26/11 Attack: How India managed to get extradition order for Tahawwur Rana


A file photo of Tahawwur Rana (File photo)

The Pakistani-Canadian was convicted in Chicago in 2011 of providing material support to the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba which planned the Mumbai terror attack

Our Bureau
San Diego/New Delhi

A US court has approved the extradition of Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian businessman of Pakistani descent, to India where he is sought for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Rana was arrested in the US on an extradition request by India for his role in these attacks in which 10 Pakistani terrorists laid a more than 60-hour siege, attacking and killing over 160 people, including six Americans, at iconic and vital locations of Mumbai. The US court consented to the Indian request, through the US Government for his extradition.

“The Court has reviewed and considered all of the documents submitted in support of and in opposition to the Request and has considered the arguments presented at the hearing,” US Magistrate Judge of the US District Court of California, Judge Jacqueline Chooljian, said in a 48-page court order dated May 16, which was released Wednesday.

“Based on such review and consideration and for the reasons discussed herein, the Court makes the findings set forth below and certifies to the Secretary of State of the United States the extraditability of Rana on the charged offenses that are the subject of the Request,” the Judge wrote in the order.

India is in regular touch with the United States authorities to ensure the ‘speedy and early extradition’ of Tahawwur Rana,26/11 Mumbai attacker, whose extradition to New Delhi has received a green signal from the US, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Thursday.

On the issue of extradition of Tahawwur Rana, he said, ” In so far as the question of Tahawwur Rana is concerned, we are in very regular touch with the US authorities to ensure that there is a speedy and early extradition of Tahvarana. We have all seen the judgment which was given by the local US court there. That conversation of ours with the US side is continuing.”

This statement came a month before the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US.

Rana has been accused by the Indian government of participating in the planning and execution of the Lashkar terrorist attacks in Mumbai by collaborating with his childhood buddy David Coleman Headley, also known as “Daood Gilani,” and others.

A man holds the Indian flag during the tribute paying ceremony to those who lost their lives in the 26/11 terror attack, on its 14th anniversary in Mumbai (ANI)

Rana was convicted in Chicago in 2011 of providing material support to the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which planned the Mumbai terror attack and for supporting a never-carried-out plot to attack a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed in 2005.

He was accused of allowing David Coleman Headley to open a branch of his Chicago-based immigration law business in Mumbai as a cover story and travel as a representative of the company in Denmark.

On the other hand, the extradition was contested by Rana’s lawyer. India and the United States have an extradition agreement in effect. The judge determined that Tahawwur Rana’s extradition takes place under the treaty’s jurisdiction.

The judge ruled that there is sufficient competent evidence to establish reasonable cause that Rana is the person accused in India. The Court concluded that Rana is extraditable for the offenses for which extradition has been requested and on which the United States is proceeding.

“It is therefore ordered that Tahawwur Hussain Rana be and remain committed to the custody of the United States Marshal pending a final decision on extradition and surrender by the Secretary of State to India for trial of the offences as to which extradition has been granted pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, section 3186 and the Treaty,” the Judge ruled.

Mumbai had come to a standstill on November 26, 2008, when 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists who entered the city via sea route from Pakistan carried out a series of coordinated shootings and bombings that injured over 300 and claimed the lives of 166 people in India’s financial capital.

The attacks took place at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, Cama Hospital, Nariman House business and residential complex, Leopold Cafe, Taj Hotel and Tower and the Oberoi-Trident Hotel.

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