Closing arguments under way in terror trial

June 7, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Rana is accused in the 2008 Mumbai, India terrorist attacks that killed 160. He has pleaded not guilty to assisting David Coleman Headley, an admitted terrorist, as he carried out surveillance for the Mumbai attacks and a planned attack on a Danish newspaper that in 2005 printed cartoons of Prophet Muhammad. The cartoons angered many Muslims because pictures of the prophet are prohibited in Islam.

"Rana and Headley were playing for the same team," Peters said.

Headley and Rana are childhood friends. Rana is accused of letting Headley pose as his business associate. "He knows exactly who Headley is and what he is up to," Peters said.

Peters said a taped recorded conversation from September 7, 2009, between Headley and Rana is the government's single most important piece of evidence. She said it proves Rana knew about the terror attacks. The two are in a car driving to Rana's goat farm. Neither one of them knew the car was bugged when "Rana says that the nine lashkar fighters should be given the highest honor" for what they did in Mumbai, Peters said Tuesday. "You have to use your common sense."

While Peters argues, "this recording alone proves Rana knew," about the September conversation, Rana's defense attorneys say there is nothing on the tapes that proves Rana is guilty.

"What did he say? 'I knew that he talked about those people.' Did he say, 'I know about any plots?' No. Did he say, 'I know what David Headley was doing?' No," Rana's Attorney Charlie Swift said. "And Doctor Rana wasn't going to testify any different than that."

Peters also discussed emails Headley sent in which he wrote he wanted to consult with Rana before doing surveillance on the Denmark newspaper. Rana allegedly gave him the OK and then made business cards for Headley, which Headley used to get into the newspaper's building under the disguise of being interested in advertising.

She is expected to talk for about an hour and a half. Jurors appear to be listening intently, some of whom are taking notes. Rana is sitting calmly with his hands in his lap, watching the jury.

Jurors watch part of Rana interrogation

Rana waived his right to testify. But jurors got to hear from him on videotapes recorded shortly after he was arrested. Rana sat down with FBI agents in October 2009 after waiving his right to remain silent.

Approximately 18 minutes of the nearly six-hour interview were played in court Monday. During the interrogation, Rana mentions the names of suspected terrorists, including Ilyas Kashmiri, who was believed to be al Qaida's chief of military operations in Pakistan until he was killed recently in a U.S. military strike.

"And we also know that David has met Ilyas Kashmiri," an FBI official said to Rana during the recorded interrogation.

"Yes," Rana said.

"Ilyas Kashmiri is the leader of the Azaad chapter of Harakat-Ul Jihad Islami," the FBI agent responded.

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