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Pakistani-American to Be Sentenced for Terrorism

  • VOA News

In this courtroom sketch, David Coleman Headley is shown in federal court Monday, May 23, 2011, in Chicago.

In this courtroom sketch, David Coleman Headley is shown in federal court Monday, May 23, 2011, in Chicago.

A Pakistani-American who has pleaded guilty to his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks is to be sentenced Thursday in a Chicago courtroom.

David Coleman Headley could get life in prison, but federal prosecutors have asked for a lighter sentence of 30-to-35 years because Headley provided information that led to charges against other people involved with the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In Mumbai in November of 2008, Lashkar terrorists took over a hotel, a Jewish center and other buildings for three days. The attack killed 166 people, including six Americans.

Headley has said he scouted locations for other possible attacks and received training from Pakistan's intelligence service. He said he carried out video surveillance for an aborted attack on a newspaper in Copenhagen, Denmark that had published cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad.

Headley also has said he received weapons and other training from Lashkar-e-Taiba, which he says also coordinated with Pakistani intelligence.

Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency has long been suspected of involvement in the Mumbai attacks, and three ISI agents were named as co-conspirators by U.S. prosecutors. Headley testified that the ISI's involvement in the Mumbai plot was limited to a handful of rogue agents.

As part of a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty, Headley testified in the terror trial of Pakistani-born Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana, who was sentenced last week to 14 years in prison.
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