Pakistani cleric offers Sandy ‘help’

  • Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 12:02 a.m.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, a Pakistani hard-line cleric with a $10 million bounty placed on him by the United States because of his alleged links to militancy, said he wants to help Americans on the East Coast broadsided by Hurricane Sandy.

Saeed, who founded the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba in the 1980s and now heads up its social welfare wing, Jamaat ud-Dawa, issued a statement Tuesday saying his charity was prepared to provide doctors, rescue experts, food and medicine to victims of the storm, which has ravaged the East Coast and left millions without power.

“Regardless of what the U.S. government propagates about us, including their announcement of bounties, we look forward to acting on the traits of our prophet Muhammad ... and serving adversity-struck American people,” Saeed said in a statement posted on Jamaat ud-Dawa’s Facebook page.

In April, the U.S. announced a reward of $10 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Saeed, widely viewed in the West and India as the alleged mastermind behind the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people.

The United States and India have long regarded Jamaat ud-Dawa as a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba’s militant activities.

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