Hours after the arrest of Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, US President Donald Trump today said that great pressure had been exerted over the last two years to find the Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief.
Hafiz Saeed, a UN-designated terrorist whom the US has placed a $10 million bounty on, was arrested for terror finance charges, officials in Pakistan said. The move comes days before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington, where he will hold talks with Donald Trump.
“After a ten year search, the so-called “mastermind” of the Mumbai Terror attacks has been arrested in Pakistan. Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him!” Donald Trump tweeted.
Hafiz Saeed, the founder of the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, has been blamed for the terror attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008, in which 166 people were killed.
Despite India’s dossier of terror cases against him and evidence of his involvement in the four-day siege of Mumbai by 10 Pakistani terrorists, Hafiz Saeed has been allowed for years to roam freely in Pakistan and even address anti-India rallies with impunity.
Pakistan, which is included on the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force, a money laundering and terror finance watchdog, has been under increasing pressure to stop financing terror groups.
Earlier this month, Pakistan had filed terror charges against Hafiz Saeed following sustained international pressure. He was charged with multiple offences of terror financing and money laundering in a First Information Report.
In 2017, Hafiz Saeed and his four aides were detained by Pakistan but they were released after nearly 11 months when the Judicial Review Board of Punjab refused to extend their confinement.
The US, just before the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai attacks in November, had urged Pakistan to take action against those responsible for the attacks and had offered a new reward of $5 million.