United States v. Headley; United States v. Rehman; CRS on the comparison between mil coms and civilian courts

December 7, 2009

1. United States v. Headley (N.D. Ill.)

Federal prosecutors have added new charges against Headley, linking him to the Mumbai attacks.  They also announced that Headley is now cooperating in the investigation.  Details here.

2. United States v. Rehman (N.D. Ill.)

In the same press release, prosecutors also announced charges against Abdur Rehman, a former Pakistani soldier said to have been involved with Headley and another in a plot targeting a Danish newspaper (under the auspices of LET and another group).  From the same press release linked above:

The two-count complaint unsealed against Abdur Rehman, which was filed on Oct. 20, 2009, charges him with conspiracy to murder and maim persons in a foreign country, and providing material support to that foreign terrorism conspiracy. Abdur Rehman allegedly participated in the planning of a terrorist attack in Denmark, coordinated surveillance of the intended targets, and facilitated communications regarding the surveillance and planning with a member of Lashkar and Kashmiri.

Abdur Rehman, who was not named previously but whose alleged participation was described in the initial charges against Headley and Rana, allegedly played the central role in communicating with Headley and facilitating contacts with other co-conspirators in Pakistan, including members of Lashkar. During Headley’s trip to Pakistan in January 2009, Abdur Rehman took him to the FATA region of Pakistan to meet with Kashmiri and solicit the participation of Kashmiri and his organization in the planned attack on the Danish newspaper, according to the complaint against Abdur Rehman. A search of Headley’s luggage when he was arrested revealed a list of phone numbers, including a Pakistani number that he allegedly had used to contact Abdur Rehman.

The count against Headley charging conspiracy to bomb public places in India that resulted in deaths carries a maximum statutory penalty of life imprisonment or death. All of the other counts against Headley carry a maximum of life imprisonment, except providing material support to the Denmark terror plot, which carries a maximum prison term of 15 years.

3. Congressional Research Service on the comparison between the new Military Commission system and civilian criminal process

Available here: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40932.pdf.