US court approves extradition of 26/11 attack accused Tahawwur Rana to India

18 May, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

US authorities World

Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian businessman of Pakistani descent, has been granted extradition to India, where he is wanted for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian businessman of Pakistani descent, has been granted extradition to India, where he is wanted for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Rana was arrested in the United States in response to an extradition request from India for his role in the attacks, in which ten Pakistani terrorists laid siege for more than 60 hours, attacking and killing over 160 people, including six Americans, at iconic and vital Mumbai locations. The US court granted the Indian request for his extradition, which was made through the US government.

“The Court has reviewed and considered all of the documents submitted in support of and in opposition to the Request and has considered the arguments presented at the hearing,” US Magistrate Judge of the US District Court of California, Judge Jacqueline Chooljian, said in a 48-page court order dated May 16, which was released Wednesday.

“Based on such review and consideration and for the reasons discussed herein, the Court makes the findings set forth below and certifies to the Secretary of State of the United States the extraditability of Rana on the charged offenses that are the subject of the Request,” the Judge wrote in the order.

The Indian government has accused Tahawwur Rana of collaborating with his childhood friend David Coleman Headley, also known as “Daood Gilani,” and others in the planning and execution of the Lashkar terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

According to the judge, India accused Rana of the following crimes and issued an arrest warrant, which the US is now pursuing: (a) conspiracy to wage war, murder, forgery for the purpose of cheating, using a forged document or electronic record as genuine, and terrorist act. Warfare, murder, committing a terrorist act, and conspiracy to commit a terrorist act are all prohibited.

In 2011, Rana was convicted in Chicago of providing material support to the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which planned the Mumbai terror attack, as well as supporting a never-implemented plot in 2005 to attack a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed.

He was accused of allowing David Coleman Headley, a Chicago-based immigration law firm, to open a branch in Mumbai as a cover story and travel as a company representative in Denmark.

On the other hand, the extradition was contested by Rana’s lawyer. India and the United States have an extradition agreement in effect. The judge determined that Tahawwur Rana’s extradition takes place under the treaty’s jurisdiction.

The judge ruled that there is sufficient competent evidence to establish reasonable cause that Rana is the person accused in India. The Court concluded that Rana is extraditable for the offenses for which extradition has been requested and on which the United States is proceeding.

“It is therefore ordered that Tahawwur Hussain Rana be and remain committed to the custody of the United States Marshal pending a final decision on extradition and surrender by the Secretary of State to India for trial of the offences as to which extradition has been granted pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, section 3186 and the Treaty,” the Judge ruled.

On November 26, 2008, ten Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists who entered the city via sea route from Pakistan carried out a series of coordinated shootings and bombings that injured over 300 people and killed 166 in India’s financial capital.

The attacks occurred at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Cama Hospital, Nariman House business and residential complex, Leopold Cafe, Taj Hotel and Tower, and the Oberoi-Trident Hotel.