WBEZ | Tahawwur Rana http://www.wbez.org/tags/tahawwur-rana Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago man convicted of helping terrorists wants new trial http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-man-convicted-helping-terrorists-wants-new-trial-92226 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-20/AP110523038187.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Chicagoan convicted of helping terrorists plan an attack is asking for a new trial.</p><p>In some new court filings, Tahawwur Rana’s lawyers argue his trial was not fair. They say jurors were confused by the complex nature of the case.</p><p>Earlier this year, Rana spent more than two weeks on trial in a federal courtroom in Chicago. A jury found him guilty on two counts. He was convicted on one count for supporting terrorists, particularly a pro-Pakistan, anti-India organization that the U.S. government classifies as a terrorist group. The other guilty count was for helping his friend plan an attack on a newspaper in Denmark; the paper that published a cartoon of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.</p><p>In the motion for a new trial filed Monday, Rana’s attorneys write that the jury showed confusion when they sent a letter to the judge during deliberations. The letter asked whether two of Rana’s co-defendants who were not on trial were part of a terrorist group.</p><p>“As the jury was confused as to the nature of the involvement of certain principal actors, it stands to reason that they were also confused about the nature of the allegations,” Rana’s attorneys write in their motion.</p><p>The jury acquitted Rana of the most serious charge: supporting the 2008 Mumbai, India attacks in which 164 people were killed.</p><p>Rana could face up to 30 years in prison for his two guilty counts. He has remained in federal custody while awaiting sentencing.</p></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 17:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-man-convicted-helping-terrorists-wants-new-trial-92226 Reaction from Chicago's Pakistani community to Rana trial http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-10/reaction-chicagos-pakistani-community-rana-trial-87699 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/Rana sketch image.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Yesterday, a jury found Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana guilty of providing material support to terrorist organizations and of plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper. He was found not guilty of helping plot the 2008 Mumbai, India attacks that killed at least 164 people.</p><p>Dr. Mujahid Ghazi, a columnist for the <a href="http://www.urdutimes.com/"><em>Urdu Times</em></a> and host of a local radio show, discusses the local Pakistani community’s reaction to the verdict.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 10 Jun 2011 16:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-10/reaction-chicagos-pakistani-community-rana-trial-87699 WBEZ's Tony Arnold discusses the Tahawwur Rana verdict http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-10/wbezs-tony-arnold-discusses-tahawwur-rana-verdict-87684 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/Rana AP Tom 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The jury has delivered a split verdict in the terrorism trial of Tahawwur Rana. On Thursday, a jury found Rana guilty on two counts: aiding a Pakistan-based terrorist group and plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper. But they acquitted the Chicago businessman on the third and most serious: helping to plan the 2008 attacks in Mumbai India, which claimed at least 164 lives.</p><p>WBEZ’s Tony Arnold was there for the verdict and spoke to <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>'s about the decision.</p><p><i>Music Button: Kate Simko, "Strumm," from the Strumm </i><i>EP </i><i>(Kupei Musika)</i></p></p> Fri, 10 Jun 2011 13:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-10/wbezs-tony-arnold-discusses-tahawwur-rana-verdict-87684 Jurors don't explain reasoning behind verdict in terror trial http://www.wbez.org/story/jurors-dont-explain-reasoning-behind-verdict-terror-trial-87678 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/AP110607163612.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A jury has acquitted a Chicago man of helping plan the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India that claimed at least 164 lives. But his attorneys are vowing to fight the two counts on which he was found guilty, including helping a terrorist organization. The split verdict caused some confusion about how the jury reached its decision.</p><p>Tahawwur Rana's jury will remain anonymous. That's pretty rare. After the verdict, jurors weren't seen. They left court through a back way out of the media's eye. They convicted Rana of helping a Pakistan-based terrorist group and of helping plan an attack against a Danish newspaper that never happened. But they acquitted him of the most serious charge: helping his friend plot the Mumbai attacks which rocked India's largest city.</p><p>Rana's defense attorney, Patrick Blegen, didn't have an answer for how the jury reached its conclusions.</p><p>"It's always difficult when you have separate charges that are tried together because you're always worried that something is going to spill over onto another count or that the jury just decided to split the baby in half, as they say," Blegen told reporters after the verdict.