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Rediff.com  » News » US places Rs 22 cr bounty on 'new bin Laden'

US places Rs 22 cr bounty on 'new bin Laden'

April 07, 2011 14:05 IST

The United States has announced a bounty of $5 million (Rs 22 crore) on the head of Pakistan-based dreaded global terrorist Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri, a key suspect in the Mumbai terror attacks who is now called the "new bin Laden".

The State department said Kashmiri is the commander of the terrorist organisation Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI), which is linked to Al Qaeda, and has launched several attacks in India and Pakistan.

HuJI is believed to be behind the March 2006 suicide bombing at the US consulate in Karachi that killed four people, including US diplomat David Foy, and injured 48 others.

Kashmiri, according to Pakistani media reports, has been named as Al Qaeda chief for Afghanistan and Pakistan in place of Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, who was killed in a drone strike in May last year. He is presently believed to be holed up with commanders of Al Qaeda Lashkar al-Zil.

In January 2010, a US federal grand jury indicted Kashmiri for terrorism-related offences in connection with a plot to attack the 'Jyllands-Posten' newspaper in Denmark, over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Last August, the US branded Kashmiri as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" and HuJI was labelled as a "Foreign Terrorist Organisation."

Born in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in 1964, Kashmiri is six feet tall and weighs about 90 kilogram, the State Department said in a statement.

He has black hair and brown eyes and has been seen with a thick beard dyed white, black or red at various times. He has lost sight in one eye, often wears aviator-style sunglasses and is missing an index finger too.

Kashmiri is also known by several aliases such as Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri, Elias al-Kashmiri, Ilyas, Naib Amir, and Commando Commander.

"We encourage anyone with information on Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri's location to contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, any US military commander, or the Rewards for Justice office via the website (
www.rewardsforjustice.net), e-mail (RFJ@state.gov) or mail (Rewards for Justice, Washington, DC 20520-0303, USA). All information will be kept strictly confidential," the State Department statement said.