While FBI Director Robert Mueller was in town for a briefing on a terror case that reaches from Chicago to Denmark and India, the man at the center of the investigation stood before a federal judge Wednesday in his first public court appearance.
David Coleman Headley is charged with scouting targets in advance of a planned attack on a Copenhagen newspaper and last year's coordinated assault in India that killed some 170 people. Headley pleaded not guilty to the Mumbai charges added by prosecutors Monday.
Headley's attorney, John Theis, said his client is cooperating with the FBI. He was charged in a criminal information, which usually means an eventual guilty plea. A conviction carries a potential death sentence.
The FBI confirmed that Mueller was in Chicago on Wednesday but wouldn't comment on the purpose of the visit. A source said Mueller was briefed on the Headley case.
Headley, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent who allegedly changed his name from Daood Gilani to ease his overseas travels, is accused of conducting extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years before the terrorist attack.
Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Chicago businessman of Pakastani descent, were charged in October in connection with the planning of an attack on the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in retaliation for the publication of unflattering cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad that outraged some Muslims in 2005. Rana has pleaded not guilty.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times