The allegations levelled by the prosecution in Chicago against Tawwahur Rana is very similar to the information that the National Investigating Agency has collected on the man. The prosecution in its closing arguments made it clear that it was Rana who helped his friend David Headley carry out the 26/11 attack.
Sources in the NIA say that the charges against Rana levelled by the prosecution is similar to what we have on him. He had opened a branch office of his immigration law business which is said to have provided cover for Headley when he went about scouting targets for the 26/11 attacks.
NIA sources however say that they were looking for more information and this was supposed to come out of the horseâ€™s mouth. Our independent investigations have shown that Rana had constantly helped Headley in his endevours. The NIA which will probe Rana after the completion of the trial at Chicago will book him on criminal conspiracy charges, sources said.
However there is one interesting point made by the prosecution during the course of the arguments at Chicago. The prosecution apart from speaking about the 26/11 attack had also claimed that both Rana and Headley had plans for the future as well. The prosecution makes a clear mention that the duo had future goals as well.
The NIA says that during their investigations, they have found that both of them had most of their plans in India. Although the ISI was using both these men for global operations, the maximum data that they have managed to collect has been on India. Rana had not helped Headley only for the 26/11 attack, but he had assisted him in each of his other operations, be it in Delhi or even Pune. The agreement between the two was very clear. Headley had been trained to scout targets while Rana an expert with documents helped him cover his operations. The fact of the matter is that Rana was always in the know of what Headley was up to and they reported to the same handlers in Pakistan.
However when the NIA manages to get permission to interrogate Rana, the questioning would be three pronged. The most important one would be pertaining to the 26/11 attack which would be followed by his ISI links. However for the NIA, the questioning regarding his future operations will also be extremely crucial. The NIA has in its possession certain documents relating to Ranaâ€™s visit to Kochi.
A team of the NIA which has been working on this aspect of the case say that he had visited Kochi in Kerala. IGP of the NIA, Loknath Behra had said that there was a headway made in this direction of the probe and in due course of time the details will be made known.
Sources however add that his purpose of the Kochi visit was clearly to conduct a recee. There were locals in Kochi who have helped Rana. Investigations till date show that his visit was more of an exercise to lay the ground work. When one looks at the Rana visit in the light of the statement by Ilyas Kashmiri, it does make sense that this man visited Kerala. Kashmiri had clearly stated that he wanted cadres from Kerala to carry out his ambitious Ghazb-e-Hind project. Moreover Kashmiri was also in touch with Headley and their proximity is not something that is unknown.
Rana had visited Kochi under the guise of an immigration consultant. All through he was acting as per the instructions of the ISI. Sources also add that he may have set up fronts in Kerala like how he did for Headley so that terror cadres could carry out operations under cover. The fact that he conducted a recee is yet to be ascertained since Rana was not trained to do that.
The NIA says that his visit to Kerala was for a specific purpose. His interrogation would reveal the exact details. When Rana was in Kerala, he had placed an advertisement in a local paper inviting visa seekers to both the US and Canada. This according to investigating agencies was a cover up and this front was possibly used to get cadres under one umbrella which Kashmiri was speaking about.
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