26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi arrested in Pakistan
The 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operations commander, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, has been arrested in Pakistan on Saturday. Lakhvi, who has been out on bail since 2015 in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case, was arrested on terror financing charges by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan. The case was registered at a police station of the CTD in Lahore. Here's more.
"Following an intelligence-based operation conducted by the CTD Punjab (Pakistan), proscribed organization LeT leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was arrested on charges of terrorism financing," the CTD said. However, the CTD did not reveal the location from where he was arrested.
The CTD stated that Lakhvi is accused of running a dispensary and diverting the collected funds for terror financing. Apart from the 61-year-old LeT leader, others also collected funds from this dispensary and used the same for further terror financing. Lakhvi also used to utilize these funds for his personal expenses, according to the CTD.
The CTD stated that in addition to belonging to a banned organization, the LeT, Lakhvi is also a United Nations (UN) designated terrorist. "His trial will be held before the Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore," it added.
Lakhvi was the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks when 10 heavily-armed terrorists belonging to the LeT organization from Pakistan carried out attacks, claiming 166 lives and injuring over 300 people. He was designated as a global terrorist under the United Nations Security Council Resolution in 2008 after the attacks. He spent nearly six years in a Pakistani jail and released in 2015.
It was Lakhvi who gave money to the family of Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Pakistani gunman involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in exchange for his participation in the operation, say reports. He is also believed to have led many terror operations in Kashmir and is on the "Most Wanted" list of India's National Investigation Agency (NIA), too.
Interestingly, Lakhvi's arrest comes just weeks after the UN Security Council's 1267 sanctions committee allowed the payment of Rs. 1.5 lakh/month to him as "basic" monthly expenses by Pakistan. While the UNSC Resolution requires all states to freeze the funds/financial assets/economic resources of designated individuals, it provides for sanction of their basic expenses if there's no objection over the same.