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U.S. Announced Reward Up to $5 Million for Information about 26/11 Mastermind

BUY-SELL | HELP WANTED | MATRIMONIAL

Sajid Mir. (fbi.gov photo)

HI INDIA NEWS DESK

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Twelve years after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the United States has announced a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba member Sajid Mir for his “role” in the attacks in Mumbai in 2008.

According to an official statement issued by the U.S. Rewards for Justice program, “Sajid Mir, a senior member of the Pakistan-based foreign terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, is wanted for his involvement in the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. The Rewards for Justice program is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of Sajid Mir for his role in these attacks.”

On Nov. 26, 2008, 10 terrorists, trained by the Pakistan-based terrorist organization LeT, carried out a series of coordinated attacks against multiple targets in Mumbai – the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Oberoi Hotel, the Leopold Cafe, the Nariman (Chabad) House, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus – killing 166 people.

“Key members of this heinous plot remain at large, and this investigation remains active and ongoing. This reward offer extends to any individual who bears responsibility for this act of terror,” the United States had noted.

Taking to Twitter, State Department deputy spokesperson Cale Brown said: “November 26 marks the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Through the Rewards for Justice program, we seek to ensure that all those responsible for this heinous attack face justice.”

In these gruesome attacks, nine terrorists were killed and the lone survivor, Ajmal Amir Kasab, was caught and sentenced to death. On Nov. 11, 2012, Kasab was hanged at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune.

“Sajid Mir was LeT’s operations manager for the Mumbai attack, playing a leading role in its planning, preparation, and execution. Mir was indicted in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (Chicago, Illinois) on April 21, 2011, and was charged with conspiracy to injure the property of a foreign government; providing material support to terrorists; aiding and abetting the killing of a citizen outside of the U.S.; and the bombing of places of public use,” the department said.

“According to the indictment, during the attacks, Mir advised the attackers to kill hostages, set fires, and throw grenades and also sought the release of a hostage in exchange for the release of a captured attacker. A warrant for Mir’s arrest was issued on April 22, 2011. In 2019, Mir was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List,” it added.

It went on to say that on Aug. 30, 2012, the Department of the Treasury designated Mir for holding leadership positions within the LeT.

“According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, as of 2005, Mir directed training for operatives preparing for overseas recruiting, money laundering, and operational planning. The LeT was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State in December 2001,” the department added.

However, Pakistani authorities continue to deny culpability and are yet to take action on the multiple dossiers shared by India. A trial underway in a Pakistani anti-terrorism court against seven suspects has made little headway in more than a decade, as Pakistani officials serially question the sufficiency and legitimacy of evidence against them.

Pakistan has been placed on the FATF’s grey list of the country with inadequate controls over terror financing in 2018, saying Pakistan “still needs to demonstrate that law enforcement agencies are identifying and investigating the widest range of terrorism financing activity.”

Pakistan has long been criticized for cultivating terror proxy groups and the country currently faces renewed pressure to act against terrorists.

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