March 18th, 2010
03:14 PM ET

Mumbai terror suspect pleads guilty

David Headley, 49, pleaded guilty Thursday.

A Chicago man charged in two international terror plots, including the 2008 Mumbai, India, attacks, pleaded guilty Thursday to a dozen counts against him, and now will not face a trial.

David Headley, 49, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Chicago to a dozen federal terrorism charges. Authorities said he scouted out targets for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 that killed more than 160 people, and planned an attack on a Danish newspaper that published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Headley has agreed to cooperate with the government and testify before a grand jury.

He could have faced the death penalty if convicted, but in exchange for his guilty plea and cooperation, the government has taken execution off the table.

However, he will not be sentenced until after the conclusion of his cooperation, the Justice Department said.

Authorities said Headley attended training camps in Pakistan operated by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and received instructions in 2005 from three members of the group to travel to India to conduct surveillance. The Justice Department said he traveled to India five times leading up to the Mumbai attacks. Six Americans were killed in the attacks.

The United States considers Lashkar-e-Tayyiba a foreign terrorist organization.

Headley also admitted that in early November 2008, a Lashkar-e-Tayyiba member in Karachi, Pakistan, instructed him to scout the Copenhagen and Aarhus offices in Denmark of the Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten newspaper in preparation for an attack. The newspaper had published controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

The alleged plan against the Danish newspaper was never carried out.

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soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Pablo

    The muslims will never let people live in peace and then they say that it is a religion of peace.....if ISLAM is peace then what is Buddhism, Hinduism, Christanity, Judaism...I am appalled by this stupid cult......

    By the way some smart alecs might say but he is David Headley- well he is a muslim who changed his name....


    March 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sam dany

    This guy needs to be taken to India and tried there for the lives of 160 who perished on that eventful day. There are thousand others who are affected by this tragedy in various ways. So, show no mercy on him! Hang himmmmmmmmmmm!!!

    March 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Santhosh

    As an INDIAN i know the pain we have faced followed by the 11/26 attacks in Mumbai. The Mastermind behind this attacks must be brought to light and should be punished severly. May the souls of my brothers and sisters who lost their lives in that deadly attack may rest in peace.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Saurabh Rohatgi

    This means that he will not be extradited to India, where he could face a trial for his heinous acts

    March 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Anish Patel

    wow, funny how media does not portray him, a white american, as a terrorist but if it were a muslim person or even a person who looks similar to a muslim person, the media automatically portrays them as terrorists. Preposterous.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sadly this wont end....

    Until we as free people go to the root of Islamic terrorism which is the radical teachings. We need to stop these Imams from brainwashing children and prisoners to turn to Jihad and terrorism. If we do not revise their teachings a new terrorist will replace the old and it continues.......

    March 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. drewfromboulder

    This guy's name is really Daood Sayed Gilani. His mother is American. His father was a senior Pakistani diplomat.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Manish

    Why doesnt the article tells his real name "Daood Gilani" a moslem. Also that his origin is from PAKISTAN and is a brother of spokeman of Pak Prime minister. Thats too much protecting the ally country that has 90% of world's terrorists

    March 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel Martinez

    Wow, pretty much crushes any argument favoring racial profiling... This man and others do not fit the racial profile for jihadi terrorist.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Big Country

    In Obama's home state... I don't find this shocking.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. vkraman

    No trial because........ It did not affect U.S? We should have a full trial even if India has to share the expense

    March 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mumbaikar

    The length of this story shows how little CNN, America and the Western World care about terrorism and terror victims in the other half of the world. There has been very little coverage of the Headley case over the past few months, and this latest news will be little more than a blip in the news cycle. It is very unfortunate that some lives are more important than others.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shanker

    I am not sure if same kind of treatment would have been given to a person involved in a similar attack on US soil......That's when US looses it credibility in terms of fighting against terror....

    March 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. max

    If anyone deserves the death penalty, it is this man.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Eric Kapoor

    Wow! That's great!! He plots to attack foreign land. Helps in killing hundreds of innocent people. Admits his guilt and cooperates and gets away without a trail. Now that's what I call "Real Justice".

    March 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
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