Chicago man pleads "not guilty" to Mumbai attack plot charges

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a businessman from Chicago, Illinois, pleaded not guilty earlier today of helping to plot the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people with a friend from a Pakistani military school.

Rana, aged 49, has been held in prison since being arrested last October. He was also charged with helping to plot an attack on a Danish newspaper that printed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.

Prosecutors allege that Rana is used his immigration service as a cover for his Pakistani-American friend, David Coleman Headley, to travel to India and Denmark for surveillance, taking pictures and videos of targets. Headley was arrested with Rana.

"We entered our plea of not guilty and we're looking forward to contesting those charges. I am optimistic that we can fight these charges and clear Mr Rana's name," said Rana's defence lawyer, Patrick Blegen. Rana pleaded not guilty to twelve charges pertaining to the attacks and terrorism.