Canadian citizen charged in plot to attack Danish newspaper that published controversial cartoons

U.S. authorities have charged two men, David Coleman Headley, 49, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, with one count each of “conspiracy to provide material support to an overseas terrorism conspiracy” in relation to a plot to attack a Danish newspaper, CBC News reports.

Rana is a Canadian citizen who lives mainly in Chicago.

The Danish newspaper, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in 2005. The cartoons caused an international uproar.

CBC reports:

“Patrick J. Fitzgerald , the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said the complaints allege Headley identified and conducted surveillance of potential targets of a terrorist attack in Denmark on two separate trips to the Scandinavian country in January and July 2009.

“Rana is accused of helping to arrange Headley’s travels overseas and concealing their true nature, and also discussed potential targets for attack with Headley, officials said.

“Rana owns several businesses, including First World Immigration Services, which has offices in Toronto, Chicago and New York. Justice officials allege Headley claimed to be an employee or representative of Rana’s business, but appeared to perform ‘little if any actual work for the business.’

“Despite his apparent lack of financial resources, authorities allege Headley travelled extensively since 2008, including multiple trips to Pakistan and various countries in Europe.

“They said that beginning in late 2008, Headley corresponded with two other men to plan an attack on one or more facilities and employees of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper that in 2005 published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.”

The Globe and Mail‘s report is extensive and includes PDFs of the criminal complaints against both men.