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US man denies Mumbai plot charge

Courtroom drawing of David Headley
The FBI alleges Mr Headley attended militant training camps in Pakistan

A US man has pleaded not guilty to charges of involvement in the deadly Mumbai (Bombay) attacks of a year ago.

David Headley, a Pakistani-American, is accused of having helped identify targets for the assaults which left 174 people dead, including nine gunmen.

He was arrested over a plot to attack a Danish newspaper which had printed pictures of the Prophet Mohammed.

On Monday, US justice officials released a raft of new charges related to the Mumbai attacks.

DAVID HEADLEY
Born in 1960 in the US to a Pakistani father and an American mother
Spent much of his childhood in Pakistan
Attended a military boarding school in Islamabad
Dropped out of school at 17
Joined his mother in the US after she divorced his father
Changed his name to David Headley in 2006
Made five extended trips to Mumbai between 2006 and 2008
FBI says he took pictures and made videotapes of various targets, including those attacked in 2008
Arrested in Chicago on 3 October 2009 as he was about to travel to Pakistan

Mr Headley, 49, has been charged with six counts of conspiracy to bomb public places in India, to murder and maim people in India and Denmark, to provide material support to foreign terrorist plots, and to provide material support to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group.

Mr Headley is also facing six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India.

He was arrested on 3 October 2009 for allegedly planning terrorist attacks against the Danish newspaper which published cartoons about Islam.

The Chicago branch of the FBI says David Headley attended Lashkar-e-Taiba training camps in Pakistan in 2002 and 2003, where he conspired to plan and carry out attacks in both India and Denmark.

Prosecutors say Mr Headley changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006 after he was told by members of Lashkar-e-Taiba that he would be travelling to India to carry out surveillance duties for the group.

The FBI says his aim was to present himself as an American citizen without any links to Pakistan or Islam.

After repeated trips to India in 2006 and 2008, investigators say he returned to Pakistan, where he would provide his alleged co-conspirators with photographs, videos and descriptions of locations he is accused of having staked out.

Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, on fire
The attacks in Mumbai were the result of extensive planning

The FBI says Lashkar-e-Taiba instructed Mr Headley to take boat trips in and around Mumbai harbour with the goal of finding potential landing sites for the team which carried out the Mumbai attacks.

Mr Headley is reported to be co-operating with the ongoing investigation into the attacks in Mumbai and the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

His lawyer, John Theis, entered the not guilty plea on his client's behalf and waived his right to be indicted by a grand jury.

No new information was released at the routine arraignment. The next hearing has been set for 12 January 2010.



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SEE ALSO
US charges two for 'Denmark plot'
27 Oct 09 |  Americas
Mumbai remembers terror attacks
26 Nov 09 |  South Asia

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Times Online Five arrested US Muslims 'connected to al-Qaeda' - 1 hr ago
IOL Mumbai terror suspect led double life - 10 hrs ago
Times of India Headley denies role in 26/11 attacks | - 12 hrs ago
Melbourne Age US national denies Mumbai attacks, cartoons plot - 13 hrs ago
Christian Science Monitor David Headley case: What's behind spate of US-based terrorist plots? - 17 hrs ago



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