WBEZ | Mumbai attacks http://www.wbez.org/tags/mumbai-attacks Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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 Admitted terrorist says he feels no pride for Mumbai attacks http://www.wbez.org/story/admitted-terrorist-says-he-feels-no-pride-mumbai-attacks-87102 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-26/mumbai.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>An admitted terrorist told a Chicago jury he's not proud of his role in planning the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India that killed more than 160 people.</p><p>David Headley is to the point in his testimony where he's being cross-examined by defense attorneys for Tahawwur Rana. Rana is a Chicagoan who is accused of helping Headley plan the Mumbai attacks.</p><p>Rana's attorney, Patrick Blegen, asked Headley Thursday how he felt about killing innocent people. Headley said he's OK with it if it's in retaliation. Later in his testimony, Headley said he's no longer proud of his role in the attacks.</p><p>Blegen framed that questioning around a long car ride Headley and Rana took together in 2009 that was secretly recorded by the feds. Blegen painted the mood as jovial. The two were singing a song about love and romance from a childhood movie they both liked and they laughed at ideas of more attacks that Headley said weren't realistic, like against India's film industry.</p><p>Prosecutors portrayed the same conversation as a much darker moment, foreshadowing more terrorist plots still to come.</p></p> Fri, 27 May 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/admitted-terrorist-says-he-feels-no-pride-mumbai-attacks-87102 David Coleman Headley: Terrorist and star witness http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-25/david-coleman-headley-terrorist-and-star-witness-87008 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-25/David Coleman Headley AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>David Coleman Headley will return to a Chicago courtroom on Wednesday. His testimony is turning out to be the star attraction at the trial of Chicagoan Tahawwur Rana.</p><p>Rana is charged with helping Headley plan terrorist attacks and Headley also alleges other critical connections between Pakistani intelligence and terrorist groups for example. But Headley’s own character has been called into question.</p><p>To learn more about Headley’s actions both in and out of the courtroom, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to Robert Wildeboer, who is covering the trial for WBEZ and <a href="http://www.carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&amp;expert_id=528" target="_blank">Stephen Tankel</a>, author of the forthcoming book <a href="http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-70152-5/storming-the-world-stage" target="_blank"><em>Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba</em></a>.</p><p><em>Music&nbsp; Button: Wadada Leo Smith's Organic, "Don Cherry's Electric Sonic Garden", from the CD Heart's Reflections, (Cuneiform)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 25 May 2011 13:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-25/david-coleman-headley-terrorist-and-star-witness-87008 Pakistani government rejects Headley claims http://www.wbez.org/story/pakistani-government-rejects-headley-claims-86972 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-24/AP110523038252.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Pakistani government is questioning the credibility of a key witness in a terrorism trial in Chicago. David Coleman Headley is testifying that his friend Tahawwur Rana provided material support for the 2008 Mumbai, India attacks. The attacks left more than 160 people dead.</p><p>Headley admits he went to Mumbai to scout locations before the 2008 attacks. He says he got logistical help from members of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, and Navy.</p><p>Headley says he got his orders from a member of Pakistan’s Intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.</p><p>Headley says the man’s name is Major Iqbal. Major Iqbal is listed as a co-defendant in the indictment against Rana, but he’s not in American custody.</p><p>And according to the Pakistani embassy in Washington D.C., Major Iqbal doesn’t even exist.</p><p>A spokesman there says that either Headley is lying about Major Iqbal, or he was lied to by a man pretending to be a Pakistani agent.</p><p>Rana’s defense team is expected to take a similar tack, saying Headley is falsely implicating his childhood friend to avoid the death penalty.</p><p>Rana is charged with letting Headley pose as a travel agent to gain cover in India, and sending him money to help plan the attacks.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 24 May 2011 17:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/pakistani-government-rejects-headley-claims-86972