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Friday, July 29, 2011

Mumbai terror attack gunman appeals death sentence
Maureen Cosgrove at 10:35 AM ET

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[JURIST] Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab [NDTV profile], convicted [JURIST report] in May 2010 for murder and waging war against India for his role in the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] that killed 166, filed an appeal Friday challenging his death sentence. Prosecutors had accused Kasab of being one of the gunmen photographed during the attacks, which were allegedly coordinated by Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [CFR backgrounder]. He was sentenced to death after the prosecution sought the death penalty [JURIST reports], citing eight aggravating circumstances. In February, an Indian appeals court upheld Kasab's conviction and death sentence [JURIST report]. In January 2010, a judge denied [JURIST report] Kasab's request for an international trial after Kasab claimed that he would not receive a fair trial in India. Two alleged Indian accomplices tried with Kasab were acquitted on all charges of helping to plan the attacks. Kasab is the only surviving gunman from the Mumbai attacks.

Suspects connected to the Mumbai terror attacks continue to face arrest and prosecution. In March, US citizen and Chicago resident David Headley pleaded guilty [press release; JURIST report] to 12 counts of federal terrorism stemming from the Mumbai terror attacks and a terror incident in Copenhagen. A federal jury acquitted Tahawwur Hussain Rana [JURIST report], a Chicago resident with Canadian citizenship, of participating in the Mumbai terror attacks in June, but convicted him on two counts of planning to attack a Copenhagen newspaper after Headley testified at his trial. In December, Spanish authorities arrested seven men [JURIST report], including six Pakistanis and one Nigerian, in Barcelona suspected of aiding in the Mumbai terror attacks by allegedly stealing passports and other identification documents belonging to male tourists between the ages of 20 and 30, then sending the documents to Thailand where they would be forged and then forwarded to terrorist groups. India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) announced [JURIST report] in October that it has secured INTERPOL [official website] red notices [official backgrounder] for five Pakistani citizens, including two military officials, for their suspected involvement in the attacks.




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