A leaked diplomatic cable from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims top leaders of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LeT) continued to run the group's operations from prison.
The Aug. 10, 2009, cable said LeT founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, the group's operations commander, "continued to run" LeT "despite being detained for their role" in the Mumbai attacks. Saeed and Lakhvi were the prime suspects in the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans. The U.S. designated LeT in December 2001 and the group was subsequently banned in Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities arrested Lakhvi immediately after the Mumbai attacks and charged him with terrorism offenses. Saeed, the alleged mastermind behind the attacks, was taken into custody along with Lakhvi but later released without charge.
The cable claimed Lakhvi was in charge of LeT's military operations budget of about $5.2 million while he was in prison. The money was used to purchase "all materials required for operations other than weapons and ammunition," the cable said. The message further claimed Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), an Islamic charity considered an LeT front, is "likely to have used some funds collected in the name of Jamaat-ud-Dawa charitable activities in support of multiple LeT terrorist operations, including the November Mumbai attacks."
The cable also alleged that China opposed U.S. efforts in the United Nations Security Council to put sanctions on JuD before the Mumbai attacks. The message said U.S. efforts were "placed on hold by China at the behest of Pakistan."