ITeam Report: Prosecutors say Tahawwur Rana planned murder on horrific scale

January 15, 2013 6:41:04 AM PST
Two men, boyhood friends from Pakistan, landed in Chicago and ended up in a heap of legal trouble.

Tahawwur Rana and David Headley were operatives for a violent overseas terror cell in Pakistan.

This was the highest profile terror case to come out of Chicago since 9/11.

In court papers filed late Monday, federal prosecutors revealed they will ask that Rana be sentenced to 30 years in prison. His sentencing is Thursday, January 17.

Rana, who appears grandfatherly, describes himself as "kind" and "compassionate."

But he appears as anything but gentle in a position paper filed by federal prosecutors in Chicago.

Rana allegedly helped to plot a 2009 attack on a newspaper in Denmark. The attack never happened, but it involved beheading newspaper employees and depositing theirs heads onto Copenhagen streets.

Chicago prosecutors called it "murder on a grand, horrific scale."

Rana was convicted in 2011 by a federal jury in Chicago, where he lived and owned a Northwest Side immigration and travel service. Authorities said Rana operated the business as a front for funneling terrorist money overseas.

They charged him with Headly, who was born Daood Gilanai in Pakistan, but changed his name.

Together, the FBI alleged that the pair had helped to plan the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India. During a several day siege, heavily armed Pakistani radicals took over public buildings and murdered 164 people.

While a Chicago jury found Rana was not guilty of the Mumbai charge, prosecutors plan to lay out his deep connections to the attackers.

Headley became a government witness after the duo was arrested and was the key to the prosecution of his friend Rana. Headley is to be sentenced on January 24th.