A $10m bounty was placed on the head of a Pakistani militant leader after the US obtained evidence he had been in close contact with Osama bin Laden, planning terrorist attacks, according to a former American intelligence official.
By Rob Crilly, Rawalpindi and Dean Nelson in New Delhi
Documents found by US special forces at bin Laden’s final hideaway in Abbottabad last year apparently linked Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, with the al-Qaeda leader.
Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and adviser to Barack Obama on Afghanistan and Pakistan told The Daily Telegraph that the evidence showed bin Laden played a key role in planning the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
166 people died when 10 terrorists, thought to be from Saeed’s group, stormed five star hotels and a train station in downtown Mumbai.
Mr Riedel said the close connection lasted right up until the world’s most wanted man was shot dead in May last year.
“OBL communicated with Saeed and others via courier. He practised very good opsec [operations security]. The two had a long-standing relationship going back to the creation of LeT in the 1980s,” he said. “OBL provided some of the seed money to start the group.” ….
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