Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

Pakistan arrests accused mastermind of Mumbai attacks Hafiz Saeed

Mumbai 26/11 attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed arrested in Pakistan CTD arrests JuD chief Hafiz Saeed under National Action Plan
Patty Aguilar | 17 July, 2019, 23:57

Pakistani officials quoted by PTI said that Saeed was arrested on Wednesday by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan's Punjab Province.

Pakistan on Wednesday arrested a radical cleric and US-wanted terror suspect implicated in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, officials said, just days ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan's trip to Washington.

His two charities were banned in February a year ago, and the government froze their assets in compliance with a United Nations request.

The Punjab Counter Terrorism Department said in a statement that Saeed had been arrested while going to a court in Gujranwala to seek pre-arrest bail but was remanded in custody.

Saeed, a UN-designated terrorist on whom the U.S. has placed a $10 million bounty, was travelling to Gujranwala from Lahore to get pre-arrest bail in terror financing cases registered against him there when he was arrested, said a CTD official.

The arrest of Saeed comes days before Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visits the United States on a bilateral visit.

Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

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In recent months, the government also took over schools, mosques, seminaries and all properties linked to Saeed's charities and froze their assets.

For years Pakistan has faced global pressure to choke-off financing to militant groups allegedly operating from its soil.

Pakistan has been facing increasing pressure to crack down on armed groups operating on its soil since 2017, when it was placed on a watchlist by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a 39-member inter-governmental body that monitors curbs on terrorism financing and money laundering.

Saeed was earlier booked along with 12 accomplices for terror funding.

Another security official said the arrest relates to terror financing charges.

Previously, Saeed had been detained several times, along with some of his close aides, but had not been charged or put on trial.

The arrest of Hafiz Saeed came ahead of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict in favour of India on staying the death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

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