The United States has placed a $10-million bounty on the head of Hafiz Saeed, the leader of the Islamist group in Pakistan allegedly responsible for the Mumbai attacks that killed 165 people in 2008.
Saeed is the founder of a Muslim militant group called Lashkar-e-Taiba, and he now heads Jamaat-ud-Dawa group, which the U.S. and India has blamed for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. As the BBC reports, the multi-million dollar bounty puts Saeed in the same league as Taliban leader Mullah Omar ($10 million) and Osama Bin Laden’s successor and head of al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri ($25 million)—people with the highest U.S. bounties on their heads.
Saeed, who reportedly travels freely throughout Pakistan demanding that the country cut off ties with India and the U.S., has responded by demanding proof that he is behind the Mumbai attacks. After the bounty announcement, he told Al Jazeera that the U.S. is upset that he is working to disrupt NATO supply lines through Pakistan into neighbouring Afghanistan.
“We are not hiding in caves for bounties to be set on finding us. I think the US is frustrated because we are taking out countrywide protests against the resumption of NATO supplies and drone strikes,” Saeed said. “I believe either the US has very little knowledge and is basing its decisions on wrong information being provided by India or they are just frustrated”.