Although Rana, a boyhood friend of LeT operative David Coleman Headley, was acquitted of supporting the Mumbai attacks, prosecutors are seeking the maximum 30-year sentence for his role in the aborted plot to attack Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten for publishing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.
Headley pleaded guilty in both the Mumbai and Danish terrorism plots, and was the star prosecution witness at Rana’s trial. Headley would be sentenced on January 24.
Rana’s lawyers seeking leniency for their client downplayed his role in the Danish scheme, saying he was kept in the dark about much of the plot.
They said the 52-year-old Rana is a “kind”, “compassionate” family man with no prior history of violence and so should get no more than 10 years’ prison time. They also noted Rana’s recent health problems, including a heart attack.
A Chicago jury convicted Rana in June 2011 on the charges of providing Headley cover as an employee of his immigration business to scout targets in Mumbai and the newspaper office in Copenhagen.