Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

FBI Arrests Two Chicago Men for Danish Terror Plot

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

FBI Arrests Two Chicago Men for Danish Terror Plot

Article excerpt

Federal authorities announced Tuesday that they had broken up a Chicago-based plot to help attack the offices of a Danish newspaper that once published cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammed.

Publication of the cartoons in 2005 sparked outrage among many Muslims internationally. It also triggered calls by Islamic militants for retaliation.

Federal prosecutors said they believe the two Chicago men, David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, were helping to plan a potential retaliatory attack against the Danish newspaper with the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), which is classified as a terrorist organization by the US government.

Mr. Headley, a US citizen, was arrested Oct. 3 by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Pakistan via Philadelphia. His alleged co-conspirator, Mr. Rana, a citizen of Canada, was picked up Oct. 18 at his home in Chicago.

Announcing the arrests, US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said there was no danger of attacks in the Chicago area. "Law enforcement has a duty to be vigilant to guard against not just those who would carry out attacks here on our soil but those who plot on our soil to help carry out violent attacks overseas," he said in a statement.

"This case is a reminder that the threat posed by international terrorist organizations is global in nature and requires constant vigilance at home and abroad," added David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security. More arrests are said to be expected.

According to federal affidavits filed in the US District Court in Chicago, the plot began in October 2008 when Headley allegedly posted a message on an Internet discussion group suggesting he might take action against the Danish cartoonists and others at the newspaper for "making fun of Islam."

Headley, who changed his name in 2006 from Daood Gilani, reportedly wrote that he was: "disposed towards violence for the offending parties."

Officials say the two men and their contacts in Pakistan used code words in e-mails and other communications. The plan was called the "Mickey Mouse Project," "mmp," and "the northern project. …

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