008, including the Taj Mahal, hotels, cafes and a train station.

Also Monday, a criminal complaint was unsealed in Chicago Federal Court accusing Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired major in the Pakistani military, with conspiracy for planning the attack on the newspaper.

Another Chicago man, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Canadian citizen and Pakistan native, was arrested in October on federal charges relating to the plot.

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