In a significant development in the infamous Mumbai Massacre case, Tahawwur Rana, a former travel agent from West Rogers Park with alleged ties to Pakistan, could potentially face the death penalty for his involvement. The case originates from a commando-style terrorist attack that shook Mumbai over three days in 2008, causing the death of 166 people, six of whom were Americans.
A former doctor in the Pakistan Army, Rana was alleged to have conspired with fellow Chicago terrorist David Coleman Headley to conduct recce operations in Mumbai. Pakistani terrorists reportedly used the data gathered by Rana to orchestrate the devastating strike on the city.
Rana had earlier been convicted for his association with a Pakistani terror group and had served time for his crimes. Despite his attempts to stave off extradition in a Los Angeles courtroom, he did not succeed.
In a comprehensive 48-page order that took two years to compile, a federal judge in California determined that Rana was suitable for extradition to India. There, he would stand trial for a multitude of grave charges including conspiracy to wage war, forgery for cheating, murder, and terrorist acts.
Ed Farrell, an ABC7 law enforcement expert and former Chicago deputy US Marshal, has had prior experiences with extraditing suspects. He observed that, although the process is highly complicated and intricate, it could be expedited. Farrell also cautioned about the severity of the Indian prison system and the gravity of the charges that Rana is facing.
“He is most likely to end his days in an Indian jail cell, given the horrendous nature of the Mumbai massacre,” Farrell stated.
At present, the 62-year-old Rana is housed in a federal prison in downtown Los Angeles.