India makes new extradition request for convicted Chicagoans

An ABC7 I-Team Exclusive
Officials in India have made a fresh request for the extradition of a pair of Chicago terrorists to stand trial for their roles in the deadly Mumbai attack of 2008.

India's national investigation agency has informed the FBI: "We want Chicago terrorists" David Headley and Tahawwur Rana to stand trial.

Both men are serving lengthy federal prison sentences after being convicted in Chicago for their roles with a Pakistani terrorist organization.

Now Indian officials are making a renewed push for the Chicago men to be sent to India for prosecution there.

When 160 people died and 300 were wounded in a four-day siege of Mumbai, it was India's 9/11.

David Headley and Tahawwur Rana, a Chicago travel agent were found guilty of conspiring with the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba known as LeT. That group was responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

India TV treated as major news the fresh extradition request to U.S. officials. Earlier this month Indian officials made a personal request to a top FBI official who was visiting New Delhi.

Even though Rana was not convicted in Chicago of the Mumbai crimes and likely would not be extradited, as he is protected by the double jeopardy clause of the U.S. constitution.

Headley pleaded guilty in the case and part of his plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Chicago expressly prohibits his extradition.

Headley's attorney John Theis told the I-Team that "from time to time, individual Indian officials express the desire to find a means to get around the terms of his plea agreement which prohibits his extradition."

Theis says he is confident the Justice Department will "honor its agreement."

Headley has been questioned by Indian investigators in several video teleconferences.

Rana's attorney did not respond to I-Team requests for comment.

Rana is a 56-year-old Pakistani native based in Chicago. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and is currently being held at the Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution in San Pedro, California, with a release date of December, 2021.

Rana was accused of helping Headley open an immigration firm in Mumbai with forged documents. That business provided Headley with a cover for his scouting trips of Mumbai targets -- mostly public buildings and popular landmarks.

The attack that paralyzed the city for half-a-week was carried out by 10 LeT terrorists headed by Ajmal Kasab. He was the only terrorist captured alive by police and was hanged in 2012. null
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