United States rules out extradition of David Headley
The United States has ruled out any extradition of the American born LeT terrorist David Headley, in lieu of providing critical information to the US agencies about various other terror outfits.
The Mumbai attack accused also agreed to co-operate with the government, as well as any foreign judicial proceedings held inside US through video conferencing or deposition, Attorney Gary S Shapiro informed a Chicago court yesterday.
The attorney ruled out any extradition for the 26/11 accused under a guilty plea that the Pakistani-American had entered into with the US government and in lieu of the co-operation he extended to the government and the crucial information about various terrorist outfits that he shared with the American investigating agencies.
“As the Court knows, Headley’s testimony helped secure a conviction against (Tahawwur) Rana. Further, Headley has agreed to provide truthful testimony in any proceeding in the United States if called upon by the United States Attorney’s Office, as well as any foreign judicial proceeding held in the United States by way of deposition, videoconferencing or letters rogatory,” Acting United States Attorney Gary S Shapiro told the Chicago Court in a 20-page submission made today.
In addition to meeting with investigators from the United States, Headley was interviewed by Indian law enforcement officers for seven days, Shapiro said.
“Headley answered their questions without any restriction, and the government understands that the Indian government found the information to be useful. Additionally, Headley has taken other steps and provided other information to assist authorities,” he said.
Shapiro said Headley volunteered to co-operate with the investigating agencies and provide them with the information a day after his arrest in October 2009.
“After being specifically advised that, based on the information that he was providing, he likely would face charges that carried the death penalty in the US, Headley continued to speak with investigators for two weeks before his arrest became public. Further, Headley has been interviewed in dozens of proffer sessions,” he said.
Headley has provided extensive detail about Lashkar-e- Toiba, including its organizational structure, leadership and other personnel, recruiting methods, fundraising methods, training methods, planning of attacks and potential targets.
He also provided extensive detail about Ilyas Kashmiri and his network.
Shapiro said the information that Headley provided led to criminal charges against at least seven other individuals, including his handler Sajid Mir, a senior Lashkar leader who was one of the main architects of the Mumbai attacks and acted as one of the controllers providing directions to the ten attackers.
Sajid was Headley’s handler; and Abu Qahafa, a senior Lashkar member who provided combat and other training to the ten attackers and acted as one of the controllers.
Headley also provided information about Mazhar Iqbal, a senior Lashkar leader who acted as one of the controllers; Major Iqbal, who Headley reported to be an ISI officer who helped plan and fund the Mumbai attacks; Ilyas Kashmiri, the leader of Harakat ul Jihad al Islami (HUJI), a terrorist organization that trained terrorists and executed attacks against India and Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired Pakistani military officer who once belonged to Lashkar, but had starting working with Kashmiri.
As a result of this co-operation and subsequent guilty plea, the US Government attorney told the Chicago Court that in light of his past cooperation and his anticipated future cooperation, as well as other relevant factors, the government agreed to not seek the death penalty against him and to not extradite him to Pakistan, India or Denmark for the offenses to which he pleaded guilty.