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Most wanted names of terror world

American bounties have helped in breaking the ranks of terrorist organisations and led to the capture of terror leaders. Here is a profile of selected terrorists India and the US would like to get their hands on.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2012 23:11 IST

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the man blamed for organising the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, may have to think twice before he brazenly moves around in Pakistan and delivers hate speeches against America and India. The United States has offered a $10 million reward for the militant leader who makes frequent public appearances in Pakistan.

Under a scheme called Rewards for Justice, the United States pays out bounties for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a named suspect. American bounties have helped in breaking the ranks of terrorist organisations and led to the capture of terror leaders. India, too, has its list of most wanted terrorists.

Here is a profile of selected terrorists India and the US would like to get their hands on.

Dawood Ibrahim

The don of Mumbai and India's most wanted man. Dawood, and his brother Anis, allegedly masterminded India's worst bombings, which killed at least 250 people and wounded more than 700 in Mumbai in 1993. The son of a police constable, Dawood runs a billion-dollar vice empire spanning gambling, drugs and prostitution. In October 2003, the United States designated Dawood as a global terrorist with links to Islamist militant groups al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba. His daughter is married to the son of legendary Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad. Dawood has not been seen in public for years--Indian authorities don't even have a recent photograph of him--but he still runs his criminal empire.

Illyas Kashmiri

Kashmiri, labeled a "specially designated global terrorist" by the US, is suspected to have played a key role in training and arming the terrorists who attacked Mumbai in 2008. Kashmiri, an al-Qaeda member, was indicted in a US court in Chicago with American David Headley for allegedly plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Headley pleaded guilty over that plot and to scouting targets in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Kashmiri was reported killed in a US drone strike in northwestern Pakistan in June 2011.

Syed Salahuddin

He is commander of the Hizbul-Mujahideen, the biggest Kashmiri terrorist group and at the forefront of the terror campaign in Kashmir. He claims that he turned to militancy after he lost an election for the Kashmir legislative assembly in 1987, which he alleges was "massively rigged" by India. He lives in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and regularly lashes out against peace talks between New Delhi and Islamabad. The Hizbul has been crushed in Kashmir, and Salahuddin himself admitted this week that his group had beat a "tactical retreat".

Maulana Masood Azhar

He came into the international spotlight in December 1999 when India was forced to free him from jail along with two other militants, in exchange for the release of crew and passengers of an Indian Airlines plane that had been hijacked from Kathmandu in Nepal and taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan. He became a leader of the Pakistani militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. In 1994 he was captured in Kashmir, and tried for terrorism. He spent six years in jail until he was sprung by the hijacking. Azhar formed Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2000 after returning to Pakistan. Jaish was banned by Pakistan, along with Lashkar-e-Taiba-and several other groups in 2002, and Azhar was put under house arrest, only to be freed by a Lahore court 10 months later.

Memon brothers, Ibrahim and Yakub

The Mumbai gangsters are accused of organising the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. The brothers and their families are now believed to be in hiding in Pakistan. Ibrahim, aka Tiger Memon, was reported to be in Karachi in 2003. Black Friday, the movie based on journalist S Hussain Zaidi's book, gives a glimpse into how the brothers carried out the 1993 blasts.

Top 5 terrorists wanted by the US

1. Ayman al-Zawahiri ($25 million bounty)

Ayman al-Zawahiri (born on June 19, 1951) is current leader of al Qaeda and founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Reportedly a qualified surgeon, he first met bin Laden in Jeddah in 1986 after which he formally merged the Egyptian Islamic Jihad into al-Qaeda.

Ayman al-Zawahiri is indicted in the United States in 1998 US Embassy bombings, series of attacks on August 7, 1998, in which hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the major East African cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.

2. Mullah Mohammed Omar ($10 million bounty)

Mullah Mohammed Omar is Afghan Taliban chief. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001. Mullah Omar has been wanted by the US state department's Rewards for Justice program since October 2001, for sheltering Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda militants in the years prior to the September 11 attacks.

Mullah Omar started his movement with less than 50 armed madrassah students, known simply as the Taliban (Students). His recruits came from madrassahs in Afghanistan and from the Afghan refugee camps across the border in Pakistan.

Despite his political rank and his high status on the Rewards for Justice most wanted list,not much is publicly known about him. After the US led Operation Enduring Freedom began in early October 2001, Omar went into hiding and is still at large.

3. Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Du'a ($10 million bounty)

Abu Du'a is the senior leader of the terrorist organization, al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Abu Du'a is in charge of overseeing all AQI operations and is currently based in Iraq. He was added to the global terrorists list by the US state department in October 2011.

Abu Du'a became the head of al Qaeda in Iraq after Abu Omar al Baghdadi, his predecessor and the founder of al-Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq, was killed by Iraqi and US troops in April 2010.

The US government has linked Abu Du'a to numerous high-profile and deadly attacks in Iraq, including the August 28, 2011 suicide strike at the Umm al-Qura mosque in Baghdad, which killed "prominent Sunni lawmaker Khalid al Fahdawi."

In a statement eulogizing Osama bin Ladin, Abu Du'a threatened violent retaliation for bin Ladin's death. Three days after bin Ladin's death, Abu Du'a claimed responsibility for an attack in Hilla, Iraq, that killed 24 policemen and wounded 72 others.

4. Yasin al-Suri ($10 million bounty)

Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, more commonly known as Yasin al-Suri, is a senior al Qaeda facilitator based in Iran. Originally from Syria, Al-Suri moves money and recruits from across the Middle East into Iran, and then on to Pakistan, to support al Qaeda's senior leadership.

He is also an important fundraiser for al Qaeda and has collected money from donors and fundraisers throughout the Gulf. The US treasury department in July blacklisted al-Suri and five other members of his network, exposing what the United States says are direct links between Tehran and the al Qaeda network.

He was added to the global terrorists list by the US state department in December 2011.

5. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed ($10 million bounty)

Saeed, the militant in the news, is the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and the chief of charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Both LeT and JuD are blacklisted by the US government as foreign terrorist organisations. The US bounty notice against him says Saeed was "suspected of masterminding numerous terrorist attacks, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which resulted in the deaths of 166 people, including six American citizens".

Pakistan put Saeed under house arrest a month after the 26/11 attacks, but he was freed in 2009, and in 2010 the country's Supreme Court upheld his release on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to detain him.

(With inputs from Reuters, AFP, PTI and US govt websites)

First Published: Apr 03, 2012 20:32 IST