CHICAGO—A Chicago businessman goes on trial today on charges of helping Pakistani terrorists plan mass murder in Mumbai, India.
The federal prosecution of Tahawwur Hussain Rana will showcase the bloody efforts of a Pakistani terrorist group at a time when relations with Pakistan are particularly troubled after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden not far from Pakistan's capital.
The trial's star witness is expected to be David Coleman Headley, who, according to court documents, has alleged that one of his accomplices in the Mumbai attack worked for Pakistan's intelligence agency. He pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.
A team of terrorists armed with guns and explosives carried out attacks at hotels and other locations in Mumbai over several days in 2008. Six U.S. citizens were among about 170 people killed.
Rana is also charged with aiding in a terrorist plot to attack a newspaper in Denmark after it published unflattering cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that inflamed much of the Muslim world.
Rana, a Pakistan native who owned an immigration business in Chicago, is charged with letting Headley use the business as cover to travel abroad on scouting trips in connection with both plots. The two had become friends while attending military school in Pakistan in their youth.
Rana has denied all involvement.