Terrorist back on the stand today in Chicago trial

May 24, 2011

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(AP/Tom Gianni)
In this courtroom sketch, David Coleman Headley is shown in federal court Monday, May 23, 2011, in Chicago.

An admitted terrorist will be back on the stand Tuesday in a Chicago courtroom.  David Headley is the government's star witness in the terrorism trial of Chicagoan Tahawwur Rana, but Headley is a sketchy star witness.  He's been convicted twice for bringing heroin into the U.S. and he seems unapologetic on the stand talking about his participation in the Mumbai terror attack that left more than 160 people dead.

Headley says Rana allowed him to pretend to be an employee of Rana's immigration business.  Prosecutors say that allowed Headley to scope out potential terror targets in India with ease because he appeared to be a secular American businessman, rather than a muslim Pakistani terrorist.  Prosecutors say Rana never carried a gun or threw a grenade in the attack, but his support was critical to the success of the Mumbai plot.

Rana's attorneys told jurors they should not trust anything Headley has to say.  Headley's cooperation with the government allows him to avoid the death penalty.