One Canadian national and a U.S. national were arrested in October on charges of preparing an attack on the MoToon newspaper, Jyllands Posten, and the planned assassinations of Kurt Westergaard and Flemming Rose.
Both men are of Pakistani origin. Daood Gilani, the forty nine year-old American, changed his name to David Coleman Headley. Tahawwur Hussain Rana, aged forty eight, owned a meat processing plant in Canada. Headley was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on October 3rd. Rana was taken at his home on October 18th.
Headley (Gilani) is facing two charges: one count of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts involving murder and maiming outside the United States, and another of conspiracy to provide material support to the conspiracy.
The Canadian, Rana, is charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign conspiracy, one involving Headley and three other individuals.
Both men are being held in Chicago.
The reports do not list the whereabouts of the three other people. The FBI affidavits can be found here.
The conspirators named their plot “The Mouse Project” …
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…and began an “intense correspondence” about their intentions in early 2008. The Department of Justice says that they were planning at least one attack on the Jyllands-Posten buildings and employees.
The Danish Intelligence and Security Service were informed and cooperated with the Americans:
“The Service sees this case as being very serious. One of those arrested has an extensive network among leading militant extremists in Pakistan who not only want to attack Denmark but have also shown previously that they are capable of ruthless terrorist attacks,” PET Chief Jakob Scharf says in a news release.
According to PET, one of those arrested has been to Denmark twice this year to reconnoitre and select targets. In July this year, he was in Copenhagen taking video footage in the capital.
The FBI affidavit names some very heavy duty terrorist organizations who were overseeing Mickey Mouse. Headley reported to Ilyas Kashmiri, who was an operational chief of Harakat-ul-Jihad Islami, based in Pakistan (Kashmiri was later killed in a drone attack). HuJL is known to have links to al-Qeda.
PET says the conspirators were in close contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba. Headley (Gilani) purportedly has admitted to receiving training from this last group.
Nothing further has been mentioned about the three other suspects so one presumes they are still at large, or were in Pakistan all along.
The following websites were used for this post:
The Times had the most interesting details, to wit:.
Mr Headley…allegedly conducted surveillance at a synagogue because of a mistaken belief that Mr Rose was Jewish.
When he was arrested, Mr Headley allegedly had a ticket to fly from the US to Denmark on October 29.
While in Denmark he allegedly posed as a potential advertiser on behalf of a Chicago business, First World Immigration Services, run by Tahawwur Hussain Rana. Court papers indicate that Mr Headley and Mr Rana… who is reported to be a former Pakistani army captain, went to the same military school in Hasan Abdal, Pakistan.
How nice; the allegedly former school chums got together again for old times’ sake.