Mumbai's 26/11 pointman Headley may get 30-year US sentence

Prosecuting attorneys in the United States have sought a 30 to 35 year jail sentence for David Coleman Headley, a key behind-the-scenes activist who helped facilitate the Laskhar-e-Tayyeba's dastardly terrorist attack on Mumbai in November 2008 that left 167 people dead.

Seeking less than a life sentence which many feel should have been his minimum dues, the papers filed by prosecutors in a Chicago court cited the "significant value of his cooperation" as reason for seeking a lighter sentence.

Headley will be sentenced by that court on Thursday. He was never tried as he pleaded guilty to all 12 charges in exchange for immunity from extradition and death penalty.

A Pakistani American, Headley visited Mumbai many times between 2006 and 2008 to scout the targets for his LeT handlers. Indian investigators make no secret of their belief that the ISI, Pakistan's military intelligence agency, strongly aided and abetted the cowardly attacks on innocents at a downtown railway station and a makeshift synagogue as well as Mumbai's most prestigious hotel.

Among other things, Headly picked the landing area where the attackers sailed in unquestioned, carrying automatic guns and grenades.

Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian who gave Headley the cover of his immigration business for the scouting missions, was sentenced to 14 years by the same court last week.