Friday, April 6, 2012

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (Urdu: حافظ محمد سعید; born 1950) is the amir of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, a charity organization that is widely considered to be a cover organization for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), one of the largest and most active Islamic terrorist organizations in the world, operating mainly from Pakistan. The organization is banned as a terrorist organization by India, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and Australia.

India considers him one of its most wanted terrorists because of his alleged ties with Lashkar-e-Taiba and his involvement in attacks against India. The United Nations declared Jama'at-ud-Da'wah a terrorist organization in December 2008 and Hafiz Saeed a terrorist as its leader.[8] According to Hafiz Saeed, he has no links with LeT. United States of America has announced a bounty of $10 million on Hafeez Saeed's head, for his alleged role in 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

In 1950, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was born in Sargodha, Punjab. His family lost 36 of its members when migrating from Shimla to Lahore during the Partition of India. He is married and his wife's name is Maimoona.

General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq appointed Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to the Council on Islamic Ideology, and he later served as an Islamic Studies teacher at the University of Engineering and Technology (Lahore), Pakistan. He was sent to Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s by the university for higher studies where he met Saudi Sheikhs who were taking part in the Afghan jihad.[citation needed] They inspired him to join his colleague, Professor Zafar Iqbal, in taking an active role supporting the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. There he met some youth who later became his companions.

In 1987 Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, along with Abdullah Azzam, founded Markaz Dawa-Wal-Irshad, a group with roots in the Jamait Ahl-e-Hadis.

This organization spawned the jihadist group Lashkar-e-Taiba in 1990, with the help of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence officers.

Lashkar's primary target is the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. He is also quoted as saying, "There cannot be any peace while India remains intact. Cut them, cut them so much that they kneel before you and ask for mercy."

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed holds two masters degrees from the University of Punjab and a specialization in Islamic Studies & Arabic Language from King Saud University.

US Bounty
In 2012, United States announced a bounty of $10 million on Hafeez Saeed's head, for his alleged role in 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Saeed stated that he had nothing to do with the Mumbai attacks and also condemned the attacks. When asked about the bounty, Saeed replied "I am living my life in the open and the US can contact me whenever they want."  He subsequently stated that he is ready to face "any American court" to answer the charges which he denies, adding that if Washington wants to contact him they know where he is: "this is a laughable, absurd announcement.Here I am in front of everyone, not hiding in a cave." Saeed identified his leading role in the Difa-e-Pakistan council and United States attempts to placate India as reasons behind the bounty.

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