Prosecutors say Chicago man had al-Qaida video

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2009 7:21 PM

Two videos produced by Osama bin Laden's al Qaida 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 Prophet Muhammad 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 was scheduled for Tuesday but late Monday was postponed to Nov. 19. His attorney, Patrick Blegen, has said Rana may be merely the innocent dupe of Headley. Blegen said Monday he had started to review the government's filing and the evidence.

An attorney 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 newspapers 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, which is al-Qaida's media production wing. Among those who appear in the video is Mustafa abu al-Yazid, described by prosecutors as the third-ranking member of the terrorist network.

Prosecutors said a 54-minute video focuses on the 12 cartoons that appeared in Jyllands-Posten five years ago.

Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is shown on the video and quoted as saying the cartoons were a way of fighting Islamic extremism and he doesn't regret their publication. The Danish flag is shown against a background of flames.

Prosecutors said one video hails a man who carried out a suicide car bombing of the Danish Embassy in Pakistan.

The video also includes verbal attacks on the United States and Jewish people for "a litany of perceived outrages," according to court papers.