Pakistan ISI leaders had no role in Mumbai plot: court

CHICAGO, June 8, 2011 (AFP) – A Pakistan-born Chicago businessman was part of the “inner circle” of terrorists who plotted the 2008 Mumbai attacks, US prosecutors said in closing arguments Tuesday.

Tahawwur Rana’s trial was closely watched as it touched on Pakistani military intelligence collusion with terrorism — a hugely sensitive subject since the killing of Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town last month sparked similar US allegations.

Rana, a 50-year-old Canadian citizen, is charged with providing material support to terrorists by acting as a messenger and providing a cover for a key figure in the bloody 60-hour siege of India’s largest city in which 166 people died.

“When it’s all said and done, this is a simple case about awful things — two terror plots,” prosecutor Victoria Peters told jurors. “One that was carried out and one that was, mercifully, stopped.”

Peters cited coded emails and a lengthy conversation, taped by the FBI, between Rana and confessed conspirator David Headley as evidence of his involvement and support for the Mumbai attacks and a second plot on a Danish newspaper.

Headley, Rana’s old friend from military school in Pakistan, has been co