Chicago Trial Could Link Pakistan to Terror Group
Jury selection begins today in Tahawwur Rana trial
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2011 1:06 PM CDT
In this Dec. 2, 2009 file courtroom sketch, Tahawwur Hussain Rana appears before federal Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Verna Sadock, File)

(Newser) – Jury selection begins today in a Chicago trial that could reveal links between Pakistan's intelligence agency and the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The trial of Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana, accused of helping David Coleman Headley serve as a scout for the attacks, "will undoubtedly demonstrate links between Pakistan government agencies and one of the most competent terrorist organizations operating in South Asia—Lashkar-e-Taiba," which plotted the attacks, says one political scientist.

Headley, who pleaded guilty last year to laying groundwork for the attacks, is cooperating with US officials and will likely be the key government witness in Rana's trial. He told interrogators Pakistan's intelligence agency, ISI, provided training and funding for the attacks. Prosecutors may lay out the alleged ties between the agency and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the AP reports. Rana himself will use the ISI connections in his defense; his attorneys have said he believed Headley was performing "espionage work" for the ISI when Rana provided cover for him on his scouting missions. The trial could increase already growing tension between the US and Pakistan in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death.