Pakistan jails alleged mastermind of 2008 Mumbai terror attack

2020-02-12 19:39
Hafiz Saeed was found guilty of "being part of a banned terrorist outfit" and for "having illegal property".

Hafiz Saeed was found guilty of "being part of a banned terrorist outfit" and for "having illegal property". (Arif Ali/AFP)

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The alleged mastermind of a deadly attack on India's financial capital over a decade ago has been jailed in Pakistan for nearly six years on separate terror charges, his lawyer revealed on Wednesday.

Hafiz Saeed was found guilty of "being part of a banned terrorist outfit" and for "having illegal property", his lawyer Imran Gill told AFP.

He is wanted in India for allegedly planning the shocking 2008 attack in Mumbai, when 10 Islamist militants armed with assault rifles, hand grenades and other weapons killed 166 people and injured hundreds more.

It took the authorities three days to regain full control of the city.

Lawyer Gill gave no details about Saeed's conviction apart from saying he would be kept in prison in the eastern city of Lahore.

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The firebrand cleric - declared a global terrorist by the United States and United Nations, and with a $10m bounty on his head - is the leader of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa Islamist charity.

Its militant wing Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is believed by Washington and Delhi to be responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

India has long said there is evidence that "official agencies" in Pakistan were involved in plotting the attack - a charge Islamabad denies.

READ | Trump offers to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir

Saeed's jailing comes as Pakistan faces potential blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - an anti-money-laundering monitor based in Paris - for failing to combat terror financing.

"There was nothing to the case really, this was just due to pressure from the FATF," his lawyer Gill told AFP.

The court's judgement, seen by AFP, did not specify which banned terrorist group Saeed belonged to or clarify what it meant by "illegal property", which can refer to money or other property.

There was also no immediate comment from the JuD group, and coverage of the sentence was muted on Pakistani news channels.

Saeed's sentence came days after a leading member of the Pakistani Taliban, former spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, escaped custody more than two years after surrendering to authorities.

He has released an audio statement claiming to be in Turkey.

Read more on:    hafiz saeed  |  pakistan  |  terrorism
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