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Split Verdict in Rana Terror Trial

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 10, 2011 1:00PM

Businessman Tanhawwur Rana was acquitted of aiding in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks yesterday, which spared him a life sentence in prison. But Rana was found guilty of aiding the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba in planning an aborted attack against a Danish newspaper office that ran an editorial cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed and behead the staff. Rana could face up to 30 years in prison on that conviction.

Rana, who showed no emotion as the verdict was read, was said to be in shock after, according to his attorneys. "Obviously, we're extremely disappointed. We believe in Mr. Rana, and we believe he was not guilty," said Rana attorney Patrick Blegen. "The jury came to another decision. We respect their decision, but we think they got it wrong."

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was satisfied with the verdict. “Jurors don’t have to be entirely consistent, but I don’t see it inconsistent here."

The jurors in the case, whose identities have been closely guarded due to the sensitive nature of the trial, deliberated for two days before reaching their verdict. Fitzgerald suggested the jury may have doubted that Rana knew when the Mumbai attacks were going to happen and suggested that Rana's videotaped FBI interrogation, where he admitted knowing friend and star witness David Coleman Headley had trained with Lashkar-e-Taiba, and a secretly recorded 2009 conversation where Rana laughed while Headley sing-songed "Denmark, Denmark" may have influenced the jury's decision in the Denmark plot.