Pakistani-born American national and suspected Lashkar operative David Coleman Headley, who is also charged with criminal conspiracy in 26/11, seems to have turned into an FBI informant to avoid death sentence.
Headley, 49, who was arrested last month by FBI for plotting attacks in Denmark and India and was later indicted for role in 26/11, has a strong case against him and is unlikely to come out prison and faces death penalty.
“But by talking this time, Headley might escape the death penalty,” Philadelphia Inquirer said.
Headley has track record of turning informant to FBI after being caught and indicted in criminal cases. He had been informant to federal prosecutors at least twice as a result of which his sentence was reduced. In present case, he has again turned out an informant so as to avoid death penalty.
Charge-sheet filed by the FBI against him gives an indication, in which the federal prosecutors say that he is cooperating in the investigation.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Court records indicate that Headley, earlier known as Dawood Gilani, was arrested twice on drug charges. On both the occasions, his sentence was reduced and he was able to leave the jail early as he turned out to be a good informant to the drug enforcement agencies and helped them in unearthing of some of the major drug cartels.
“He wasn’t tough to crack: Before the day was out, Daood ‘David’ Gilani decided to save his own skin, agreeing to betray his drug-dealing partners by helping US drug agents set up a sting,” the paper reported referring to his arrest in 1988 on charges of possessing two kilos of heroine.
In fact, Gilani was so helpful as a DEA informant in the late 1990s on heroin imported from Pakistan, according to records and Inquirer interviews, that prosecutors made a rare move: They ended his probation years early, allowing him to travel freely. Within weeks, investigators say, he began training with terrorists in Pakistan, the newspaper said.
Headley was again arrested in New York in 1997, smuggling drugs into the country. This time he again got off with a lighter sentence by testifying against his partners.