A federal jury convicted a Chicago businessman today of helping plot an attack against a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. But it cleared him of the more serious charge that he cooperated in the deadly 2008 rampage in Mumbai. The jury reached its split verdict after two days of deliberations. Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian national who has lived in Chicago for years, also got convicted of providing material support to the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba and faces up to 30 years in prison.
At the center of the trial was testimony by the government's star witness, David Coleman Headley. Prosecutors said Rana allowed Headley to travel and scout targets on Lashkar-e-Taiba's behalf while using Rana's business as a cover. Headley previously pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks and planning to attack the Danish paper, a plot that was never carried out. Defense attorneys spent much of their time trying to discredit Headley, who they claim duped his friend from a Pakistani boarding school. "We're extremely disappointed," said one of Rana's attorneys. "We think they got it wrong." (Read more Tahawwur Rana stories.)