Pakistan anti-terrorism court sentenced Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to 31 years in prison, on Friday. According to ANI, the court has penalized Saeed with a fine of Rs 3,40,000 and has ordered officials to seize his properties.
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the evil mastermind behind Mumbai‘s 26/11 terrorist attacks, describes himself as a “professor,” while boasting his two Master’s degrees from Lahore University and a specialization course from Riyadh’s King Saud University.
On December 21, 2001, Pakistan took Saeed into custody after the Indian government asserted that he played a major role in the 2001 Lok Sabha attack on December 13. Held in captivity until March 31, 2002, Saeed was released temporarily and was tossed back into custody on May 15.
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Fast forward to August 9, 2006, the Government of Punjab, Pakistan, placed Saeed under house arrest, just a month after the 2006 Mumbai train bombings. Unsurprisingly, the Lashkar-e-Taiba chief was released on a Lahore High Court order after 19 days.
After several house arrests and notices, the Lahore High Court dismissed all cases against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and freed him from the shackles on October 12, 2009.
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After the United States declared Lashkar-e-Tayyiba responsible for the terrorist attack in Mumbai, in April 2012, the US set a bounty of $10 million on Saeed. Condemning the move, he said, “I am living my life in the open and the US can contact me whenever they want.”
“This is a laughable, absurd announcement. Here I am in front of everyone, not hiding in a cave,” he said in a press conference.
On November 19, 2020, a court sentenced him to 5 years of incarceration on terrorism-financing charges. In another similar case, Saeed was sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison.
While being in jail, Saeed’s former Lahore residence in Lahore was bombed on June 23, 2021, which killed three people and wounded several.
Fast forward to today, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed bids his freedom goodbye as he prepares himself for a life inside a gloomy prison cell.