Headley gets 35 years for Mumbai attack

Chicago, Jan 24 (IANS) Pakistani-American David Headley, a key plotter in the deadly 2008 Mumbai terror attack staged by Pakistan based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was Thursday sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Although Headley, 52, Washington born son of a Pakistani diplomat and an American mother, faced life imprisonment without parole, US District Judge Harry Leinenweber sentenced him to only 35 years in line with the prosecution's recommendations.

Headley, who changed his given name of Dawood Gilani to scout targets in Mumbai without arousing suspicion, "played an essential role in the planning of a horrific terrorist attack" in Mumbai, according to Gary Shapiro, the acting US Attorney in Chicago.

But citing Headley's "significant cooperation" to US government's efforts to combat terrorism, US federal prosecutors had suggested a prison term of 30-35 years.

Headley had pleaded guilty to 12 charges relating to his role in the Mumbai attack as also an abortive LeT plot to attack Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten for publishing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.

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