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Rediff News  All News  » News » Headley, Rana's arrest depicts global spread of terror: Report

Headley, Rana's arrest depicts global spread of terror: Report

November 20, 2009 16:16 IST

David Coleman Headley, the Pakistan born Lashkar-e-tayiba operative held for planning a terror strike in India changed his name from Daood Gilani to allay suspicion when he was traveling abroad, The Washington Post  said in a report.

The Post reported that Gilani who changed his name to Headley in 2006 lived in an apartment which was leased in the name of a dead person, changed e-mail accounts very oftan and had coded telephonic conversations.

When  he was arrested at Philadelphia , The Federeal Bureau of Investigation found digital videos he took of a Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten's office and a book titled How to Pray Like a Jew.

Headley and Rana have been charged with targetting a foreign country, a new occurrence which has the Americans worried. Counter terrorism experts have said this represents the global face of terror. Representative Jane Harman,chairman of the Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence said  that they weren't really looking at Americans who want to attack other countries." The FBI believes that Headley played a role in the 26/11 terrorist assault on Mumbai.

Indian police believed that Headley provided intelligence on places including a cafe and the two hotels in south Mumbai. He also allegedly posed as a Jew to visit Chabad House, the site of an Orthodox Jewish center also targeted in Mumbai. The probe netted the duo's telephonic conversations and e-mails with Pakistani militant, Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami.(HuJI)

Headley and Rana were together at a military college in Hasan Abdal in Pakistan.  Before his arrest, Rana ran a slew of businesses, including a  farm in Illinois that slaughtered lambs and goats according to Islamic rites and First World Immigration Services, an immigration agency focused on Canada.

Raymond Sanders, Rana's tenant described Rana as a non-practicing medical doctor. The FBI says in its charge sheet that Rana supported Headley--who used the immigration business as a front--in a plot to murder a Danish cartoonist and editor connected to the 2005 publication of cartoons lampooning militant Islamists. Rana also lied to a former classmate and official in Pakistan's Chicago consulate to get Headley a five-year visa.

Kinsman, Illinois, the town where Rana owned a farm reacted with shock and surprise to the news of his arrest.