Admitted US terrorist IDs more targets he 'liked' - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Admitted US terrorist IDs more targets he 'liked'

Posted: Updated:
In this courtroom sketch, Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana is shown in federal court as the prosecutor makes an opening argument Monday, May 23, 2011, in Chicago. In this courtroom sketch, Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana is shown in federal court as the prosecutor makes an opening argument Monday, May 23, 2011, in Chicago.

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago businessman accused in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks told the government's star witness — an admitted American terrorist — that the rampage that killed more than 160 people was orchestrated "brilliantly," according to testimony Wednesday.

David Coleman Headley returned to the stand for third day in the trial of his longtime friend Tahawwur Rana, who is accused of providing cover for Headley as he conducted surveillance for the attacks where gunmen arrived by boat and stormed the city for three days.

"'Tactically, this was done brilliantly'," Rana said, according to Headley's testimony.

Headley, a Pakistani-American who pleaded guilty in plotting the attacks, is the government's top witness in a trial that comes at a fragile time in U.S.-Pakistan relations. So far, Headley's testimony has detailed how a Pakistani militant group blamed in the attacks and Pakistani intelligence coordinated in plotting and funding the attacks. The proceedings also come just weeks after Navy SEALs found Osama bin Laden hiding outside Islamabad, raising concerns that Pakistan may have been protecting the world's most wanted terrorist.

Attorneys for Rana, who also is accused of helping Headley establish cover in Mumbai and for another potential plot in Denmark, have called Headley manipulative and claimed he had other reasons in implicating Rana, his longtime friend.

Given their first chance to question Headley before jurors Wednesday afternoon, Rana's attorneys delved straight into the men's friendship, painting Rana as a good guy dragged down by Headley — and setting up a main theme for the defense.

"He was your friend, but he didn't do what you were doing?" asked Rana defense attorney Charles Swift.

"Yes," Headley answered.

Although Rana is on trial, the proceedings have focused on Headley. The men, both 50, met as teenagers at a prestigious boarding school in Pakistan and have stayed in touch. Defense attorneys are expected to scrutinize Headley's background; after a drug conviction Headley worked as an informant for the DEA and they claim Headley has changed his story.

For three days, prosecutors have questioned Headley — who speaks in a soft voice and has been wearing a dark windbreaker — about scores of emails, audio recordings and video clips that show rare insight into the web of international terrorism.

Pakistan has deflected the accusations and repeated what it's maintained since 2008: The Inter-Services Intelligence agency, known as ISI, had no links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based terrorist group who claimed credit for the Mumbai attacks.

But Headley has testified that the ISI knew about and helped fund and direct the Mumbai plot.

Headley, who said he started working with Lashkar in 2000, said the Pakistan-based terror group, and the ISI operate under the same umbrella. As Headley scouted sites for targets in Mumbai, he said he met regularly and received money from someone he said was an ISI major, known only as "Major Iqbal" and his Lashkar handler Sajid Mir. Headley said both men were contact with each other.

On Wednesday, prosecutors showed video surveillance that Headley took in Copenhagen for a potential attack in Denmark. Headley admitted to helping plan an attack that never happened on a Danish newspaper that in 2005 printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Headley described for jurors Wednesday how he rode a bike around Copenhagen and conducted surveillance on sites including the French Embassy.

All developments were communicated with Rana, Mir and Iqbal, Headley testified.

Headley told Rana that he liked several other sites for future attacks, according to a transcript of a September 2009 phone conversation. The conversations, spoken in Urdu, were translated into English and read aloud for court.

Those sites included the Jyllands-Posten newspaper offices, Bollywood, the Somnath Temple in India and offices of Shiv Sena, a right-wing Indian political party.

Rana also praised the work of the gunmen, Headley's regular Lashkar contact, Sajid Mir, and said the nine of 10 who died should be given military honors in Pakistan, Headley testified.

Iqbal, Mir and Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed are identified by prosecutors as a retired Pakistani military with links to Iqbal. All three are charged in absentia.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.