David Headley Testifies In Tahawwur Rana Terror Trial

Opening arguments were held this morning in the Chicago terror trial of Tahawwur Hussein Rana, charged with conspiracy in the Mumbai bombings and a planned attack on a Danish news agency.

“The defendant didn’t carry a gun or throw a grenade. In a complicated and sophisticated plot, not every player carries a weapon. People like the defendant who provides support are just as critical to the success,” [AUSA] Streicker said.

Streiker said Rana "not only knew of the attacks, he approved of them, and agreed with them." The defense said David Headley is a master manipulator who made a fool of Doctor Rana.

David Headley, aka Daood Gilani, is the Government's first witness.[More...]

Pro Publica has a new article on David Headley, aka Daood Gilani, who is the Government's star witness.

The Globe and Mail's Colin Freeze is tweeting from the trial with good quotes. From opening arguments:

USDOJ tells jurors of key figure: Major Iqbal (MI). "Headley understood MI to be an officer in Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate..."

USDOJ: ISI's Major Iqbal and terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba trained Headley tasked him with Mumbai recce of Taj/ trains harbour etc

USDOJ opening ends. Jurors have been given a War-and-Peace-sized cast of shady characters. Rana smiles and nods at family.

From the defense:

Defence begins: "David Headley is a master manipulator who made a fool of Doctor Rana."

The defense said Headley was working for the DEA, LeT and ISI. They portrayed Rana as Headley's dupe. According to Freeze:

Jurors look shellshocked. Trying to absorb twisty roles of Rana/Headley/Iqbal/Kasmiri/LeT/ISI/USDEA/Pasha/Mumbai/Denmark/etc.

From Headley's testimony:

Headley lived in Lahore in 2000 when he first made contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba. "I went to a meeting. I listened to speeches."

The DEA is going to have a lot of egg on its face after this. Since the Government mentioned the mysterious Pakistani ISI Officer "Major Iqbal" in opening, maybe we'll find out who he really is.

Again, for the minute by minute, follow Colin Freeze on Twitter.

For all of our prior coverage, go here.

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