Chicago terror convict cleared for extradition to India for Mumbai massacre trial for alleged role

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff and Christine Tressel WLS logo
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Former Chicago travel agent's extradition approved for Mumbai Massacre trial
Tahawwur Rana, was cleared for extradition Wednesday and he's also looking at execution if convicted of terrorism and murder in what's known as the Mumbai Massacre.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A former West Rogers park travel agent could face the death penalty for his alleged role in what's become known as the Mumbai Massacre.

Tahawwur Rana was cleared for extradition Wednesday and he's also looking at execution if convicted of terrorism and murder in the three day commando attack that paralyzed the city of Mumbai and took 166 lives, including six Americans, in 2008.

According to investigators, Pakistani terrorists who carried out the deadly attack worked off a blueprint that Rana had a hand in producing.

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Authorities said the former Pakistan Army doctor worked with another Chicago terrorist, David Coleman Headley, in scouting Mumbai locations and landing zones.

After Rana was convicted and served a sentence for his role with the Pakistani terror group, he tried to block India's planned extradition, fighting unsuccessfully in a Los Angeles courtroom.

In a 48-page order two years in the making, a California federal judge ruled Rana is eligible to be sent to India and stand trial for conspiracy to wage war, to commit murder, to commit forgery for the purpose of cheating and to commit a terrorist act among other alleged crimes.

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ABC7 law enforcement expert Ed Farrell has transported dozens of extradition subjects while a former Chicago deputy US Marshal. He said the process can happen quickly even though it's a very involved and orchestrated event.

"I've done moves with terrorists before with them. And obviously, this might elevate to that where they use what I would call enhanced procedures to make sure it's safe and I won't go into those. But they're going to take a lot of precautions to make sure he gets there very safely," Farrell said. "The prison system in India is notoriously difficult and rough. It makes our federal system look like club fed. Nobody wants to go into jail there and obviously, I'm sure given the massacre that happened in Mumbai, the penalty for this crime is going to be extremely high. So he knows he'll probably die in a cell in India."

The 62-year-old is currently in the federal lockup in downtown Los Angeles.

The US Attorney in Chicago, who prosecuted Rana, told the I-Team they will not comment on his extradition.