</p><p>The not guilty verdict could've been because the defense argued Rana wanted to take a trip to Mumbai with his wife right around the time of the 2008 attacks. Or it could've been because Rana was warned not to go to Mumbai. Defense attorneys asked why would he need to be warned if he were involved in the plot.</p><p>As for the guilty verdicts, maybe the jurors were persuaded by the fake business cards Rana made for his friend, David Headley, so Headley could pretend to put an ad in a Danish newspaper he said he was planning to attack. Or maybe it was the secretly-recorded conversation between Rana and Headley in which the two discussed potential attacks and mentioned Denmark.</p><p>A room was set up for jurors to talk to reporters, but none of the jury members showed up. Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald made it simple: prosecutors failed to prove Rana knew about the Mumbai plot before it happened.</p><p>"I'm not disappointed overall," Fitzgerald said. "I'm disappointed in one charge being an acquittal but very gratified overall because the other two charges were very serious."</p><p>Fitzgerald said investigators prevented one attack from happening: the Danish newspaper attack, but also many more. He said they did that by arresting David Headley, Rana's friend, and flipping him. Headley testified against Rana and told the FBI about dozens of other potential plots.</p><p>"We would be crazy if we would sit around and say, 'You know what? It's all about Mr. Headley. And all we want to do is put him in jail and sit around and let attacks happen,'" Fitzgerald said.</p><p>Rana's defense attorneys say Headley got a sweetheart deal from prosecutors. By testifying against Rana,&nbsp; Headley is avoiding the death penalty and extradition to India. Fitzgerald said Headley's not going anywhere for quite a while and the investigation into these plots is ongoing. That's because six other people were indicted with Rana, but they aren't thought to be in U.S. custody. One of them, Ilyas Kashmiri,&nbsp; was reportedly killed in a drone attack last week, but the U.S. government has not confirmed that.</p><p>As for Rana, he sat expressionless as the judge read the verdicts. His attorney, Charles Swift, said there was more behind that blank face.</p><p>"I think he's in shock," Swift said.</p><p>Swift said an appeal of the two convictions is likely. Rana's other attorney, Patrick Blegen, hinted at the possible strategy. He told reporters the split decision may suggest the verdicts contradict each other. But Patrick Fitzgerald seemed to downplay that angle.</p><p>"Jurors don't have to be entirely consistent, but I don't see an inconsistency here," Fitzgerald said.</p><p>Rana will be sentenced in a few months. Of the two guilty counts, each carries a maximum of 15 years in prison. Defense attorneys and prosecutors will likely argue whether the 50-year-old Rana will serve those 15 years at the same time or back-to-back for a total of 30.</p></p> Fri, 10 Jun 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/jurors-dont-explain-reasoning-behind-verdict-terror-trial-87678 Terror trial draws international media and different angles http://www.wbez.org/story/terror-trial-draws-international-media-and-different-angles-87550 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-07/forweb.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A jury on Wednesday begins to consider the fate of a Chicago businessman accused of helping plot the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.</p><p>The trial of Tahawwur Rana has drawn an unusually diverse sampling of international media outlets to the federal courthouse in downtown Chicago. For some of the reporters, particularly in the Indian news media, the Rana story is the biggest story they’ve ever covered. One journalist says the trial has unexpectedly thrown her into the glare of big Indian media.</p><p>It’s been years since Shalini Parekh jostled for camera real estate. But the media pen at the Dirksen federal courthouse is... cramped, and sometimes you have to <em>remind </em>people to step out of your camera shot.</p><p><strong>PAREKH: Thank&nbsp; you, we’re doing like a quick 2 or 3 minute interview.</strong></p><p><strong>Man: Oh, OK, sure. Sorry.</strong></p><p><strong>PAREKH: Thank you. Appreciate it.</strong></p><p>Parekh files short television pieces on the Rana trial for Times Now.</p><p>It’s a 24-hour, English-language news station in India.</p><p>Parekh is on-air four times a day.</p><p>Sometimes she just gives updates. But sometimes she mixes it up.</p><p><strong>PAREKH: I don’t want to say WBEZ, because nobody knows WBEZ. Should I say NPR, National Public Radio? No...</strong></p><p><strong>TA: There’s a difference between the two. &lt;fade under&gt;</strong></p><p>By interviewing other people... like my WBEZ colleague, Tony Arnold, who’s also covering the trial.</p><p><strong>PAREKH: That would be perfect. We have with us Tony Arnold, a local reporter for Chicago Public Radio… a lot of interesting revelations made in court today, including those with Lockheed Martin...</strong></p><p>Parekh hasn’t been immersed in news like this for twenty years.</p><p>That was in India... but now Parekh lives in Barrington, Illinois, an hour northwest of Chicago.</p><p>She calls herself primarily a homemaker and yoga instructor.