New dimension to Lashkar's India attack plot

FBI recovers inflammatory al-Qaeda videos from Ranas house

New dimension to Lashkar's India attack plot


Produced by ‘As Sahab Media’, commonly acknowledged to be the media wing of al-Qaeda, one of the videos is titled ‘Bombing of Denmark Embassy’ and was recovered from the living room of 48-year-old  Rana, who has been staying in Chicago for nearly a decade.

Rana was arrested by FBI last month along with David Coleman Headley, 49, for planning attacks on National Defence College in Delhi, Doon school in Dehradun and Woodstock in Mussourie, besides some other facilities at the LeT’s behest.

Federal prosecutors in a supporting affidavit submitted to a Chicago court  on Friday informed judge Nan R Nolan about the videos.

The video on Denmark, where a newspaper had published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad, is 54-minute long.

“That video was contained on a DVD recovered from the living room of defendant Rana’s home on October 18, 2009,” federal prosecutors said.

“The video is narrated by Abu Yahya al-Libi, an al-Qaeda spokesman who reportedly escaped from American custody in Afghanistan.”

“Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the third ranking al-Qaeda member, also appears on the video,” the new affidavit said.

Cartoon controversy

The video is focussed principally on the controversy involving the ‘Jyllands-Posten’ cartoons, explicitly calling for violent action to retaliate against Denmark.

Early in the video, footage of then Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who defended the caricatures as freedom of expression, are featured prominently.

Strong comments then followed from the narrators, condemning the United States, Denmark and Jewish people.

According to the affidavit, the DVD also prominently features the video of the man who carried out a suicide car bombing of the Danish embassy in Islamabad on June 2, 2008.

In addition to the Denmark video, federal prosecutors informed the court that a second DVD was also found in Rana’s home.

Laden’s speech

“The video begins with a speech by Osama bin Laden, and profiles the lives and deaths of four men who were described as having died in the fight on behalf of Islam.

“The video also included remarks by Mustafa Abu al Yazid, who appeared on the Denmark video,” the affidavit said in one of its footnotes.

Responding to Rana’s argument that an attack on the Danish newspaper would not constitute terrorism enhancement, the federal prosecutors said: “The circumstances of the plot to attack the ‘Jyllands Posten’ newspaper, or its cartoonist and editor, make clear that the conspirators – and Rana – viewed the Copenhagen attack as a response to a provocation by the country of Denmark.”

*Fifty-four-minute-long video focusses on the controversy involving the ‘Jyllands-Posten’ cartoons

*The video explicitly calls for violent action to retaliate against Denmark

*It also features the video of a suicide car bombing of the Danish embassy in Islamabad on June 2, 2008

*Second video also recovered from Rana’s house

*Both videos feature Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the third ranking al-Qaeda member

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