In urging a federal judge to detain terrorism suspect Tahawwur Hussain Rana, new details have emerged surrounding Rana's role and knowledge of the deadly Mumbai terrorist attacks last year. Rana is charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists in connection with those attacks.
A motion filed by federal prosecutors in Chicago rebuts Rana's claims of non-violence and reveals his support for the Lashkar-e-Taiba attacks which took the lives of 170 people. In fact, portions of recordings released by the government demonstrate not only that Rana offered compliments and congratulations to those who carried out the attacks, but that he knew of the planned massacre in advance.
On September 7, 2009, Rana and a co-conspirator, David Headley discussed the Mumbai attacks. Headley is accused of helping scout the terrorists' targets. From the recording:
Headley: When Pashma met you in Dubai [and] told you this was about to happen—this one, after that when you landed in America, how did you find out about it?
Rana: I was in the air.
Headley: How did you find out about it in the air –
Headley: - was it coming in writing there.
Rana: I was in the air and [ui] I went to –
Rana: I went from Dubai to China – was supposed to board the plane for America – this has started
Headley: In Mumbai, yea
According to prosecutors, this conversation demonstrates that Rana had prior knowledge of the Mumbai attacks.
In addition, moments before the discussion about Rana's advance knowledge of the attacks, he was heard on the tape praising the terrorists responsible for the massacre. After Headley confirmed he had been in contact with the LeT member who undertook the attack, Rana stated "pass along a message for me," and continued that "in the world, if there had been…a medal for command, top class."