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US Offers $10 Million Bounty for 2008 Mumbai Terror Suspect

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, FILE May 23, 2005.
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, is seen in Islamabad, Pakistan, FILE May 23, 2005.

The United States is offering a bounty of up to $10 million for the Pakistani man accused of masterminding the deadly 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

The State Department's "Rewards for Justice" website on late Monday announced the reward for information leading to Hafiz Mohammad Saeed's capture and conviction.

Saeed is the founding member of the Pakistani-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is suspected of carrying out several terrorist attacks on Indian soil.

The November 2008 terrorist attack on India's financial hub killed 166 people, including six Americans.

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Pakistani authorities held Saeed under house arrest for about six months after the Mumbai attacks. He was later released, without charge. Pakistan’s Supreme Court said there was insufficient evidence to detain him.

India has long accused Lashkar-e-Taiba of carrying out the attack, with the help of Pakistan's military and spy agency.

India's Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna said the U.S. move reflects the commitment of India and the U.S. to bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice.

"It also sends a strong message to the Lashkar-e-Taiba and also its members and patrons that the international community remains united in combating terrorism," said Krishna.

Krishna also said India would be "quite comfortable" if the U.S. "proceeds to act on Hafiz Saeed," who is one of India's most wanted fugitives.

The move could upset some in neighboring Pakistan, however, where Saeed is allowed to operate openly, sometimes appearing on TV shows and giving public speeches. While Lashkar-e-Taiba is officially banned in Pakistan, some analysts say Islamabad has done little to crack down on its activities.

U.S. officials have also announced a $2 million bounty for the group's deputy leader, Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is officially designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.