Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Hafiz Saeed Bounty: U.S. Offers $10 Million For Pakistani Militant Chief

Hafiz Saeed Bounty: U.S. Offers $10 Million For Pakistani Militant Chief


ISLAMABAD — The United States has offered a $10 million bounty for the founder of the Pakistani militant group blamed for the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people, a move that could complicate U.S.-Pakistan relations at a tense time.
Hafiz Mohammad 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.
The U.S. has designated Lashkar-e-Taiba and its social welfare wing Jamaat-ud-Dawwa as foreign terrorist organizations. Intelligence officials and terrorism experts say the group has expanded its focus beyond India and has plotted attacks in Europe and Australia. Some have called it "the next al-Qaida" and fear it could set its sights on the U.S.
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....

-bth: why now?  What is happening to cause the announcement now?

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