Headley pleaded guilty to doing espionage work for Pakistan's main intelligence agency and a Pakistani militant group. He is testifying against his boyhood friend Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana who is accused of cooperating in the attacks by letting Headley pose as his business associate.
When asked by defense attorney Patrick Blegen if he was proud of the attacks, Headley said that at first he was because it was in retaliation for attacks on Muslims. When asked if he is still proud today of his role in the attacks, Headley replied "No."
Headley also did surveillance on a failed follow-up attack on the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten for publishing a cartoon in 2005 of the Prophet Muhammad, an offensive gesture for Muslims. As part of the plan, newspaper employees and even secretaries were ordered beheaded and their heads thrown out the windows. Headley testified that he didn't mind the killing of innocent people "if it's in retaliation". When Blegen asked if "Dr. Rana agreed with this plan to kill innocent secretaries and throw their heads out the windows?"
Headley answered that Rana "said okay". Defense attorneys scrutinized Headley for this because his answer conflicts with Rana's Islamic denomination's belief. Headley has admitted to the jury he tried in vain many times to convert Rana to Headley's denomination Salfi, which believes in "offensive" jihad.
Headley was arrested in 2009 before the Denmark plot could be carried out.