Tahawwur Rana, a Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman has been arrested in Los Angeles on an extradition request by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Rana, 59, a known close associate of David Coleman Headley – one of the main conspirators behind the attacks on India’s financial hub that killed 166 people – was serving a 14-year sentence in a Los Angeles federal prison when he was granted an early release last week because of being infected by the coronavirus.
He was rearrested in Los Angeles on June 10 following an extradition request by India, where he is a declared fugitive, US prosecutors said.
Assistant US Attorney John J Lulejian told the court that the Indian government, as per the bilateral Extradition Treaty signed in 1997, has requested the arrest and detention of Tahawwur Rana with a view towards his extradition.
Lulejian said India has informed the US that Rana is being prosecuted for a number of offences, including the conspiracy to commit murder.
Jacqueline Chooljian is the US District Judge in this case in the court of Central District of California. He scheduled his bond hearing for June 30. His attorney has been asked to submit his plea by June 22. While the American government’s response is due by June 26.
Lulejian said that the offences for which Tahawwur Rana’s arrest warrant was issued are covered by the India-US Extradition Treaty.
An arrest warrant was issued against Tahawwur Rana in India by a special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in August 2018.
Between 2006 and November 2008, Rana conspired with his childhood friend David Coleman Headley and others in Pakistan to help Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harakat ul-Jihad-e-Islami, both US-designated terrorist organisations, to plan and carry out the Mumbai attacks.
Tahawwur Rana was first arrested in Chicago in October 2009. Thereafter he went to trial in the US, where Headley testified for prosecution.