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Sunday, 27 January 2013
Terrorist who threatened to behead Jyllands-Posten employees sentenced to 35 years
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From the Copenhagen Post

Authorities say terror case involving David Headley still active. International terrorist David Coleman Headley, 52, was sentenced to 35 years in a US federal prison yesterday for his key role in plotting deadly attacks in Mumbai in 2008.

Headley, 52, pleaded guilty and co-operated with US authorities to avoid the death penalty and extradition to India. He was found guilty on all 12 charges against him, including conspiracy to aid militants from the Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which carried out the attacks. The 60-hour assault on Mumbai began on 26 November 2008. Attacks on the railway station, luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural centre claimed 166 lives. Nine gunmen were also killed.

Headly also pleaded guilty to taking part in a plot, along with co-conspirator Canadian-Pakistani businessman Tahawwur Rana, to attack Jyllands-Posten’s headquarters in Copenhagen and Aarhus and behead employees and thrown their heads into the street.

Headley had faced life imprisonment, but US District Judge Harry Leinenweber said he had taken into account his co-operation in the case, even if "the damage that was done was unfathomable".

"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," Leinenweber said while delivering the verdict, adding that it would have been much easier to impose the death penalty on Headley. "That is what you deserve.”

Despite the sentence handed down to Headley, authorities say the case is far from closed.

"Our investigation into the Mumbai attacks and Danish terror plans is ongoing and active," Lisa Monaco, a US attorney assisting in prosecuting the case, told the media outside the courtroom after the verdict was handed down against Headley. Monaco called the judgement against Headley "an important milestone" in the efforts to hold the perpetrators accountable, but said that several suspects remain at large. Headley met with terrorists in Sweden and England, but there have as yet been no arrests in those countries in connection with the case.

Headley was born Daood Gilani to a Pakistani father and American mother but changed his name to David Coleman Headley in 2006 "to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani", prosecutors said.

Indian officials said they will continue attempts to extradite Headley to stand trial in that country. "India wants a death sentence for David Headley and all those involved in Mumbai terror attacks,” Indian home secretary, RK Singh, told India Today newspaper.

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Posted on 01/27/2013 3:47 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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