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FBI gets 58 more days to file charges against Rana

November 18, 2009 08:54 IST

A Chicago court has given 58 days extension to federal prosecutors to file case indictment against Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month on charges of plotting major terrorist attacks in India and Denmark.

With this, the FBI has now got time till January 14 to file indictment against Rana, a Chicago resident of Pakistani-origin for allegedly plotting major terrorist attack in India.

A Canadian national, Rana had made several trips to India in the past several years along with his school-time friend David Coleman Headley, who has also been arrested on same charges.

Heeding to the request of the US Attorney Patrick J Fitzgerald who had moved a petition in this regard on Friday; Chief Justice James F Holderman of the US district court,

Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on Tuesday extended the time to file the indictment against Rana till January 14.

Rana, arrested last month by the FBI on charges of being part of a major plan by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba, to carry out terror attacks in India and Denmark, is scheduled to be produced before court on November 19 when his bail plea would come up for hearing.

Earlier on October 30, the court had granted the government's unopposed motion with respect to 49-year-old Headley, extending the time in which the government must seek an indictment against him until January 1, 2010.

Moving the motion seeking extension of time, the US attorney said the federal prosecutors need more time to complete the investigation. Investigations include the interception of numerous telephone and email communications, many of which were in a foreign language, he said.

"On October 18, federal agents executed four search warrants at four separate locations, and, among other items of evidence, seized a number of computers. Agents are diligently examining the evidence, including that contained in the seized computers," it said.

"Details concerning the investigation and the volume and types of evidence recovered during this investigation are stated in the Attachment hereto, which the government respectfully requests be placed under seal. The government is requesting that this Attachment be sealed so as not to compromise the continuing investigation," the US attorney said.

"Additionally, further investigation regarding the full scope of the two defendants' activities is ongoing and includes gaining assistance from foreign authorities," it said.
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