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India Seeks Extradition of Suspected Mumbai Attack Mastermind from Pakistan

By Ishita Joshi      29 June, 2020 07:01 PM      0 Comments
India Seeks Extradition of Suspected Mumbai Attack Mastermind from Pakistan

On Sunday, 28th June 2020, the Government officials said that India is seeking the extradition of a top Pakistan Militant suspected to have planted the 2008 Mumbai Attacks after the United States said last week that he was freely living in Pakistan. India and the United States have both indicted Sajid Mir of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group for three-day attacks on hotels, a train station and a Jewish center in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed. 

The US State Department’s 2019 country report on terrorism said, “While Pakistan took action against the Lashkar founder Hafiz Saeed last year, it continued to provide safe harbor to other top militant leaders.” “One of them was Sajid, the "project manager" of the Mumbai attack, believed to remain free in Pakistan.” It added. 

An Indian official said that the government has repeatedly asked Pakistan to hand over Sajid, who is accused of serving as the chief planner of attacks, directing preparations and reconnaissance, and has also been named one of the Pakistani-based controllers during the attacks. “We have asked before, and are demanding again, he needs to be handed over”, the official dealing with regional security issues said. 

Pakistan has repeatedly denied the US claims that it is a safe harbor for terrorists, and has stated that it has prosecuted the leadership of a variety of proscribed groups. Another Indian official stated that “the lack of action against Sajid was in conflict with Pakistan's assurances to international organizations including the Financial Action Task Force, the global watchdog on terrorism financing. Pakistan is trying to get off the FATF grey list of offending nations.” The FBI has offered $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Sajid, who is also wanted for the 2008/2009 conspiracy against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten to avenge his publication of Prophet Mohammad's cartoons, which has infuriated many Muslims. 

The 2008 Mumbai attacks (also known as 26/11) were a series of terrorist attacks that took place in November 2008, when 10 members of the Pakistan-based militant Islamist terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out 12 orchestrated 4-day bombing and shooting attacks across Mumbai. The assaults were widely condemned globally and started on Wednesday 26th November 2008 and continued till Saturday 29th November 2008. At least 174 people, including 9 perpetrators, died and more than 300 were wounded. Eight of the attacks took place in South Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai Chabad House, Oberoi Trident, Taj Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, Nariman house, Metro Cinema, and The Times of India Building and St. Xavier's College. There was also a blast in Mazagaon, in the port part of Mumbai, and in a Vile Parle taxi. Pakistan has condemned the attacks. Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving attacker, said the attackers were members of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, among others. The Government of India stated that the attackers had come from Pakistan and that their controllers were in Pakistan. Pakistan later reported that the only surviving perpetrator of the attacks was a resident of Pakistan. 

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