</p><p>She’s tried to keep her journalism chops through some community reporting.</p><p>But now she’s in the news groove again -- big time.</p><p>With this trial, Parekh’s become a mainstay on the daily newscasts of one of the biggest news stations in the world’s second most populous country.</p><p>And she’s published about a dozen stories for The Times of India, that country’s largest English-language newspaper.</p><p><strong>PAREKH: </strong><strong>This trial was really incidental in propelling me into this centerstage that I never anticipated that I was going to be in.</strong></p><p>And there was another thing that surprised Parekh.</p><p>She had never written for newspapers before, but after giving it a go, she discovered she has a unique viewpoint on the trial.</p><p><strong>PAREKH: There has to be some sort of understanding of the cultural nuance.</strong></p><p>Parekh says her print stories are longer and allow her to give more context.</p><p>She’s particularly interested in the cultural clashes inherent in the trial.</p><p>For example, she says western jurors don’t understand some aspects of South Asian culture, such as friendships:</p><p><strong>PAREKH: </strong><strong>In the east there is such a thing where salt is thicker than blood. In the west, blood is thicker than water. In some ways, salt is thicker than blood because if you eat together, you share salt,&nbsp; you have a bond that cannot be explained away. And Rana, in my understanding, really took bond to the next level, of course to his detriment.</strong></p><p>Parekh says that commitment to friendship may have led the defendant, Rana, straight into the crosshairs of US law enforcement.</p><p>Federal prosecutors used Rana’s one-time friend -- and admitted terrorist -- David Headley -- to implicate Rana in the Mumbai attacks and other plots.</p><p>On the flipside, Parekh says she has to explain American legal process and culture to Indian audiences, too.</p><p><strong>PAREKH: We wonder what a jury is doing, or why is there a plea bargain, or why is there a jury selection process. These are all in stark contrast to what happens back home.</strong></p><p>Parekh says the daily workload -- of television updates and print news writing -- has been tough.</p><p>But she’s also found it rewarding.</p><p><strong>PAREKH: I’m watched by my relatives in India who call me and tell me that I’m on TV all the time, so that is exciting. But I think personally it has been more gratifying for me to unfold as a writer.</strong></p><p>Parekh says she’s learned that maybe she’s been a closet writer after all...</p><p>Odette Yousef, WBEZ.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 01:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/terror-trial-draws-international-media-and-different-angles-87550 Family of accused terrorist defends his innocence as jury debates his fate http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-08/family-accused-terrorist-defends-his-innocence-jury-debates-his-fate-875 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-08/IMAG0502.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The wife and daughter of Tahawwur Rana, who is on trial for helping in the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, that killed 160, are adamant that their loved one is innocent of all charges against him.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m pretty confident in my husband, and I&rsquo;m fully confident in&hellip; the jury, and my lawyers and of course God,&rdquo; said Samraz Rana, wife of Tahawwur Rana.</p><p>Admitted terrorist David Headley, who has pleaded guilty to aiding in the attack, testified against Rana saying he had also helped in the plot. But Samraz said Headley can&rsquo;t be trusted.</p><p>&ldquo;It was not the first time he fooled my husband,&quot; Rana said about Headley. &ldquo;He has not fooled only my husband but so many people, even his own wife. People who have been attached to him -- he fooled all of them.&rdquo;</p><p>Email correspondence between Headley and Rana, that was communicated in code, is among the evidence that has been brought against Rana. But Tahawwur&rsquo;s daughter Manaal Rana said that these emails do not prove her father&rsquo;s guilt.</p><p>&ldquo;[Headley] was trying to hide his multiple wives from my mother&hellip; he created another email to hide that fact, but he never actually used it to conspire or anything,&rdquo; Manaal said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think he actually used it at all. He made an email and now they&rsquo;re attacking him for that.&rdquo;</p><p>Neither Samraz or her daughter Manaal feel that Tahawwur has been treated fairly in his two years in jail awaiting trial.</p><p>&ldquo;He was put into solitary confinement, which I think is torture,&rdquo; Manaal said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s fair for a person who is innocent until proven guilty to have to go through all of that.&rdquo;</p><p>Rana is charged with one count of providing material support for the Mumbai attacks, one count of also providing material support in a Denmark terrorism plot, and one count of providing material support to Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which planned and executed the Mumbai attack.</p></p> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 16:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-08/family-accused-terrorist-defends-his-innocence-jury-debates-his-fate-875 Rana trial update http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-08/rana-trial-update-87581 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-08/79923992.