In a relief to the families of victims of the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks, a Judge at the US District Court Central District of California has granted a request from the Indian Government to extradite Tahawwur Rana. He is a known associate of David Headley and, possibly, one of the masterminds behind the devastating attacks that claimed the lives of 166 people and injured over 300.
But who exactly is Tahawwur Rana and what was his role in the 26/11 attacks? Let us find out below.
Who is Tahawwur Rana?
A friend of David Headley since childhood, he studied together with Headley for five years at the Hasan Abdal Cadet School in Pakistan.
Eventually became a doctor in the Pakistani Army before moving to Canada and gaining citizenship.
Through the Mumbai branch of Rana’s Chicago-based consultancy firm, First World Immigration Services, Headley was able to conduct surveillance and identify all the potential targets for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Resulted in Mumbai being besieged by the 10 LeT terrorists for three days starting November 26, 2008 and major landmarks like the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Taj hotel, Leopold Cafe, and more; to be attacked.
The US Government argued that Rana was aware of Headley’s involvement with LeT and his provision of a cover identity to the latter made him an accomplice in the attacks.
Arrested in the US in 2009 soon after Headley’s arrest in the same year.
Sentenced to 14 years in prison following Headley’s testimony.
India’s Extradition Request
In 2020, per Rana’s impending release from prison for health reasons, the Indian Government pushed forward its extradition request on a 2011 National Investigation Agency (NIA) chargesheet that named Rana as one of 9 people accused in the 26/11 attacks. Fresh warrants were also issued in 2014 by the Delhi Sessions Court against the accused.
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