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Chicago man pleads 'not guilty' to Mumbai attack plot

A hotel in Mumbai in flames after the attacks in 2008
The attacks in Mumbai left 174 people dead

A Chicago businessman has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Tahawwur Rana is alleged to have helped a friend from military school, David Coleman Headley, plot the attacks in which 174 people died.

Mr Rana, 49, has been in jail in the US since his arrest last October.

He was charged with plotting attacks including one on the Danish newspaper which published incendiary cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in 2005.

He was arrested together with Mr Headley, a Pakistani-American accused of having helped identify targets for the Mumbai attacks and also of plotting to attack the newspaper.

Mr Rana is alleged to have used his Chicago-based immigration service as a cover for Mr Headley to make surveillance trips to India and Denmark.

Differing reports

The Jyllands-Posten's decision to publish a series of cartoons about the Prophet Mohammed in 2005 sparked angry and violent protests from Muslims in several countries.

Both men have denied the charges.

Earlier this month, along with two other men, Mr Rana was charged with helping to lay the groundwork for the November 2008 attacks in the Indian city.

The two others, militant chief Ilyas Kashmiri and ex-army officer Abdur Rehman, have not yet been arrested.

Abdur Rehman is believed to be living in Pakistan, while Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of an outlawed Pakistan-based militant group, is said to be living in the Pakistani tribal areas in Waziristan.

Ilyas Kashmiri was reported to have been killed by an air strike in September 2009 - but reports since then have said he was alive.

It is very difficult to confirm information from Pakistan's north-western tribal belt.



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SEE ALSO
US charges three for 'India plot'
15 Jan 10 |  South Asia
Mumbai remembers terror attacks
26 Nov 09 |  South Asia
US charges two for 'Denmark plot'
27 Oct 09 |  Americas
US man denies Mumbai plot charge
09 Dec 09 |  Americas

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