US seeks anonymous jury in Mumbai terror suspect’s trial

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CHICAGO - With the Indian media expected to provide extensive coverage of Pakistani Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana’s trial in the Mumbai terror attacks case, US federal prosecutors are asking that jurors remain anonymous, according to a media report.

The jurors could have a reasonable fear they would be in danger if global terror groups learned their names during the trial set for May in a Chicago federal court, according to a filing by prosecutors last week, Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Prosecutors also said the foreign press - particularly Indian and Danish media - are expected to provide extensive coverage of the trial, raising the chance jurors’ names would become public and expose them to intimidation and harassment.

Rana and co-defendant Pakistani American David Coleman Headley have been charged with providing material support for the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai masterminded by Pakistan based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. The attack killed at least 164 people.

Headley, reportedly a former US Drug Enforcement Administration informant, allegedly travelled as a representative of Rana’s Chicago-based immigration service to scout locations for the Mumbai attacks.

The pair also was charged in the unsuccessful plot to attack employees of a newspaper in Denmark for publishing satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005. The code name for that plot was the Mickey Mouse Project, prosecutors say.

Headley, who pleaded guilty in March 2010 and is cooperating with authorities, awaits sentencing.

Filed under: Terrorism

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