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Rediff.com  » News » I am not guilty, Headley tells Chicago court

I am not guilty, Headley tells Chicago court

Last updated on: December 09, 2009 23:24 IST

Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative David Coleman Headley, charged with criminal conspiracy in the Mumbai terror attacks, was produced before a Chicago court on Wednesday for his arraignment.

Headley was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on October 3 from Chicago for planning terror attacks in India and Denmark. He was charged with planning terror attacks on the National Defence College in New Delhi and against a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed 5.

The Pakistan-born American citizen was also charged with criminal conspiracy in the Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

Headley pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him. The court has fixed the next date of hearing on January 12.

 

Headley, who appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit, shackled at the ankle, has been charged with six counts of criminal conspiracy.

 

He was accused of conspiring to bomb public places in India, murder and maim persons in India and Denmark, providing material support to foreign terrorist plots and providing material support to Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar -e-Tayiba.

Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006 so he could "present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani", was also facing six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India.

 

The charges filed in the Federal Court in Chicago said Headley conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the 26/11 terrorist attacks, took pictures and videotapes of various targets, and supplied them to the perpetrators of the assault.

 

Headley attended terror training camps in Pakistan run by LeT and conspired with its members and others in planning and executing the attacks both in India and Denmark, the charges filed by federal law enforcement officials said.

 

A retired Pakistani army Major, Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, played the central role in communicating with Headley and facilitating contacts with other co-conspirators in Pakistan, including LeT members, they said.

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