Years after claiming he is dead, Pakistan quietly jails Mumbai terror attack handler for 15 years

Agencies
June 25, 2022

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Lahore, Jun 25: Sajid Majeed Mir, one of India’s most wanted terrorists on whom the US has placed a bounty of USD 5 million for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, has been jailed for over 15 years in a terror-financing case by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan, which is struggling to exit the grey list of the FATF.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of the Punjab Police, which often issues convictions of the suspects in such cases to the media, did not notify Mir’s conviction.

His sentencing comes as Islamabad prepares for on site visit by the officials from the global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to verify the implementation of Pakistan’s relevant anti-money laundering and terrorism-financing reforms.

“An anti-terrorism court in Lahore early this month had handed down 15 and a half years jail term to Sajid Majeed Mir, an activist of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), in a terror-financing case,” a senior lawyer associated with terror financing cases of LeT and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) leaders told PTI on Friday.

Besides, since it was an in-camera proceeding at the jail, the media was not allowed.

The lawyer further said Mir has been in the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore since his arrest in April. He said the court also imposed a fine of over Rs 400,000 on the convict.

Pakistani authorities had in the past claimed he had died, but Western countries remained unconvinced and demanded proof of his death. This issue became a major sticking point in FATF’s assessment of Pakistan’s progress on the action plan late last year. This was where things finally started moving in Mir’s case leading to his ‘arrest’, the Dawn newspaper reported on Saturday.

His conviction and sentencing were, therefore, major achievements that Pakistani officials showcased in their progress report given to FATF on its action plan during the latest plenary, the paper commented.

It indeed helped in convincing FATF members that Pakistan had finished all the required tasks, it added.

Mir, 44, is on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists. He has a USD five million reward on his head.

Mir is on India’s most-wanted list for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead, including six Americans.

Before the last meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan reportedly told the agency that it had arrested and prosecuted Sajid Mir in order to seek its removal from the global anti-laundering body’s ‘Grey list’.

Mir was called the “project manager” of the Mumbai attacks. Mir reportedly had visited India in 2005 using a fake passport with a fake name.

The FBI says that “Mir is wanted for his alleged involvement in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Beginning on November 26, 2008, and continuing through November 29, 2008, ten LeT attackers carried out a series of coordinated attacks against multiple targets in Mumbai, including hotels, cafes, and a train station, killing approximately 170 people.

“Six Americans were killed during the three-day attacks. Mir allegedly served as the chief planner of the attacks, directing preparations and reconnaissance, and was one of the Pakistan-based controllers during the attacks. Additionally, Mir allegedly conspired to commit a terrorist attack against a newspaper and its employees in Denmark between 2008 and 2009,” it said.

“Mir was indicted in the US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Chicago, Illinois, on April 21, 2011, and was charged with conspiracy to injure the property of a foreign government; providing material support to terrorists; killing a citizen outside of the US and aiding and abetting; and bombing of places of public use. An arrest warrant was issued on April 22, 2011,” it said.

Mumbai terror attacks’ alleged mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed has already been sentenced to 68 years imprisonment in terror financing cases by the Lahore anti-terrorism court.

The sentence is running concurrently, which means he will not have to spend many years in jail.

Mumbai attack operation commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi is also sentenced to several years in jail. Both Saeed and LeT militant Abdul Rehman Makki are also in Kot Lapkhapt jail in Lahore.

Saeed, a UN-designated terrorist on whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty, was arrested in July 2019 in the terror financing cases.

Saeed-led JuD is the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack.

The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is instrumental in pushing Islamabad to take measures against terrorists roaming freely in Pakistan and using its territory to carry out attacks in India.

The FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action to curb money laundering.

Last week, the Paris-based FATF said Pakistan will continue to be on the “Grey List” of countries under increased monitoring, a statement from the Paris-based global money-laundering and terror-financing watchdog said on Friday.

It said Pakistan may be removed from the list after an on-site visit to verify the implementation of its reforms on countering terror-financing mechanisms.

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coastaldigest.com news network
August 4,2022

Mangaluru, Aug 4: The murder case of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha member Praveen Kumar Nettaru has not yet been handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) so far, according to ADGP (Law and Order) Alok Kumar. 

Speaking about the progress of investigation, he said, the police have successfully detected who is behind his murder. 

“Information is already gathered on who carried out murder, who conspired and planned and they will be arrested soon,” he said. 

A decision will be taken on when to hand over the case to the NIA. However, before handing over the case, Karnataka police will arrest all accused persons, he said.

He further stated that 18 check posts are being opened across the bordering district of Dakshina Kannada as per the directions of the Home Minister and DGP.

The CCTV will be installed on check posts and Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) staff will be deputed. This tight security arrangement will be there for a year, he added. 

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News Network
August 1,2022

Udupi, Aug 1: A teenage girl ended her life today by self-immolation at her house at Koravadi in Kumbhashi village near Kota in Udupi district.

The deceased has been identified as Ananya (15), a Class 10 student of Padukare government high school. She was reportedly suffering from depression for past few days. 

It is learnt that, Ananya, who was supposed to go to school in the morning, reportedly poured kerosene over herself and set herself on fire. 

Neighbours rushed to her rescue when she started scream. A partially burnt Ananya was taken to a hospital where she breathed her last. 

Ananya’s parents live in Bengaluru. She was living with her grandmother and aunt. 

A case has been registered in this regard at Kundapur police station. Investigations are on.

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News Network
August 9,2022

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Break-ups and alliances are not new for Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has once again ended alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party after the Bihar opposition — Congress, RJD and Left — declared open support for him. 

A look at Kumar’s allies over the years and his blow hot, blow cold equation with the BJP:

1989: In the initial years in Janata Dal, Kumar backed Lalu Prasad as leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly in 1989.

1994: Kumar fell out with Prasad, floated the Samata Party with George Fernandes.

1996: Kumar joined hands with the BJP and was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. Then Janata Dal president Sharad Yadav and Lalu Prasad had a spat and the latter broke away and formed the RJD

2000: Kumar was first elected to office, however, he resigned days after he took oath. NDA and allies had 151 seats, Prasad’s RJD had 159, both falling short of the required 163 seats.

2003: The Samata Party merged with Sharad Yadav’s Janata Dal, while continuing its alliance with the BJP. The Janata Dal (United) was formed, with Kumar at the helm.

2005: Kumar’s JD(U), in alliance with the BJP, came back to power as an NDA member, ending the “Lalu era”.

2010: Kumar’s party swept back to power along with ally, the BJP, and he again became the CM.

2013: He snapped his party’s 17-year-old ties with the BJP in 2013, when Narendra Modi was anointed the BJP’s campaign committee chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. After parting ways with the BJP, he won a trust vote with support from the Congress, but stepped down in 2014, owning moral responsibility for the JD(U)’s tally of two in the Lok Sabha elections.

In less than a year, Kumar was back as the chief minister, pushing out his rebel protégé Jitan Ram Manjhi with support from the RJD and the Congress.

2017: The Grand Alliance of the JD(U), Congress and RJD won the 2017 assembly polls, but collapsed in just two years, as Kumar insisted that Lalu’s son and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, whose name had cropped up in a money laundering case when RJD supremo was the railway minister, “come clear" on the issue.

He broke the alliance, resigned as the chief minister as the RJD refused to budge, only to be back in the office in less than 24 hours with the BJP’s support.

2022: He joined hands with the RJD again, breaking ties with the BJP.

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