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David Coleman Headley Avoids Life Sentence for Mumbai Attacks

David Coleman Headly was sentenced today for his role in the Mumbai bombings and planned attack of a Danish newspaper. His plea agreement called for a life sentence, allowing him to avoid the death penalty.

He was sentenced today to 35 years, a reduced term, because of his cooperation with authorities. Even Patrick Fitzgerald showed up to argue for the lesser sentence.

Headley is 52. The Judge said today he hoped his sentence would keep Headley in prison for the rest of his life. (He will have to serve 85% of the 35 years, but he will get credit for the time he has spent in custody since his arrest in 2009.) [More...]

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Rana Sentencing: Judge Rejects Terror Enhancement

Tahawwur Rana, David Headley's co-defendant in the Chicago terror case related to the Mumbai bombings and planned attack on a Danish newspaper, was sentenced to 14 years today. The Government had sought a 30 year sentence.

Rana was convicted on two counts of a Superseding Indictment (Counts Eleven and Twelve) of conspiring to providing material support to a plot to attack a private newspaper in Denmark, the Jyllands-Posten, and providing material support to Lashkar e Tayyiba (“Lashkar” or “LeT”), a designated terrorist organization. The plot against the Jyllands-Posten was not executed, and no one was killed or injured.

Rana was acquitted on a third charge (Count Nine) which alleged that he conspired to provide material support to attacks in India, including the Mumbai attack in 2008. (Counts Nine and Eleven were charged as a conspiracy, Count 12 was charged as a substantive offense.)

The Judge rejected the Government's request to apply the terror enhancement guideline to Rana. Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the enhancement provides for a 12 level increase in the base offense level, and automatic placement in criminal history category VI (the highest category) if a defendant’s “offense is a felony that involved or was intended to promote a federal crime of terrorism.” [More...]

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Tahawwur Rana Trial Expected to Expose Role of Pakistan's ISI in Mumbai Attacks

Opening arguments begin tomorrow in the trial of Tahawwur Rana, alleged to have conspired with David Headley, aka Daood Gilani and others in the Mumbai bombings and a planned attack on a Danish news agency. Michael Isikoff has this summary today.

I've been writing about Headley and Rana in depth since Headley's arrest. All of our coverage is available here.

The Government will attempt mightily to keep Pakistan's ISI out of the trial. The Judge has already rejected Rana's planned defense that he thought he was working for the ISI rather than Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT.)

The main question is who was Headley's handler, referred to as Major Iqbal, allegedly a serving Pakistani ISI officer? And how, despite his being a named defendant in the Chicago case, and the subject of an Indian charge sheet and Interpol Red Notice, can no one know his identity? [More..]

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FBI Overlooked Tip on Mumbai Bomb Complicitor David Headley

Pro Publica has a lengthy investigative article on admitted Mumbai bombing complicitor and former DEA informant Daood Gilani, aka David Coleman Headley.

The focal point of the article is that Headley's ex-wife told the FBI he had become an extremist involved with Lashkar-i-Taiba back in 2005 when she reported a domestic violence incident between them. The FBI either did nothing or glossed over it. [More...]

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Rana Pleads Not Guilty in Mumbai-Danish Terror Plots

On Jan. 15, we wrote about the Superseding Indictment returned against David Headley, formerly known as Daood Gilani, and Tahawwur Rana regarding the Mumbai attacks and alleged planned attack in Denmark. Also indicted were Retired Pakistani military officer Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Pasha)and alleged Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) leader Ilyas Kashmiri. The U.S. Attorney's office released this detailed press release (pdf) on the charges.

Rana, who is still appealing the denial of bond, was arraigned today and pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, Patrick Blegen, asked the court to appoint him under the Criminal Justice Act so he can be paid from public funds. [More...]

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New Indictment in Chicago Headley- Rana Terror Case

A grand jury returned a superseding indictment against David Coleman Headley, aka Daaod Gilani and Tahawwur Rana regarding the Mumbai attacks and alleged planned attack on a Danish newspaper.

Also indicted: Retired Pakistani military officer Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Pasha)and alleged Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) leader Ilyas Kashmiri.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago released this detailed press release (pdf)on the Indictment. [More...]

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Court Denies Bail for Headley's Co-Defendant in Ill. Terror Case

A federal magistrate judge in Chicago yesterday denied bail for Tahawwur Hussain Rana, co-defendant of David Headley, aka Daood Gilani. Rana is charged with providing material support to terrorists via a planned attack on a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Court found Rana had immigration expertise and a net worth of $1.6 million and was a flight risk. The Government alleged in a brief (available on PACER) that recorded conversations showed Rana knew of the Mumbai attacks before they happened and expressed his approval of them. Rana is not alleged to have participated in the Mumbai attacks. His lawyer argued the recorded conversations were in large part unintelligible and Rana is not a flight risk. [More...]

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DOJ Charges David Headley With Conspiracy in Mumbai Attacks

New charges have been filed (pdf)in Chicago against accused terrorist and former DEA cooperator David Headley, aka Daood Gilani. The U.S. Attorney's office confirms he is cooperating with both the investigation into the Danish newspaper plot and that of the 2008 Mumbai bombings. The text of the new complaint is here (pdf).

In March 2008, Headley and his co-conspirators discussed potential landing sites for a team of attackers who would arrive by sea in Mumbai, and he was instructed to take boat trips in and around the Mumbai harbor and take surveillance video, which he did during his visit to India starting in April 2008, the charges allege.

At various times, Headley allegedly conducted surveillance of other locations in Mumbai and elsewhere in India of facilities and locations that were not attacked in November 2008, including the National Defense College in Delhi, India.

The Government today also unsealed charges (available here, pdf)filed in October against retired Pakistani army major Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Abdur Rehman). The two-count complaint charges him with conspiracy to murder and maim persons in a foreign country, and providing material support to that foreign terrorism conspiracy, in connection with the Danish plot. [More...]

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Pakistan Indicts 7 for 2008 Mumbai Attacks

Pakistan has indicted seven members of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The seven, all in custody, are: Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the “mastermind” of the attacks; Abdul Wajid alias Zarar Shah, also of the LeT and described as a “facilitator and expert of computer networks;” Hamad Amin Sadiq, who is charged with “facilitating funds and hideouts” for the Mumbai attackers; Mazhar Iqbal alias Abu al Qama, described as a “handler;” Shahid Jamil Riaz, who is described both as a facilitator for funds, as well as a crew member of a boat used by the attackers; Jamil Ahmed, described as “facilitator;” and, Younus, also a “facilitator.”

All have pleaded not guilty. The seven include the two alleged masterminds of the attacks, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarrar Shah. The Court refused to indict LeT leader Hafiz Saeed. [More...]

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Report: David Headley Cooperating in Chicago Terror Probe

The Chicago Tribune reports that terror suspect David Headley, aka Daood Gilani, is cooperating with authorities and providing information about the Mumbai terror attacks of November, 2008.
David Coleman Headley, who has been cooperating with authorities, is being investigated as a scout for the Mumbai attack, which targeted multiple sites, including two hotels, a train station, a cafe and a Jewish community center. A source familiar with the probe said Headley's co-defendant in the newspaper case, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, is suspected to have paid for Headley's India missions.
As I wrote here, it wouldn't be the first time Headley has cooperated. Under his original name, Daood Gilani, he worked his way out of a 1997 heroin case by providing information to the DEA. He ended up with a 15 month sentence (his co-defendant James Lewis got 100 months.) After Headley/Gilani was released from prison, and while he was on supervised release, the court granted him permission to travel to Pakistan. The Government then joined his request to terminate his supervised release three years early. [More...]

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