In unconfirmed raid, Pakistan seizes Mumbai attack ringleader
Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, an operations chief for Lashkar-e-Taiba, was reportedly captured Monday in Pakistani Kashmir.
Pakistan's military on Sunday reportedly raided a militant camp in Kashmir suspected in connection with last month's Mumbai terror attacks and seized a man identified by the sole surviving Mumbai attacker as the group's mastermind.Skip to next paragraph
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The raid, if confirmed, would mark the first decisive action by Islamabad amid mounting pressure from the international community to bring to justice the group behind the deadly Mumbai rampage that killed at least 171. Pakistan's attention to the Mumbai attacks also comes amid increasing militant attacks on Pakistan's western border: today, for the second day in a row, Pakistani militants attacked supply lines near Peshawar.
The Guardian, citing an "official close to the extremist organization," said in Sunday's raid the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, had been seized.
The official from Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the charity and education arm of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, told Reuters that Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was among four men taken into custody after a raid yesterday on a camp outside Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir.
Lakhvi, one of Lashkar's operations chiefs, was named as a ringleader in the Mumbai plot by Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving gunmen captured after the attacks, according to Indian officials.
Reuters said Pakistani officials have not yet officially confirmed the raid. The wire agency reported that Lakhvi and another ringleader gave orders by phone to the 10 gunmen who carried out the Mumbai attacks beginning Nov. 26.
The agency noted that if the attack is confirmed, the next stage will likely be wrangling over how and where he is tried.
President Asif Ali Zardari has said that anyone arrested in Pakistan will be tried there, too.
The Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency had ties in the past with Lashkar and other jihadi organizations fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, according to analysts, which could reduce the Pakistani authorities' readiness to be transparent in its handling of the situation.