Jury selection to begin in terrorism trial of Chicago man

May 16, 2011

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Jury selection gets under way Monday in the trial of a Chicago man accused of helping plan terrorist attacks in India and Denmark.

Federal prosecutors say Tahawwur Rana ran an immigration services company on Devon Avenue on Chicago's far North Side. Prosecutors allege that business posed as a front to help another Chicagoan named David Coleman Headley scope out targets in India. They say Headley's surveillance work led to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India that killed more than 160 people, including six Americans.

Prosecutors also allege Rana and Headley helped plan an attack on a newspaper in Denmark that printed an editorial cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

Since their arrests, Headley has pleaded guilty, and he's now expected to be a key witness in the trial against Rana. Some details of the case against Rana have been kept sealed, unavailable for the public to view. Even Rana's defense attorneys can't see some documents prosecutors are using against him.

The trial is expected to last a month, with opening arguments scheduled to begin next week.