Pakistani authorities yesterday detained the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, a security official said, as the country faces increased pressure to crack down on militants operating on its soil.
Firebrand cleric Hafiz Saeed -- declared a global terrorist by the US and UN, and who has a $10 million US bounty on his head -- was taken into custody following a raid by counter-terrorism forces in the eastern city of Gujranwala.
“Hafiz Saeed was going to Gujranwala to apply for bail in another case when he was arrested,” said a security official with knowledge of the arrest, who requested anonymity.
US President Donald Trump hailed his arrest on Twitter.
A spokesman for Saeed’s group, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a wing of the militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), confirmed the arrest to AFP, but gave no further details.
Another security official said the arrest relates to terror financing charges.
Saeed has spent years rotating in and out of varying forms of detention, sometimes briefly arrested then released again by authorities.
But for the most part he has been free to move at will around Pakistan, enraging India which has repeatedly called for his prosecution.