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Attorneys delivered their closing arguments yesterday in Chicago’s most significant terrorism trial to date. Federal authorities accuse Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana of aiding his longtime friend and admitted terrorist, David Headley, in the plotting of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Rana’s also accused of helping Headley plot an attack on a Danish newspaper that was never carried out.</p><p>The trial, in which Headley testified at length against his old friend, has spanned three weeks. The jury began deliberating this morning.</p><p>WBEZ’s Tony Arnold, who’s been following the Rana trial, reviews the key arguments for both sides.</p></p> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 15:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-08/rana-trial-update-87581 Jury begins deliberations in Chicago terrorism case http://www.wbez.org/story/jury-begins-deliberations-chicago-terrorism-case-87549 <p><p>Jurors are scheduled to begin deliberating Wednesday in the trial of a Chicago man accused of helping terrorists.</p><p>When the jurors start deliberating, they'll be asking what Tahawwur Rana knew. Did he know he was supporting a terrorist group in Pakistan? And did he know his Devon Avenue immigration company was being used as cover to help terrorists do reconnaissance work in Mumbai, India and Copenhagen, Denmark to plan attacks?</p><p>A lot of the trial hinged on the testimony of David Headley, who admitted to doing that recon work and testified against Rana. But he has a sketchy past that Rana's defense exploited. Prosecutor Dan Collins told jurors that, even without Headley's testimony, Rana's emails and conversations with Headley showed he knew what was up.</p><p>Rana's attorney, Charles Swift, told reporters otherwise.</p><p>"The emails show exactly what was going on," Swift said. "It shows that Dr. Rana was systematically cut out of any information that might be criminal."</p><p>Swift said Headley duped Rana for 30 years, using him for money and help with immigration papers without cluing Rana in on what he was up to.</p></p> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/jury-begins-deliberations-chicago-terrorism-case-87549 Rana's defense claims no knowledge of Mumbai plot http://www.wbez.org/story/ranas-defense-claims-no-knowledge-mumbai-plot-87484 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-20/Tahawwur-Rana_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Defense attorneys for a Chicago businessman charged in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks say the government's star witness is a "lifelong manipulator."</p><p>Attorneys for Tahawwur Rana say their client had no knowledge of the plot on India's largest city and a separate plot that was never carried out in Denmark.</p><p>In closing arguments on Tuesday, defense attorney Patrick Blegen says if Rana knew about the Mumbai plot he would not have traveled to the city with his wife during the same month to look after a branch of his immigration business that was located there.</p><p>Rana is accused of providing cover for his longtime friend and admitted terrorist David Coleman Headley, who has pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the attacks. Rana has pleaded not guilty.</p></p> Tue, 07 Jun 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/ranas-defense-claims-no-knowledge-mumbai-plot-87484 Rana defense rests after calling two witnesses http://www.wbez.org/story/rana-defense-rests-after-calling-two-witnesses-87416 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-17/P1000808.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Tahawwur Rana told federal judge Harry Leinenweber he did not want to testify in his defense.&nbsp; And with that – the jury was dismissed for the day. They will return on Tuesday for closing arguments.&nbsp;</p><p>Rana, a Pakistani-born, Canadian citizen who was living in Chicago, is accused of helping plan the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India .</p><p>The key witness in the case has been David Headley, who testified Rana used his immigration company to help Headley travel to Denmark and India to plan attacks. Rana's defense attorneys say Headley believed in a branch of Islam known for taking violent action and recruited his friends and family, but failed to recruit Rana.</p><p>Headley agreed to plead guilty and testify against Rana to avoid the death penalty.</p><p>Rana and Headley are both implicated in the 2008 Mumbai, India terrorist attacks in which 164 people were killed. Rana also faces charges for helping terrorist organizations and plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper that was never carried out.</p><p>Prosecutors rested their case after playing videos of Rana being interrogated by the FBI. Rana talked about a terrorism group his former friend belonged to.&nbsp;</p><p>Defense attorneys called two witnesses, which took less than 90 minutes: a former consultant that worked with Rana and a computer expert who testified that Rana didn’t do much Internet surfing for Denmark or Mumbai.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 06 Jun 2011 10:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/rana-defense-rests-after-calling-two-witnesses-87416