Tahawwur Rana’s extradition to India, where he is wanted for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, has been authorised by a US judge. In response to an extradition request from India, Rana was detained in the US for his involvement in the attacks, in which ten Pakistani terrorists besieged Mumbai for more than 60 hours, killing more than 160 people, including six Americans. The Indian government requested his extradition, and the US court granted that request.
“The Court has reviewed and considered all of the documents submitted in support of and in opposition to the Request and has considered the arguments presented at the hearing,” US Magistrate Judge of the US District Court of California, Judge Jacqueline Chooljian, said in a 48-page court order dated May 16, which was released Wednesday.
“Based on such review and consideration and for the reasons discussed herein, the Court makes the findings set forth below and certifies to the Secretary of State of the United States the extraditability of Rana on the charged offenses that are the subject of the Request,” the Judge wrote in the order.
Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana is of Pakistani ancestry. The Indian government has accused him of working with his childhood friend David Coleman Headley, also known as “Daood Gilani,” and others to plan and carry out the Lashkar terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
The NIA has charged Rana with the following offences: (a) conspiracy to wage war; murder; forgery committed with the intent to defraud; use of a forged document or electronic record as genuine; and terrorist act. (b) engaging in hostilities, (d) committing murder, (e) engaging in terrorist activity, and (f) conspiring to do so.
Rana was found guilty in Chicago in 2011 of funding the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was responsible for planning the Mumbai terrorist attack, as well as of backing an unrealized plot to target a Danish newspaper that had published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.
He was charged with permitting David Coleman Headley to exploit the opening of a Mumbai office of his Chicago-based immigration law firm as a pretext for travelling to Denmark as an official representative of the business.
On the other hand, Rana’s attorney disputed the extradition. There is a current extradition agreement between India and the United States.
According to the order dated May 16 from Judge Jacqueline Chooljian of the US District Court for the Central District of Los Angeles, based on the aforementioned, the Court concludes that Rana, 62, is extraditable for the offences for which extradition has been requested and on which the United States is proceeding. The judge determined that there is enough credible evidence to support a reasonable suspicion that Rana is the person being held accountable in India.
“It is therefore ordered that Tahawwur Hussain Rana be and remain committed to the custody of the United States Marshal pending a final decision on extradition and surrender by the Secretary of State to India for the trial of the offences as to which extradition has been granted pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, section 3186 and the Treaty,” the Judge ruled.
On November 26, 2008, Mumbai had come to a standstill when ten Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, who had entered the city from Pakistan by sea, carried out a series of synchronised shootings and bombs that left over 300 people injured and resulted in the deaths of 166 people.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, the Cama Hospital, the Nariman House commercial and residential complex, the Leopold Cafe, the Taj Hotel and Tower, and the Oberoi-Trident Hotel were among the targets of the attacks.