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Pakistani Terrorist to be Sentenced in Chicago

Pakistani-born Tahawwur Rana, convicted in the United States of supporting terrorist plots, is to be sentenced Thursday in a Chicago federal courtroom.

Rana was convicted in 2011 of providing support to the Pakistani group responsible for a 2008 attack in Mumbai, India that killed more than 160 people. He also was convicted of backing a never-executed plot to attack a Danish newspaper for printing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Prosecutors are expected to ask for the maximum sentence, 30 years, while the defense is to argue that a sentence of nine or 10 years is more appropriate.

The defense says Rana was unwittingly lured into the plot by his lifelong friend, David Coleman Headley, an American of Pakistani origin who was employed at a Chicago-based business that Rana owned.

Headley has pleaded guilty to laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks.

The prosecution says Rana gave Headley a job to facilitate his terrorist activities, while Rana's lawyers say he employed Headley merely as a favor to a friend and did not know the extent of his plots.

Headley testified against Rana as part of a plea-bargain agreement to avoid the death penalty. He is to be sentenced next week.

The Mumbai attacks were a coordinated set of grenade and machine gun assaults on a number of locations including two luxury hotels, a train station, and a Jewish community center. The attacks took place over three days starting November 26, 2008.

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