The U.S. government has offered a $10 million reward for Hafiz Saeed, the man believed to be the "mastermind" of the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai that killed 166 people. The State Department also offered $3 million for Saeed's brother-in-law, Abul Rehman Makki. Both are considered leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is designated as a terrorist organization and has been accused by India and the U.S. of carrying out the three-day shooting rampage that paralyzed Mumbai in November of 2008. Ten gunmen took part in the raid and nine were killed. The one surviving attacker has been sentenced to death in India.
Saeed is believed to be currently living in Lahore, Pakistan, where he continues to organize protests against U.S. and NATO interventions in the country. Despite being a wanted man he has often been seen in public and even appeared at a rally just last week to protest against the re-opening of NATO supply lines in Pakistan that support the war in Afghanistan. Saeed told Al Jazeera that he believes those protests are the reason the bounty has been offered. The money is given for any information that leads to their arrest or conviction of wanted terrorists, thought rewards have also been paid for information that led to their death, as with Saddam Hussein's sons in Iraq.
Though the reward is quite generous, it seems unlikely to change much for Saeed's and may even ultimately anger Pakistanis, many of whom support Saeed — who is vocal critic of the U.S. and India — and will take it as an insult (Al Jazzera called it an "irritant") that the announcement of the reward was made by a U.S. official during a visit to their rival nation. Ayman al Zawahiri, who replaced Osama bin Laden as head of al-Qaeda, has gone uncaptured despite having a $25 million price on his head since September 11, 2001. There are only three other wanted terrorists who command $10 million bounties from the State Department.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.