Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the suspected mastermind behind the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, that left 166 people dead, now has a $10 million bounty on his head from the U.S. State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program.
Six American citizens died in the Mumbai massacre.
In the announcement about the bounty, State says that Saeed is “the founding member of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a radical Deobandi Islamist organization dedicated to installing Islamist rule over parts of India and Pakistan, and its military branch, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.”
According to The Associated Press:
“Saeed founded Lashkar-e-Taiba in the 1980s, allegedly with Pakistani support to pressure archenemy India over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Pakistan banned the group in 2002 under pressure from the U.S., but it operates with relative freedom — even doing charity work using government money. … Saeed operates openly in Pakistan, giving public speeches and appearing on TV talk shows. The U.S. also offered up to $2 million for Lashkar-e-Taiba’s deputy leader, Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, who is also Saeed’s brother-in-law.”
Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper points out that the bounty “could complicate U.S.-Pakistan relations at a tense time” and that the $10 million is equal to the reward being offered for Mullah Omar, leader of the Afghan Taliban.