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Convicted terrorist David Coleman Headley sentenced

A Chicago man who pleaded guilty in the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

David Coleman Headley, 52, admitted to scouting many of the sites later targeted in the attacks, and then he worked with prosecutors in that case after his arrest in Chicago in 200

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Convicted terrorist David Headley will enter prison at 52 years of age and likely leave as he approaches 80. He could have received life in prison for the 12 terrorism crimes he pled guilty to, but instead he cooperated with authorities immediately following his 2009 arrest at O’Hare Airport. It made a difference in court today and Headley showed remorse for his actions.

His arrest came one year following the horrific attack on Mumbai that killed more than 160 people, including 6 Americans, one of them Sandeep or Sam Jeswani of Chicago. His mother tells WGN she misses her son every day. He was 43 when he was killed. She made it clear, even a 100 year prison sentence for Headley would not bring Sam back.

Prosecutors value the intelligence David Headley shared from the start. Even former US attorney Patrick Fitzgerald testified today saying the defendant’s early and forthcoming cooperation over the years was “unusual. “

Testimony inside the courtroom was emotional at times. Outside, foreign journalists packed the federal courthouse lobby. The Headley sentencing is a top story overseas says Times Now correspondent Shalini Parekh. The Indian broadcast outlet says viewers there are telling her 35 years is not enough.

Through a letter to the judge, David Headley claims to be a changed person.  A U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, he told the judge he’s learning to embrace American values.

Security at the courthouse was tight today, certainly more than usual as more than a hundred people lined up hoping for a spot inside the courtroom today.

A Chicago man who pleaded guilty in the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India was sentenced to 35 years in prison Thursday.

David Coleman Headley, 52, admitted to scouting many of the sites later targeted in the attacks, and then he worked with prosecutors in that case after his arrest in Chicago in 2009.

And, he also testified against a childhood friend who plotted to attack a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Before Federal Judge Harry Leinenweber handed down Headley’s sentence today, a Mumbai survivor who was shot in the back during the 2008 rampage testified.  Linda Ragsdale of Nashville said the barrage of bullets was so intense that “waves of heat clouded” her vision.

Ragsdale also read from the statement of another Mumbai survivor who said it would be an “appalling dishonor” if Headley was sentenced to the 30 to 35 years recommended by prosecutors.   Headley faced up to life in prison.

Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald also made an appearance at the sentencing hearing.  Fitzgerald said that while Headley was involved in a “very, very heinous crime,” the judge should consider the “unusual nature” of Headley’s cooperation.

A man convicted in the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India will be sentenced in Chicago Thursday.

David Coleman Headley, 52, admitted to scouting many of the sites later targeted in the attacks.

But, he worked with prosecutors in that case after his arrest in Chicago in 2009.

And, he also testified against a childhood friend who plotted to attack a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Earlier in the week, prosecutors petitioned the court to give Headley a lighter sentence of 30 to 35 years for that cooperation.

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