US State Department on August 17 (local time) said that Washington is committed to confront terrorism across the world and continues to call for those involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to be brought to justice.
State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel, however, said that the extradition process of Tahawwur Rana — an accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attack — is a “pending matter”.
“So this…as you so note, is a pending extradition matter. And so, given the fact that it is pending, I don’t have any specific comment to offer… I’m just not going to comment on a pending extradition matter. I’m sure the Department of Justice can outline the specific steps that are required in an extradition matter,” Vedant Patel said during a State Department briefing.
He further said that the US is committed to confront terrorism across the world.
“What I can say is that we are committed to confronting terrorism across the world and we continue to call for those involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks to be brought to justice,” Vedant Patel added.
Notably, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during the recently concluded Monsoon session of the Parliament, had said that Tahawwur Rana “will face the Indian judiciary soon”.
Earlier in May, US envoy to India, Eric Garcetti, also stated that the United States Court has given the mandate that the extradition of Tahawwur Rana should occur. He added that it is a sort of collaboration and cooperation where both nations are working together “to bring terrorists to justice, and we won’t stop.”
Tahawwur Rana was arrested in the US on an extradition request by India for his role in the Mumbai attacks in which 10 Pakistani terrorists laid a more than 60-hour siege, attacking and killing over 160 people, including six Americans, at iconic and vital locations in Mumbai.
Indian authorities allege that Tahawwur Rana conspired with his childhood friend David Coleman Headley to assist the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba in orchestrating the terror attacks.
Headley and Tahawwur Rana attended military high school in Pakistan together.
Tahawwur Rana’s immigration law centre in Chicago, as well as a satellite office in Mumbai, was allegedly used as a front for their terrorism activities between 2006 and 2008, prosecutors say.
Headley, the master plotter of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, had pleaded guilty and testified against Rana. Rana is fighting extradition by claiming double jeopardy because he was acquitted of Mumbai massacre charges in a Chicago federal courtroom. Tahawwur Rana is arguing that he has already been acquitted of the charges he would face overseas.
(with inputs from ANI)