Terror suspect accused of providing materials
October 28, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Suspect Tahawwur Rana faces new, more serious charges in a terror plot that stretches from a goat farm and slaughterhouse in Illinois through Chicago to Denmark.
The I-Team has learned that federal surveillance teams were watching the alleged terror cell during most of the summer. But the arrests were kept under seal even though both suspects were taken into custody earlier this month.
Tahawwur Hussain Rana was arrested ten days ago but just had his first court appearance on Tuesday.
The I-Team has obtained the first pictures of the federal terrorism raid that culminated in Wednesday's charges. Click here to see a slideshow
On Sunday, October 18 at high noon, waves of FBI agents backed by Illinois State Police swarmed a farm 80 miles southwest of Chicago, appearing ready for a firefight.
Authorities arrived with wagonloads of heavy weapons and communications equipment and spent several hours executing search warrants while a chopper and airplane protected overhead.
At the same time in Chicago, the farm's owner, Pakistani-born Canadian Tahawwur Rana, was being arrested, accused of conspiring with Pakistani-based terror groups.
Rana owns several businesses in Chicago, New York and Canada and a goat farm in downstate Kinsman.
"I have not heard anything from the government about...the farm, so I don't think they've made any allegations in that regard and I have no personal knowledge about the farm," said Patrick Blegen, Rana's attorney. Watch the entire interview with Blegen
Rana's attorney says an accused co-conspirator duped his client.
But in court on Wednesday, U.S. Prosecutors added a more serious terrorism charge and 48-year-old Rana is being held at the MCC without bond, charged with a scheme to attack a Denmark newspaper that once published cartoons offensive to Muslims.Read the amended complaint
"It's the major news story currently in Denmark. Of course everybody is worried that this situation has unfolded," said Kaare Sorensen, Danish correspondent.
Some of the 100 people who live in Kinsman say they have been worried since a Muslim goat-slaughtering business moved into what is predominantly a Roman Catholic village, taking over an old family-owned cattle farm.
On Wednesday when the I-Team arrived, two U.S. Agriculture inspectors were also on the scene. The USDA licenses meat for human consumption and goat meat here is prepared the halal way, according to Muslim custom.
One man claimed to be the manager, then just said he was an employee.
GOUDIE: "What do you do here?
Fuad Nafie/slaughterhouse worker: I don't know.
GOUDIE: What do YOU do here?
Fuad Nafie/slaughterhouse worker: I don't know."
Later, as we photographed the outside, he put me on the phone with the manager's brother, who refused to identify himself or answer any questions.
Nearby residents question the perplexing proximity of the accused terrorist's farm in Kinsman. It is located twenty miles or less from three nuclear plants. Braidwood is 20 miles east; Dresden 15 miles east; and Lasalle is just 10 miles away.
Authorities say they have no belief that metro Chicago nuclear plants were targeted or that there were any American targets, just Denmark. Exactly what evidence the FBI removed from the goat farm is unknown. However, in similar investigations, federal agents have looked to seemingly unrelated businesses for computer records and evidence of fundraising support for terror groups.
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