Two Chicago Men who were schoolmates in Pakistan have been accused of plotting terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that printed cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoons had caused widespread protests. The two men are – David Coleman Headley (name changed in 2006 from Daood Gilani ), 49, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48.
David Coleman Headley, 49, took trips to Denmark in January and July to conduct surveillance on possible targets, including the Copenhagen and Aarhus offices of the Jylands-Posten newspaper, prosecutors said in criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, helped arrange Headley’s travel, prosecutors said.
Headley and Rana are each charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorism conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Rana was arrested Oct. 18 in his home
Jakob Scharf, the head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, or PET, who worked close with FBI said that the plot was “serious” but not imminent.
U.S. prosecutors said Headley was carrying a data stick in his luggage that contained surveillance video footage of sites in Denmark. They said Headley reported and attempted to report on his efforts to individuals with ties to terrorism overseas, including at least one with links to al-Qaida.
The FBI affidavits said that Headley described his plans to contacts in Pakistan as “the Mickey Mouse project.”
According to prosecutors, Headley told FBI agents after his arrest that he received training from a terrorist organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba, starting in 2006. Headley told agents he had worked with Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistani based terrorist with al-Qaida links, and that Kashmiri helped plan an attack in Denmark, prosecutors said.
He said he had surveilled the paper’s offices in Copenhagen and Aarhus “in preparation for an attack to be carried out by persons associated with Kashmiri and Individual A,” prosecutors said. They did not identify Individual A.
Headley told agents he “proposed that the operation against the newspaper be reduced from attacking the entire building in Copenhagen to killing the paper’s cultural editor, Flemming Rose, and the cartoonist who drew the cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban, Kurt Westergaard, whom Headley felt was directly responsible for the cartoons.”
Headley also told agents that he conducted surveillance of Danish troops posted near the newspaper, believing they might be a quick reaction force in the event of an attack. He also said he surveilled a Copenhagen synagogue in the mistaken belief of one of his contacts that Rose was Jewish.”Source: www.google.com