For Mumbai attack mass murder, US govt seeks 35 years jail term for David Headley

PTI Posted: Jan 23, 2013 at 0502 hrs
Washington The United States has sought a jail term of 30 to 35 years for American born Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist David Headley for his role in Mumbai attack and other terror activities.

"The government submits that a sentence of 30 to 35 year\'s imprisonment strikes a fair and just balance between the aggravating and mitigating factors applicable to Headley."

"While there is no question that his criminal conduct was deplorable, his decision to cooperate, and the uniquely significant value that cooperation has provided to the government\'s efforts to combat terrorism, support the government\'s recommendation," Attorney Gary S Shapiro said in a 20-page governments position-paper as to sentencing factor related to Headley.

US rules out extradition for Headley

The US government\'s seeking 30-35 years imprisonment for Headley is far less than when compared to what it had sought for Tahawwur Hussain Rana, who has held guilty by a federal grand jury for providing material support to Lashkar-e-Toiba and planning a terrorist attack against a Danish newspaper in Copenhagen.

Last week, the court sentenced him for 14 years followed by five years of supervised release.

"Headley played an essential role in the planning of a horrific terrorist attack," the US Government said, adding that his advance surveillance in India contributed to the deaths of approximately 164 men, women, and children, and injuries to hundreds more.

"Undeterred by the shocking images of death and destruction that came out of Mumbai in November 2008, Headley traveled to Denmark less than two months later to advance a plan to commit another terrorist attack," the US attorney said.

Headley played important role in 26/11 mass murder: US

Washington: Even though Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley played a supportive role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, but it was unquestionably an essential role contributing to the mass murder, the United States said.

In a submission before a Chicago court, the US government said Headley provided video of and intelligence about the locations that later were targeted during the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

He also assisted in plotting out a portion of nautical route that the attackers would take, and recommended the landing point that they later used to enter Mumbai without being detected, it said.

"Headley played a supporting role to the attacks, but an essential one that unquestionably contributed to the mass murder that took place," US government informed the Chicago Court through Attorney Gary S Shapiro.

According to Shapiro, from 2002 to 2005, Headley attended five separate Lashkar training camps where he was indoctrinated on the merits of waging jihad and trained in combat skills.

When Lashkar leaders decided that Headley would better serve them by conducting advance surveillance, he changed his and enlisted the assistance of his friend, Rana, to travel to and stay in Mumbai without detection starting in 2006 and continuing to 2008, Shapiro said.

Shapiro told the court that before the Mumbai attacks took place, Headley was instructed by his Lashkar handler to travel to Denmark to perform surveillance for yet another attack.

After seeing what took place in Mumbai in November 2008, Headley traveled to Denmark in January 2009, he said.

There, he gained entry to two separate facilities for the newspaper, using the same cover story provided to him by Rana that he used in Mumbai, Shapiro said, adding that in February and May 2009, he met with Ilyas Kashmiri, who encouraged Headley to break away from Lashkar and plan the attacks in Denmark with his group.

"Kashmiri directed Headley to meet with associates in the United Kingdom, and inform them that the plan was to take over the newspaper building and fight to the death with responding Danish forces. Specifically, Kashmiri told Headley that he wanted the attackers to behead hostages and throw the heads on the street in order to heighten the response from Danish authorities," it said.

According to Shapiro, Headley traveled to the UK to meet with those associates in July 2009, and thereafter visited Copenhagen a second time, where he took more video of the intended target.

In early October 2009, Headley was arrested at O'Hare Airport, where he was set to travel to Pakistan to again meet with Kashmiri, as well as Sajid Mir.

"In sum, Headley worked to advance the violent goals of terrorist organizations and terrorist attacks for approximately seven years," Shapiro said.