On 26/11 anniv, US announces Rs 35 crore bounty to nab perpetrators

26/11, India, Mumbai terror attacks, US state department, Secretary Pompeo, United States, India, David Hedley, Lashkar e toiba, LeT, Pakistan, Terrorism, reward of 35 crores, NewsMobile
The Taj Hotel in Mumbai.

On the tenth anniversary of the deadly terror attacks on Mumbai, the US has announced a Rs 35 crore reward for those who provide information about the perpetrators behind the attack and asked Pakistan to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this atrocity and Laskar-e-Tayyiba and its affiliates.

November 26 2008, was a dark day in the history of post-independent India, when tenm terrorists took over Mumbai and 166 innocent citizens. The country came together over the three days to support the armed forces and police who fought to put an end to an ordeal.

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On November 26, 2008, ten attackers trained by the Pakistan-based terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) carried out a series of coordinated attacks at multiple target areas in Mumbai, India. This included the high-end Taj Mahal hotel and the Oberoi, the famous Leopold Café, the Nariman (Chabad) House and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus train station.

Of the 166 who lost their lives in the 3-day ordeal, six were American citizens. To ensure that the people behind the heinous crimes and the mastermind who planned and got this act executed, are caught, tried and sentenced as per the legal framework, the Department of State Rewards for Justice program, is offering a reward of up to $5 million (Rs 35 crore) for information about the individuals responsible for these attacks.

This was announced through a written statement by Secretary Pompeo, on Monday that said that the United States is committed to seeing that those responsible for this attacks face justice.

The statement  has been welcomed by India. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted

Key members of this ghastly plot remain at large even as the investigation remains open and continuous. The combined efforts of the Indian government and the US are not able to get to the likes of Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, said to be holed up in Pakistan.

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Earlier, David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana were indicted in a U.S. federal court for their support of LeT terrorist operations. In January 2013, Headley, a U.S. citizen (partly of Pakistani descent), was sentenced to 35 years in prison for a dozen federal terrorism crimes relating to his role in planning the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, and a subsequent proposed attack in Denmark.

He was convicted of conspiracy to bomb public places in India; conspiracy to murder and maim persons in India; six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of U.S. citizens in India; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism in India; conspiracy to murder and maim persons in Denmark; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism in Denmark and conspiracy to provide material support to LeT.

His aide and friend, Tahawwur Rana, a Canadian citizen was sentenced to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support for a terrorist plot in Denmark and providing material support to LeT.

The following suspects also have been indicted in a U.S. federal court:

Sajid Mir – served as a handler for David Headley and others who were directed to carry out actions relating to planning, preparing for, and carrying out terrorist attacks on behalf of LeT.

Major Iqbal – a resident of Pakistan who participated in planning and funding attacks carried out by LeT.

Abu Qahafa – a resident of Pakistan associated with LeT who trained others in combat techniques for use in terrorist attacks.

Mazhar Iqbal, alias Abu al-Qama – a resident of Pakistan and one of LeT’s commanders.

Hopefully, this reward should be able to provide the authorities with conclusive evidence and leads to reach the actual perpetrators. Crimes like these need to be punished and the governments of the various states involved, have to fight it together.

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