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.
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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