'Dead' 26/11 planner Sajid Mir comes alive in Pak but Masood Azhar still untraceable

Published on Jun 24, 2022 05:42 PM IST

Pakistan's claim of having nabbed Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Sajid Mir is nothing but a cosmetic step to escape the Financial Action Task Force grey list.

Lashkar operative and Mumbai 26/11 planner Sajid Mir and Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
Lashkar operative and Mumbai 26/11 planner Sajid Mir and Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

Sajid Mir, the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack handler who was declared dead long ago, has been arrested as claimed by Pakistan, reports from Paris and New Delhi said.

Strangely, Pakistan has said that Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, who is enjoying the patronage of the Pakistani establishment in his den Bahawalpur, is untraceable.

The claims by Islamabad come at a time when it is trying hard to escape the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The anti-terror watchdog has said that Pakistan will be removed from the grey list if the onsite inspection to verify whether steps taken by it to curb terror financing and money laundering are 'sustainable' and 'irreversible'.

In 2020, Hindustan Times had reported the whereabouts of Sajid Mir, who had directed the Lashkar terrorists to take a head shot at the Holtzberg couple at Chabad House during the 26/11 attacks. Mir, the handler of David Coleman Headley, was said to be enjoying the protection of ISI either in Rawalpindi or Lahore. He expanded the terror group's reach across three continents, and plotted terror attacks in Australia, Virginia in the United States and France.

It is believed that Mir has level seven protection, the security cover normally accorded to the heads of the state by the ISI. He even underwent plastic surgery after the 26/11 attacks.

As far as Masood Azhar is concerned, the Pulwama attack plotter continues to remain in Bahawalpur. He was declared a global terrorist in 2019 after much delay with China blocking his designation by the United Nations Security Council.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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