Man Who Aided Terrorist Group Responsible for Mumbai Massacre to Avoid Life Sentence
by Zach Pontz
The American-Pakistani accused of aiding terrorists responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which included the murder of six people at the Nariman Chabad House, is set to be sentenced by a U.S. court Thursday.
David Coleman Headley pleaded guilty in 2010 to the first count of his indictment related to “conspiracy to bomb places of public use in India” and this, according to a document detailing his plea agreement, “carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or death penalty.”
However, prosecutors are only demanding a 30-35 year jail term.
According to U.S. attorney Gary S. Shapiro: “His decision to cooperate (with the government), and the uniquely significant value that cooperation has provided to the government’s efforts to combat terrorism, support the government’s recommendation.”
Though the plea agreement between Headley and the US government is clear that “the sentencing judge is neither a party to nor bound by” the plea agreement it appears that Headley will benefit from cooperating with government officials.
According to his indictment documents, Headley started working with the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba in late 2005 when he received instructions to travel to India to conduct surveillance of various locations—including several Chabad Houses— many which were subsequently targeted by the terror group.
Prior to this he had attended terror training camps on five occasions between 2002 and 2005. Headley’s great value was that he looked like a white American and to facilitate his operation, he had his name legally changed from Daood Gilani to David Coleman Headley.