CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors have stepped up efforts to
keep in custody a Chicago businessman linked to an international terrorist
plot, saying in their latest filing that DVDs linked to al-Qaida had been found
in his home.
Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, was charged last month with
conspiring to take revenge on a Danish newspaper for publishing unflattering
cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad that outraged the Muslim world.
A federal judge could decide Nov. 19 whether to release Rana
on bond pending trial.
Prosecutors alleged Friday that an Oct. 18 search of Rana’s
Chicago home turned up DVDs produced by As Sahab Media, “commonly
acknowledged to be the media wing of al-Qaida.”
One DVD included commentary on the cartoon controversy,
images of the Danish prime minister and a message of martyrdom from the bomber
who apparently attacked the Danish embassy in Islamabad, killing six people in
June 2008, authorities said.
A second DVD found in the home included a speech by Osama
bin Laden, authorities said.
Rana’s co-defendant, David Headley, posing as Rana’s
employee, traveled twice to Denmark to check out the newspaper office as well
as a nearby station of Danish troops, the charges alleged.
Last week prosecutors alleged that Rana and Headley had
discussed targeting the National Defense College in India, a military school.
Rana also allegedly told an associate of the Pakistani terror organization
Lashkar-e-Taiba how to use loopholes in U.S. immigration procedures to get
others into the country illegally.
Rana’s attorney, Patrick Blegen, has denied wrongdoing and
said family and friends could post $1 million in property to secure Rana’s
release. The evidence suggests Rana was not aware of Headley’s plans, he said.
Headley, also of Chicago, made admissions to authorities
after his arrest, court records show.
Via McClatchy-Tribune News Service.