(WASHINGTON) — The terrorist suspect who allegedly masterminded the 2008 militant attacks on Mumbai, India, that killed 166 people including six Americans fired back at the U.S. Tuesday after learning a $10 million bounty had been placed on his head.
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of the Pakistani-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, said that the bounty made public in the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” website was due to advice he gave Islamabad not to reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan that were closed following the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers by coalition war planes last November.
Saeed says he wants proof that he is leading any terrorist activities and claims Washington wants to stop Pakistanis from supporting him by attempting to silence him.
Following the Mumbai attacks, Saeed was put under house arrest for six months, but a Pakistani court determined that there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the $10 million bounty for Saeed’s capture and conviction is about “justice being done.” Nuland said those who kill Americans overseas are not exempt from punishment.
The Obama administration probably can’t expect much help from Islamabad in this matter since the Pakistanis believe Washington is overstepping its bounds. India still says Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the three-day siege in Mumbai and it came under the direction of Saeed.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN