Photo by Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Pakistani militant Hafiz Saeed has responded to the United State's $10 million reward for information leading to his capture by holding a press conference. Saeed, who lives relatively openly in Lahore, is the leader of the group believed to be behind the 2008 Mumbai bombings.
"I am here, I am visible. America should give that reward money to me," Saeed said in response to the reward, adding "I will be in Lahore tomorrow. America can contact me whenever it wants to," the Associated Press reports.
In recent months Saeed has led protests against U.S. drone strikes and NATO supplying troops in Afghanistan via a route through Pakistan.
As the AP notes, the United States could be hoping the bounty will pressure Pakistan to rein in Saeed's increasingly high-profile public appearences, though it is unlikely that the government there will arrest him.
Tuesday, April 3: The United States is offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of a Pakistani militant who leads the group believed to be behind the deadly 2008 Mumbai bombings in India.
Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed was placed on the State Department's Rewards for Justice list on Tuesday. The New York Times reports that, somewhat unusually, Saeed's whereabouts are widely known, despite the fact that he is also wanted by India and the United Nations. He is living relatively openly in Lahore, where he reportedly moves freely, gives interviews to the press, and speaks at rallies.
Saeed's brother-in-law, Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, was also placed on the wanted list. A $2 million reward is being offered for information leading to his capture.
Lashkar-e-Taiba is a militant Pakistani Islamist group that was formed in the mid-1990s. Lashkar-e-Taiba fought Indian troops in the disputed Kashmir region, and was banned from Pakistan in 2002. It is believed to have operated under the name of its charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, in the country since then. As Al Jazeera notes, JuD is one of Pakistan's largest charities, and has national name recognition for its work after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
The U.S. designated JuD as a terrorist organization in 2008, and Saeed has been subject to U.N. sanctions since then as well. The Times explains that the Pakistani government's relationship to Lashkar-e-Taiba is ambiguous. Pakistan's intelligence wing, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), "nurtured Lashkar-e-Taiba in the 1990s to fight Indian soldiers in Indian-occupied Kashmir" until the ISI cut ties with the organization in 2002, according to the paper.