Saturday, February 18, 2012

Update: India to Charge US Terrorist, Eight Others for 2008 Mumbai Attacks

Earlier today (February 18) a New Delhi court agreed to try admitted US-Pakistani terrorist David Headley and eight others for allegedly carrying out the deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

Interestingly, the court's decision may lead to the extradition of Headley,
where he is serving in prison, after confessing to planning the three-day-long terrorist operation.

Unfortunately, Headley's plea agreement with US prosecutors contains language that Headley would not be extradited abroad if he served as a witness for the prosecution in the 2011 trial against Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana, a boyhood friend. ge grew up with in Pakistan.

Rana was subsequently convicted of supporting the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group and an attack on a Danish newspaper, with the provision that he would not be charged for his role in the Mumbai attack.

COMMENT: India contends that Headley, Rana and several others, including two alleged members of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), of complicity in the Mumbai attacks that claimed the lives of 168. Consequently, a judge has ordered nine suspects, including Headley, to appear in court on March 13 and issued arrest warrants for those not in custody.

Unfortunately, Rana was not found guilty of his role in Mumbai, for which he was originally arrested. Rather, he and Headley were both tried in Chicago on May 23, 2011, for their roles in the planned and aborted operation to blow up a Danish newspaper, "Jyllands-Posten," although Rana was acquitted of being involved in the Mumbai attacks. Nevertheless, both defendants are facing serious prison time.

The dilemma for the US is how to cooperate with India's imminent extradition request of Headley, even though Headley maneuvered himself out of being charged with Mumbai, for his testimony against Rana. A funny thing, though, about terrorists and criminals, integrity means very little when it comes to saving your skin.

Be rest assured that I'll keep our readers abreast of new developments in this matter.

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