Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed.
Hafiz Saeed, the leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable front groups, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Falah-i Insaniat Foundation, held a rally in Lahore to praise slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and curse the US for killing him. From AFP via Dawn:
Police said at least 4,000 people attended the Sunday demonstration. Protesters chanted “Down with America” and carried a banner that said “America is the worst enemy of humanity!”
Hafiz Saeed, the leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, called bin Laden a martyr and demanded the Pakistani government break ties with the US following its raid May 2 that killed the al-Qaida chief.
For more on Saeed, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the Falah-i Insaniat Foundation, and their relationship with the Pakistani state, see LWJ report, US designates Lashkar-e-Taiba’s charitable front as terror group:
Pakistan has refused to crack down on homegrown terror groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, despite their covert and overt support for al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terror groups. Inside Pakistan’s military and intelligence services, which are the real powers in Pakistan, groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba are seen as ‘strategic depth’ against India, and are used as instruments of foreign policy.
Hafiz Saeed, the leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba who has been designated by the US and the UN as a terrorist, remains a free man in Pakistan despite openly supporting jihad in both India and Pakistan, and regardless of his group’s involvement in the Mumbai attack as well as other terror attacks. Pakistani Army corps commanders, who occupy some of the senior-most positions in the military, openly cavort with Saeed.
In somewhat related (and belated) news, as of May 10, more than 100,000 posters of Osama bin Laden have been sold in Pakistan since his death on May 2.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.