Grand jury adds 4 to 'Mumbai massacre' indictment
April 25, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- There are new federal charges in Chicago against four top Pakistani terrorists in connection to the Mumbai massacre.
The terror investigation in Chicago began three years ago when federal authorities arrested David Coleman Headley, a mysterious North Sider who had attracted attention by traveling back and forth to Pakistan although he had no apparent means of paying for the trips, and the arrest of his friend and associate, Chicago travel agent Tahawwur Rana.
Since then, Headley has pleaded guilty, Rana has prepared for trial, and Monday, a grand jury in Chicago added four top Pakistani terrorists to the case.
Two-and-a-half years after the attack on Mumbai that held a city hostage and took dozens of innocent lives, federal authorities in Chicago are helping to sort out how it happened and who was responsible, Monday naming four newly indicted Pakistani men as terror plot leaders: Mazhar Iqbal, Abu Qahafa, a man known only as "Major Iqbal" and Sajid Mir.
It is Mir who has attracted the attention of U.S. counterterrorism agents for years. He is also known as "Wasi," aka "Ibrahim," and "Sajid Majeed."
Mir is a Pakistan resident now in hiding. He joined the Pakistani terror group called Lashkar at age 16. He is now in his mid-30s, and has worked as a handler, taking American recruits and converting them to work as Muslim terrorists.
Mir was assigned to Chicagoan Headley, who has pleaded guilty in connection with Mumbai and has submitted to hundreds of hours of interrogation by the FBI.
The handler and his man worked for two years with Headley under Mir's wing.
Headley was assigned to do reconnaissance on Mumbai in planning for the November 2008 attack. On November 26 of that year the attack date, Mir and the other Lashkar chieftains sat in a safe house in Pakistan directing the assault by 10 terror teams.
There is also a warrant for Sajid Mir's arrest in India. During the siege of Mumbai in 2008, Indian federal police intercepted phone calls between Mir and his terror teams in Mumbai. Even though Mir was hundreds of miles away in Pakistan, according to Interpol, he is heard on the phone talking to some of the hostages in India and then giving orders to his gunman to kill them.
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