Tahawwur Rana gets 14 years for aiding Lashkar-e-Taiba

CHICAGO Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:33am IST

A courtroom artist's sketch shows Tahawwur Rana (L) looking on with his lawyer Patrick Blegen during a sentencing hearing in federal court in Chicago, Illinois January 17, 2013. REUTERS/Tom Gianni

A courtroom artist's sketch shows Tahawwur Rana (L) looking on with his lawyer Patrick Blegen during a sentencing hearing in federal court in Chicago, Illinois January 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Tom Gianni

Related Topics

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge sentenced Pakistani-born Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana on Thursday to 14 years in prison for providing support to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Rana, 52, a former Pakistani Army doctor with Canadian citizenship, had also been found guilty in June 2011 of conspiring to attack a Danish newspaper, a plot hatched by the militant group that was never carried out.

Judge Harry Leinenweber said he received many letters from family members, friends and others testifying that Rana was an "intelligent man willing to provide assistance in a good way to many, many people."

"What is puzzling... is how this kind of person could get sucked into a dastardly plot," Leinenweber said at the sentencing hearing.

Rana had been found guilty of providing support to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed for orchestrating 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people. He was not found to be complicit in the attacks.

In the trial, the key witness - Rana's childhood friend, David Headley - implicated Pakistan's intelligence agency, ISI, in the Mumbai attack.

Headley pleaded guilty to scouting targets for the Mumbai attackers sent by Lashkar-e-Taiba, which the U.S. State Department has designated a terrorist organization. Headley, an American with a Pakistani father, is due to be sentenced on January 24.

The plot to attack the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was meant as retaliation for the paper's decision in 2005 to publish 12 cartoons by various artists, most of which depict the Prophet Mohammad. The conspirators discussed beheading employees of the paper.

Prosecutor Daniel Collins argued during the sentencing hearing that a harsh sentence was necessary because of the violent nature of the plot and that Rana was aware of what Lashkar represented.

"He knew they had blood on their hands and it didn't give him pause for a moment and he helped them," Collins said.

Rana's lawyer argued that the businessman had suffered a heart attack in prison and was in generally poor health, adding that he was unlikely to represent a danger to society.

"He is a good man and got sucked into something," Patrick Blegen said in court. "But there's no risk that he'll do it again, None."

Rana, who faced a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, sat quietly throughout the hearing and declined to address the judge prior to sentencing. Rana's defense team plan to appeal his conviction and said they would discuss whether to appeal the sentence. (Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Andrew Hay)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Earnings Season

Earnings Season

Reliance Q4 sales rise, refining margin narrows.  Read 

Innovative Solution

Innovative Solution

Turning smog into jewels - a Dutch designer's solution to Beijing's pollution.  Video 

Insider Trading

Insider Trading

Rajaratnam's brother loses bid to dismiss insider trading charges.  Full Article 

Literary Giant Dies

Literary Giant Dies

Mourning and memories in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's languid hometown.  Full Article 

S&P on India

S&P on India

S&P: India's ratings to depend on next govt econ, fiscal policies.  Full Article 

Ambitious Aim

Ambitious Aim

In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch.  Full Article 

Bond Market

Bond Market

A star abroad, RBI boss riles bond traders at home  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage