The White House threatened to downgrade ties with Pakistan after it released Hafiz Saeed from house arrest. Saeed is the alleged mastermind of the three-day Mumbai attack in 2008, during which 166 people were killed, including Rav Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg and four Jews staying at their Chabad house. Their son, Moshe, two-years-old at the time, was saved by an Indian nanny.
Saeed, head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) group which was designated a terror group by the U.N. and U.S., has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head due to suspicion that he masterminded “numerous terrorist attacks, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks.”
“Saeed’s release, after Pakistan’s failure to prosecute or charge him, sends a deeply troubling message about Pakistan’s commitment to (combating) international terrorism and belies Pakistani claims that it will not provide sanctuary for terrorists on its soil,” the White House said in a statement.
India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar was angry that a “self-confessed and UN proscribed terrorist was being allowed to walk free and continue with his evil agenda.” He added that Saeed “was not only the mastermind, he was the prime organizer of the Mumbai terror attacks.”
Pakistan maintained that it had no evidence against Saeed, and Saeed claimed he was only arrested for supporting Kashmir independence from India.