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Pakistan Holds ‘Dead’ Alleged Mastermind Of 2008 Mumbai Attacks

Story Highlights
  • Sajid Mir in custody as Islamabad aims to exit terror finance watchlist
  • He has been sought by both the U.S. and India for over a decade
  • About 170 people were killed mainly Indians, alongside six Americans

Pakistan: Police have arrested the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks after years of denying his presence and even claiming he was dead, Nikkei Asia has learned. The man, Sajid Mir, is on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists, with a $5 million reward on his head. He has been sought by both the U.S. and India for over a decade. Mir is connected to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

About 170 people were killed mainly Indians, alongside six Americans as well as visitors from Japan and elsewhere. The case appears to have been brought to a head by Pakistan’s desire to extricate itself from the Financial Action Task Force’s international terror-financing watchlist.

Hammad Azhar, Pakistan’s former finance minister in the recently ousted government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, and the man in charge of negotiations with the multilateral watchdog for the past three years, confirmed to Nikkei that Pakistan took measures against Mir and other designated terrorists that were “satisfactory” to the FATF.

The task force has been keeping Pakistan on its Grey List, used to monitor and isolate noncompliant countries. Likewise, an FBI official, speaking to Nikkei Asia on the condition of anonymity, said that Mir is “alive, in custody and has been sentenced” in Pakistan.

Another former Pakistani official who is aware of the case said the “Pakistanis have acknowledged to both India and to America that a man called Sajid Mir, who was wanted in connection with the Mumbai attacks, and whom Pakistan had long said was either dead or not locatable … they have actually found where he is.”

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