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2008 Mumbai terror attacks key conspirator and David Headley aide Tahawwur Rana arrested in America after India requests extradition

Rana was a close aide of David Headley, who is currently in US prison for his involvement in Mumbai terror attack. Headley was also reportedly a close aide of Rahul Bhatt, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's son, and had warned him not to go to South Mumbai on the day of the attacks.

Tahawwur Rana, a former Pakistani military doctor, who is convicted in United States for his involvement in 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, has now been arrested in Los Angeles. The arrest was made after India requested extradition. The Pakistani-born-Canadian is likely to be extradited back to India, where he will face charges for plotting Mumbai terror attacks.

According to the reports, Rana, who has been in US jail for more than 10 years in prison for supporting terrorist groups and plotting Mumbai attacks, faces extradition to India on murder conspiracy charges.

He was earlier convicted of his role in Mumbai terror attacks, but US prosecutors had failed to prove a terrorism charge connecting him directly to the terror attacks. Later, the 59-year-old Rana was serving a 14-year sentence and last week he was granted early release from a Los Angeles federal prison because of poor health and amidst coronavirus scare.

Rana was arrested two days later and now remains in custody in Los Angeles, from where he is likely to be extradited back to India.

Tahawwur Rana plotted Mumbai terrorists along with David Headley

Tahawwur Rana was convicted in Chicago for providing support for the Pakistani terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba – the main conspirator of the Mumbai attacks and also on charges of supporting a possible terror attack against a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.

Terrorist Rana was convicted for a far more serious charge of providing support to the 10 men who carried out the attacks in Mumbai, which killed 166 people, injured nearly 240.

Meanwhile, the lawyers representing Rana said he had been cheated by his high school friend, David Coleman Headley, the terrorist who plotted the Mumbai attacks and also an approver. Headley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder, was sentenced to 35 years in prison. As part of his plea deal, he cannot be extradited to India.

It is believed that Rana had allowed Headley to open a branch of his Chicago-based immigration law business in Mumbai as a cover story and travel as a representative of the company in Denmark. The prosecutors said Rana knew Headley had trained as a terrorist. Headley had also shared information to Rana regarding the scouting missions he conducted in Mumbai and of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, where the terror attack took place.

Headley, who was born in the US to a Pakistani father and American mother, said his hatred of India dated back to his childhood when his school was bombed by Indian military planes during a war between the countries in 1971. Headley was reportedly close associate of Rahul Bhatt, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s son. As per reports, a day prior to the deadly Mumbai attack in 2008, Headley had warned Bhatt and asked him not to go to South Mumbai on 26th November, 2008, the day of the attack.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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