Monday, October 26, 2009

Illinois Meat Plant Owner Charged With Financing Terrorists (Updated)

Updated, Nov. 26, 2009: The Chicago Terror Case: The Bollywood Connection, Al Qaeda Videos, and a Look at Jihadi Life in Wazirstan (See earlier updates below...)

Updated, June 9, 2011: Tahawwur Rana was convicted in "one of the most significant terror cases ever tried in Chicago, but the jury acquitted him of the most serious charge — that he aided a plotter in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks," reports the Chicago Tribune. "Tahawwur Rana, 50, had been charged with helping childhood friend David Coleman Headley in terrorism plots that stretched from the North Side of Chicago to the tribal areas of Pakistan and involved the Mumbai attack as well as an aborted plan to storm a Denmark newspaper office and behead the staff." More about Tahawwur Rana at the Chicago Tribune...

CHICAGO - With Exclusive Photos (below) - A UPI headline on October 20 read, "Raid on Illinois slaughterhouse a mystery." Accounts from locals in Kinsman, Illinois say there were about 100 federal agents involved in the raid, with snipers at the ready and men paraded out of the plant at gunpoint.

The Chicago Tribune pontificated, laughably, that the affair had something to do with immigration. Everyone else felt, correctly, that the reaction was too much for a simple immigration issue. Everyone else was right. Indeed, the owner of the plant, a northside Chicago resident named Tahawwur Rana, has been charged with financing terrorists bent on carrying out operations in Europe. Rana is a Pakistani-Canadian residing in Chicago. The Tribune redeems itself with its October 27 article. An excerpt:

The owner of the plant, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, also of Chicago, was arrested at his North Side home the same day as the raid on First World Management Services in Kinsman, northwest of Dwight. Agents seized records from the plant, as well as a related North Side business also raided the same day, said the source, who is familiar with the investigation. Full article...

The Morris Daily Herald reports that "After more than a week of declining comment, federal agents shortly before 10 a.m. today, Tuesday [Oct. 27], released the details of terrorism-related charges against two Chicagoans. Both David Coleman Headley, 49, a U.S. citizen who changed his name in 2006 from Daood Gilani, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, also known as Tahawwur Rana, are associated with the Kinsman meat packing plant that federal officials raided on Oct. 18. The arrests involve their alleged roles in conspiracies to provide material support and/or commit terrorist acts against overseas targets, including a Danish newspaper [Jyllands-Posten] that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005." [Emphasis added.]

On October 21, Chicago News Bench visited Rana's home in the West Ridge neighborhood (aka "West Rogers Park"), and also the halal grocery store that he owns on Devon Avenue. We did not contact Rana, but a neighbor said he saw "many FBI agents" in the alleys and on the street at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 18. The neighbor said he counted "29 boxes" being carried out of Rana's house by FBI agents. Rana's house, a run-down hovel with a messy yard and too many satellite dishes on its roof, was dark with all curtains drawn when we photographed it at midday. See our exclusive photo slideshow below.

We then visited the grocery store that Rana owns. He was not in, we were told. Catering to this heavily Muslim neighborhood, Rana's "Chicago Grocers" at 2122-24 W. Devon is halal and zahiba (hand cut according to Islamic tradition). The place was filthy, as you can see in our video here.

West Rogers Park is a den of criminal activity, much of the worst of which is Islam related. This is a fair statement: Rana is a Muslim who was, allegedly, funding Islamic terrorists. West Ridge is also the home of the infamous Sunrise Equities scandal, in which hundreds of investors were ripped off by Salman Ibrahim and his cohorts when they fled the country in the middle of the night. Most of those investors were Muslims and trusted Ibrahim's "shariah compliant" firm to help them make money. Investors were left wondering where their life savings had gone. Ibrahim and his Sunrise Equities conspirators are still fugitives.

Updates, Oct. 27:
Prosecutors: Chicago man spoke of terror plot‎ - Associated Press
Two men arrested in Chicago for planning to attack Jyllands-Posten - Islam in Europe
FBI arrest 2 men on terror-related charges - Washington Times
Justice Department press release, Oct. 27, 2009
Chicago men plotted to blow up Danish paper that ran 'Mohammed' cartoon: cops - NY Post
Federal complaints against David Coleman Headley and Tahawar Hussain Rana - Chicago Tribune