Reporting from Chicago — A U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that he scouted targets in advance of the coordinated terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, in 2008 that killed about 170 people, including six Americans.
David Coleman Headley, 49, of Chicago also acknowledged in U.S. District Court that he scouted targets for an attack that was never carried out against a Danish newspaper that drew the ire of much of the Muslim world after publishing unflattering cartoons about the prophet Muhammad.
According to Headley's plea agreement, Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of the Pakistani terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba who was also indicted but remains at large, specified that the attackers of the Danish newspaper should behead captives and throw the heads out of the office to heighten the effect of the assault.
Headley said he met in person with Kashmiri in May and was instructed to meet with a European contact.
In return for Headley's cooperation and testimony against codefendant Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Chicago businessman of Pakistani descent also charged in both plots, the Justice Department agreed not to seek the death penalty for Headley.