Pakistani-born Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is a U.S.- and U.N.-designated terrorist. He is the founder and emir (leader) of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization that strives to rid Kashmir of Indian influence and establish an Islamic state spanning Kashmir, Pakistan, and India.* Saeed also heads a charity called Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which the Indian government has implicated in financing LeT attacks.
* In January 2017, Saeed was placed under house arrest in Pakistan for disturbing peace and security, but was released that November in a move criticized by the United States and India.* Saeed’s family migrated from India to independent Pakistan during the partition of British India in the late 1940s. Raised in the Punjab province of Pakistan, Saeed received degrees in Islamic studies and engineering.
He studied in Saudi Arabia while employed by General Zia-ul-Haq—Pakistan’s longest serving President.* Saeed was heavily influenced while living in Saudi Arabia. Encouraged by interactions with extremist clerics—including Osama bin Laden’s mentor Abdullah Azzam—Saeed traveled to Afghanistan to fight against the invading Soviets.
He founded LeT in Pakistan in 1990, according to the U.S. and Indian governments. At its inception, LeT trained volunteers to fight alongside the Taliban against Soviet forces. Virulently anti-Indian and anti-American, Saeed is believed to have directed terrorist attacks in India.*The Indian and U.S. governments have worked to indict Saeed for his alleged role in multiple terrorist incidents, including plotting the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks in India.