The terrorist who played an integral role in planning the 2008 attack at a Mumbai hotel that left more than 160 people dead was sentenced Thursday to 35 years in a U.S. prison, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Appearing in a Chicago federal court, David Coleman Headley, a U.S. citizen and Chicago resident, was dealt the sentence after testimony from a Nashville woman who was shot in the back during the massacre. Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald made a surprise appearance at the hearing, the Tribune reported, urging the judge to consider the "unusual nature" of Headley's cooperation with authorities.
From the Tribune:
On the night of his arrest at O’Hare International Airport, Headley “freely admitted” his role in the Mumbai massacre within half an hour of being given his Miranda rights, Fitzgerald said.
Headley, 52, appearing amid heightened security in Leinenweber’s courtroom, faced up to life in prison. He pleaded guilty to scouting out sites to be targeted in the terrorist attack that killed more than 160 people – including six Americans -- in India’s largest city. He also admitted playing a similar role in an aborted plot to storm a Danish newspaper and behead staffers in retaliation for printing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
Federal prosecutors have cited Headley’s extraordinary cooperation for seeking a sentence of 30 to 35 years in prison.