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Split life defined alleged Mumbai attack conspirator

David Coleman Headley lived in two worlds – using a fake name and a fake job to help a terrorist group in Pakistan plan the 2008 Mumbai attack and a potential attack against a Danish newspaper, the FBI says. He pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges Wednesday.

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The Chicago intersection near First World Immigration Services is by all appearances a crossroads of global empathy, with honorary streets named after Mohandas Gandhi, Golda Meir, and Mother Theresa.

But the address was the cover that helped David Coleman Headley do the bidding of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a global terrorist outfit with links to the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the FBI say. Posing as an employee of First World Services with the help of the owner, Mr. Headley traveled the world, scouting locations for the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai that killed 170 people and planning a strike against the Danish newspaper that published controversial cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad in 2005, prosecutors say.

Headley was arrested in October and charged with conspiring to attack the Danish newspaper. On Monday, he was charged in the Mumbai case, as well. Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in Chicago.

His is a story perhaps unique among the growing number of suspected terrorists caught in the United States, in that the FBI believes he was in direct contact with senior terrorist leaders abroad, as opposed to lower-level go-betweens. Born in the US to an American mother and Pakistani father, he has flitted between the US and Pakistan his entire life.


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