Copenhagen terror plotter found guilty in US

A Chicago businessman has been found guilty of helping to plan an attack against the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which would have seen journalists decapitated and their heads thrown out of windows, according to court documents.

Tahawuur Hussain Rana, and his childhood friend David Headley, schemed against the Copenhagen-based publication in response to the publishing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.

Pakistanti-Canadian Rana now faces a 30-year jail stretch after Headley admitted to his involvement in the plot in March last year. During his testimony, Headley revealed that the Islamic group they were members of, Lashkar-e-Taiba, believed all Danes should be punished for the newspaper’s actions.

Rana was cleared of any involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008 (also orchestrated by Lashkar-e-Taiba), but the jury agreed with the prosecution that he had been aware of planned strikes in Copenhagen. It was revealed that Headley was given access to the Jyllands-Posten offices when pretending to buy advertising space for Rana’s business, First World Immigration Services. Rana, however, maintained throughout his defence that Headley – a heroin smuggler-turned-police informant – used him and kept him in the dark.

US investigators are still attempting to trace a further six suspected conspirators in the Mumbai and Copenhagen plots. Following Rana’s convictions, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said, “We hope that all those involved in the planning of the terrorist attacks in Denmark and Mumbai will be caught,” reports Jyllands-Posten.

Rana’s defence lawyer, Patrick Blegan, said they would appeal the verdict. “Obviously we are extremely disappointed. We believe in Rana. We believe he was not guilty. The jury came to another decision. We respect their decision, but we think they got it wrong,” he said.