Long wait continues for Chicagoan facing extradition for Mumbai attack plot

ByChuck Goudie, Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner via WLS logo
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
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For Tahawwur Rana, the Chicago travel agent convicted on terrorism charges, it has been a long wait for justice.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For Tahawwur Rana, the Chicago travel agent convicted on terrorism charges, it has been a long wait for justice. Rana has been locked up in a Los Angeles jail cell for more than one year while a federal judge decides whether he should be sent off to India where authorities want to put him on trial for the deadly November 2008 attack in Mumbai.

One hundred and sixty-six people, including six Americans, were killed in the Mumbai terrorist attack that Indian authorities say Tahawwur Rana and his codefendant David Headley had key roles in planning.

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Both Headley and Rana are from Chicago. Rana, a Pakistani native and Canadian citizen, had been running an immigration and travel agency on Chicago's north side when Headley recruited him to help in prepping for the bloody commando raid on Mumbai-frequently referred to as India's 9/11.

More than two years ago, as Rana was being freed after serving his prison time for the Chicago terror case conviction, he was immediately scooped by by US immigration agents on an extradition warrant from India that he opposes.

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But with all the arguments in, for more there one year, court records show no activity in his case. He waits for justice and so does India.

"That's a long time for a judge to sit on an extradition requests, especially since they're dealing with somebody who has been released from custody on the charge for which he served time," said ABC 7 legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Gil Soffer.

"We don't know why it's taking so long. It could be simply that this judge is busy that or docket is full that the other matters that have taken priority. Or, it could be that the judge is chewing on some arguments presented by the defense. Maybe considering whether there was adequate probable cause, maybe considering whether this is an offense for which Rana already served time was already acquitted, all of which are either of which would block extradition, but that would be unusual," said Soffer.

"There is a maxim that justice delayed is justice denied," he continued.

As Rana's long wait for justice continues, the Indian government waits for an American court decision on his extradition and Soffer tonight says it could still go on for a while. Rana's Chicago attorney hasn't responded to I-Team messages, but Soffer says at some point Rana's team could press a higher court for some kind of decision.