Chicago, March 17 (IANS) Pakistani American terror suspect David Coleman Headley, accused of helping to plan the deadly Nov 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, is expected to change his plea to 'guilty' in a Chicago court Thursday.
Headley, son of a Pakistani diplomat and an American mother who changed his given name of Daood Gilani in 2006 to scout targets for the 26/11 terror attack, will appear before US District Judge Harry Leinenweber for a change of plea hearing, according to a court notice.
It was not clear whether Headley, who had pleaded 'not guilty' to charges that include conspiring to bomb public places in India and aiding and abetting the murder of American citizens killed during the attack that left 166 people dead, would change his plea for all or just some of the charges against him.
In a Jan 14 indictment prosecutors have alleged he made five trips to Mumbai from 2006 to 2008, taking photographs and making videotapes of targets later attacked.
Headley, 49, has been cooperating with the FBI since his October arrest with co-accused, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Pakistani-Canadian businessman resident in Chicago. Headley faced a possible death sentence if convicted.
Headley and Rana are also charged with scheming to attack a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, that in 2005 published cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad and triggering anger in the Muslim world.
"We expect there will be a plea agreement," Headley attorney John Theis said but declined to say to what charge or charges Headley will admit guilt in his March 18 appearance.
Randall Samborn, a spokesman for Chicago US Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald declined to comment on the docket entry.