As India observed the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on its financial capital Mumbai on Monday, 26 November, the US administration announced a 5-million-dollar award for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of any individual who committed, conspired, aided or abetted the 2008 Mumbai attack.
The Trump administration announced this major reward which is worth of Rs more than 35 crore on the 10th anniversary of the terror attack in which 10 Pakistan-based Lashkar-E-Taiba terrorists went on a shooting rampage in India’s financial hub. The terror attack killed 166 people, including six Americans.
The announcement comes less than a fortnight after US Vice President Mike Pence had a meeting with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Singapore, during which he is believed to have himself raised this issue and rued that even 10 years after the Mumbai attack its perpetrators have not been brought to justice.
On Monday, State Department’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) Program stated that US is offering a reward of up to 5-million-dollar for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of any individual who committed, conspired to commit or aided or abetted the execution of the 2008 Mumbai attack.
Further it reported “The United States is committed to working with our international partners to identify and bring to justice those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attack”.
Monday’s announcement marks the third Rewards for Justice offer seeking information on the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed solidarity with the people of India and the city of Mumbai on the anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
He tweeted “On behalf of all Americans, I express my solidarity with the people of India and the city of Mumbai on the 10th anniversary of the #MumbaiTerrorAttack. We stand with the families and friends of the victims, including six American citizens”.
Further he added “It is an affront to the families of the victims that after ten years those who planned the Mumbai attack have still not been convicted for their involvement”.
In April 2012, the Department of State announced reward offers for information that brings to justice Lashkar-E-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, another senior Lashkar-E-Taiba leader.
In December 2001, the Department of State designated LeT as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. This designation plays a critical role in the fight against terrorism and is an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business, added the State Department.
According to reports, in May 2005, the United Nations (UN) 1267 Sanctions Committee added LeT to the Consolidated UN Security Council Sanctions List.
The State Department said that anyone with information on this incident can contact the Rewards for Justice Office via the website, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (800-877-3927 in North America), or mail (Rewards for Justice, Washington, D.C., 20520-0303, USA).
Individuals may also contact the Regional Security Officer at the nearest US embassy or consulate. “All information will be kept strictly confidential,” it asserted.
The Rewards for Justice program is administered by the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid in excess of 150-million-Dollar to more than 100 people who provided actionable information that helped bring terrorists to justice or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.
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Meanwhile, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi paid homage to the families of the victims of the terror attacks.
Modi tweeted on Monday, “Tributes to those who lost their lives in the gruesome 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. Our solidarity with the bereaved families. A grateful nation bows to our brave police and security forces who valiantly fought the terrorists during the Mumbai attacks”.