Chicago terror suspect accused of having Al Qaeda videos

Associated Press / November 10, 2009

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CHICAGO - Two videos produced by Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terrorist network have been found in the home of a Chicago man accused of plotting an armed attack on a Danish newspaper, federal prosecutors said.

Bin Laden appears on one of the DVDs, describing the lives of four so-called martyrs “on behalf of Islam,’’ and other footage focused on the cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed published in the Copenhagen newspaper, prosecutors said in papers filed late Friday. Those cartoons sparked outrage in much of the Muslim world.

The filings are part of prosecutors’ efforts to bolster their case that Chicago grocery store owner and immigration counselor Tahawwur Rana, 48, should not be freed on bond pending resolution of terrorism charges against him and David C. Headley.

Rana’s bond hearing is scheduled for today. His lawyer, Patrick Blegen, has said Rana may be merely the innocent dupe of Headley. Blegen said yesterday that he had started to review the government’s filing and the evidence.

A lawyer for Headley has declined to comment.

According to federal prosecutors, Headley, also of Chicago, was in contact with terrorist leaders based in the tribal areas of western Pakistan about an attack on the Copenhagen newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, and twice scouted out the newspaper’s offices in that city and Arhus in preparation for an attack.

Rana allegedly made Headley’s travel arrangements for the trips to Denmark.

Prosecutors said the video was found in Rana’s living room on Oct. 18 and that it was produced by As-Sahab Media, Al Qaeda’s media production wing.