American Mumbai Plotter Gets 35 Years

David Coleman Headley scouted targets for 2008 hit in India

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jan 24, 2013 11:47 AM CST

(Newser) – An American was sentenced today to 35 years in prison for the key role he played in a 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai that has been called India's 9/11. David Coleman Headley's meticulous scouting missions facilitated the assault by 10 gunmen from a Pakistani-based militant group. The attack killed 160 people, including children. "I don't have any faith in Mr. Headley when he says he's a changed person and believes in the American way of life," said US District Judge Harry Leinenweber.

"I know what a bullet can do to every part of the human body," an American woman injured in the attacks testified this morning. "I know the sound of life leaving a 13-year-old child. These are things I never needed to know, never needed to experience." The maximum sentence the 52-year-old Headley faced was life in prison. He agreed to cooperate and plead guilty in 2010 to 12 counts to avoid what would have been his maximum sentence: death. He also secured a promise not to be extradited to India.

In this May 23, 2011 file courtroom sketch, David Coleman Headley, who was sentenced Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Chicago.   (Tom Gianni)
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