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Pakistan Court Sentenced Mumbai Terror Attacker to 15 Years in Prison

Pakistan Court Sentenced Mumbai Terror Attacker to 15 Years in Prison

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NEW DELHI, June 27: A Pakistani court had sentenced one of the militants linked to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai to 15 years imprisonment in May but never disclosed to the world so far.

The sentence was for terror financing unrelated to the Mumbai attack, media reports said.

According to court documents, Sajid Majeed Mir, 43, was arrested in 2020 and sentenced in May but his detention and sentencing were never disclosed by Pakistan. He was sought by the FBI in connection with the 2008 attacks on India’s financial hub that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

Under its Rewards for Justice programme, the United States offered up to $5 million for information on Mir’s alleged involvement in the attacks on India.

In November 2008, a group of 10 young attackers who allegedly sailed from Karachi and hijacked an Indian fishing boat to reach Mumbai had created a mayhem for three days. The 10 were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group, and Indian investigators later said their actions were directed by phone by handlers in Pakistan. Nine of the attackers were killed by Indian forces. Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor, was arrested, tried and later hanged.

Mir was designated a terrorist by the U.S. and was indicted in 2011. He was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Mir’s whereabouts were not publicly known until the Pakistani newspaper The Dawn reported over the weekend that he had been quietly arrested in Gujranwala, a city in Punjab province. It said Mir’s sentencing appeared to be part of efforts made by Pakistan to get off the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force.

The Paris-based group added Pakistan to the list in 2018. The “grey list” is composed of countries with a high risk of money laundering and terrorism financing but which have formally committed to working with the task force to make changes.

According to the Pakistani court documents, Mir was a member of a charity set up by Hafiz Saeed, who had also been designated a terrorist by the U.S. Justice Department and had a $10 million bounty on his head. Saeed is the founder of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Taiba and was active for years in Kashmir.

In April, Saeed was sentenced to 31 years in prison for terror financing but he was never charged in connection with the Mumbai attacks. Mir was sentenced to 15 years on May 16 by a court in Gujranwala, according to the court documents. There was no immediate comment from India about Mir’s sentencing in Pakistan.

(Manas Dasgupta)

 

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