US Court Orders Continued Detention of 26/11 Terror Attack Accused Tahawwur Rana Sought by India
Rana has been declared a fugitive by India.
A US court has ordered the continued detention of Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, who has been declared a fugitive by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case.
Rana, 59, a childhood friend of David Coleman Headley, was recently re-arrested on June 10 in Los Angeles on an extradition request by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.
He is a declared fugitive in India. A federal district court on Thursday scheduled his next day of bail hearing on August 21.
In his extradition case held before Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian, the US District Court of Los Angeles ordered that Tahawwur Hussain Rana be "temporarily detained" till his next hearing on August 21.
"Court orders defendant temporarily detained pending further briefing and issuance of decision on detention motion," it said.
Describing Rana a flight risk, the US has opposed his release on bail, arguing that if he were to flee to Canada, he may escape the possibility of a death sentence in India.
"Given the stakes, allowance of bail in any amount would not guarantee Rana's presence in court. Granting bail would invite the possibility of embarrassing the United States in the conduct of its foreign affairs, straining its relationship with India," Assistant US Attorney John J Lulejian said.
According to the federal prosecutors, between 2006 and November 2008, Rana conspired with Headley, also known as "Daood Gilani", and others in Pakistan to assist Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harakat ul-Jihad-e-Islami, both US-designated terrorist organisations, to plan and carry out the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Pakistani-American LeT terrorist Headley was involved in plotting the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. He was made an approver in the case, and is currently serving a 35-year prison term in the US for his role in the attack.
India seeks his arrest on a number of offences, including the conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit forgery for the purpose of cheating, and murder under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He is sought for his role in 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
The 2008 Mumbai attack was one of India's most horrific terrorist attacks in which 166 people were killed and over 300 injured as 10 heavily-armed terrorists from Pakistan created mayhem.
Pakistani national Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive, was hanged to death on November 21, 2012.