U.S. Citizen Charged With Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

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Washington—A Chicago resident and United States citizen has been charged in the terrorist attacks that took place in Mumbai, India last November.

According to the Justice Department, David Headley, 49, helped to plan the attacks which resulted in the deaths of 160 people, including six Americans. Headley allegedly attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan, and was involved with the foreign terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.

Headley, who was born in Washington, DC, is already charged with allegedly planning to attack a Danish newspaper. According to a source close to the investigation, when Headley was arrested on October 3, he was en route back to India in order to plan a second attack.

The Justice Department said that Headley was charged in Chicago on six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of U.S. citizens in India, and six counts of conspiracy to bomb locations in India and to murder and main persons in India and Denmark.

Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, which has been variously translated as Army of the Good, Army of the Pure, and Army of the Righteous, is a large and very active Islamist military organization based in South Asia. Several countries, including the United States, India, Pakistan, the UK and others have banned the group as a terrorist organization. Its objective, according to its websites and journals, is to destroy the Indian republic and wipe out Hinduism and Judaism as the “enemies of Islam.” Additionally, it aims to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia, as well as to “liberate” Muslims who live in Kashmir.

The organization has been active since 1993, when it was formed as the military wing of Markas-ad-Dawa-wal-Irshad, a Pakistani Islamist organization. There has been widespread speculation that Lashkar-e-Tayyiba was also behind the July 11 bombings that took place on Mumbai’s commuter railroad. A spokesperson for the group, however, has denied involvement in that attack.

After the attacks on Mumbai, an international investigation revealed a total of over 300 locations which Lashkar-e-Tayyiba had targeted for attack.

Headley, who remains in federal custody with his arraignment not yet scheduled, is cooperating with authorities investigating both terror plots, according to attorneys who are involved with the case.

Also charged with conspiracy in planning to attack the Danish newspaper was Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired major in the Pakistani military, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Pakistani native and Canadian citizen who lives in Chicago.

 

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