Home / India News / Sajid Mir, LeT’s project manager for Mumbai attacks, plotted terror in 3 continents
Sajid Mir, the top Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist who joined the terror group after a career in Pakistan army that required him to train terrorists, expanded the terror group’s reach across at least three continents, plotting terror attacks in Australia, Virginia in the United States and France. In 2008, the top Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist whose name had figured in interrogation reports of Frenchman Willie Brigitte five years earlier, plotted and oversaw execution of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed over 160 people.
Brigittee had been one of Sajid Mir’s early discoveries in 2001 when he was handling the Lashkar’s overseas operatives.
Willie Brigittee was arrested along with Faheem Khalid Lodhi, a Pakistan-born architect in October 2003 before they could execute a planned bombing in a joint operation by French and Australian intelligence operatives.
Brigitte spoke in much detail about Sajid Mir who coordinated with foreign recruits at the Lashkar headquarters located on the outskirts of Lahore in Muridke. Sajid Mir had ties to al Qaeda in Afghanistan and had direct access to Lashkar’s military chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the powerful terrorist who continues to be shielded by Pakistani authorities.
The Taj Mahal hotel is seen engulfed in smoke during a gun battle in Mumbai November 29, 2008. ( REUTERS )
Sajid Mir has lately been associated with Lashkar’s recruitment activities, a responsibility that he has held since at least 2001. He has also served as an aide to Lakhvi and at one point, was also directly responsible for his security.
Sajid Mir, officials said, had passed himself off as a cricket fan to enter India in April 2005, and conducted reconnaissance of the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun and the National Defence College.
But it was only much later that US intelligence agencies figured the crucial role that the 44-year-old played in the Lashkar’s operations. Mir was directly responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and was the one who ordered the terrorists to take the head shot at a Holtzberg couple at Chabad House in Mumbai during the massacre.
Lashkar-e-Taiba’s top terrorist Sajid Mir had gone for plastic surgery after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks ( Sourced )
But it was only after American national David Coleman Headley was caught in 2009 that intelligence agencies got a clearer picture of the man. In 2012, the US announced a $ 5 million reward (Rs 37 crore) on Sajid Mir. The reward has gone unclaimed, not because Sajid Mir is on the run but because of the ISI protection that he has been given in Pakistan.
Also Read: Lashkar’s Sajid Mir, Jaish’s Masood Azhar enjoys ‘state protection’ in Pakistan
Indian security officials say Sajid Mir has the level 7 security in Pakistan, the security that ISI extends to visiting heads of state.
But the Mumbai terror attacks that had been planned for years wasn’t the only one that Sajid Mir had been working on.
According to the FBI, Mir is also alleged to have conspired to commit a terrorist attack against a newspaper and its employees in Denmark between 2008 and 2009.
Mir was indicted in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Chicago, Illinois, on April 21, 2011, and was charged with conspiracy to injure property of foreign government; providing material support to terrorists; killing a citizen outside of the U.S. and aiding and abetting; and bombing of places of public use. An arrest warrant has been pending since 22 April 2011.