U.S. Seeks to Exclude Defense Expert in Chicago Terror Trial
Jury selection begins next week in the Chicago terror trial of Tahawwur Hussain Rana, charged with participation in the 2008 Mumbai bombings, the planned attack on a news agency in Denmark, and providing matierial support to Lashkar e Tayyiba (LeT.) The Second Superseding Indictment is here. Both Rana and the Government's star witness, former DEA informant David Headley, who cooperated in exchange for taking the death penalty and extradition to India and Pakistan off the table, insist they were receiving instructions from Pakistan's ISI and military. While the Judge won't let the information about ISI and Army in the front door, it's bound to come in the back door.
Today the Court entered a minute order directing Rana to respond to the Government's motion to exclude his expert witness, Marc Sageman. Sageman is a counter-terror expert, former CIA agent and psychiatrist who is the leading proponent of the theory that al Qaeda as a central organization is no longer a big threat, that Pakistan houses the main terror groups in the region. Here's his 2009 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Global terror is more of a grass-roots thing in recent years, composed of leaderless jihadis. They may be affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda but al Qaeda, the core group, is too weak to provide much more.
So why does Rana want to call Sageman, and why does the Government object? [More...]
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