Chicago man gets 35-year sentence in Mumbai terror attacks

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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.


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