Founder of Banned Militant Group in Pakistan Offers Aid to U.S.

After causing wide spread damage along the Atlantic Coast in United States, Super storm sandy is being labelled as the costliest storm ever. With estimates running as high as $45 billion for reconstruction and rebuilding, the country prepares to cope with the losses. At least 33 people have been reported dead and scores displaced across the East Coast.

Amidst the furor, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of banned militant organization Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) and head of Jaamat ud Dawa (JuD) offered a considerable amount of humanitarian aid to the US to bear losses.

Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Rockaways and Breezy Point in Queens. Many lost their homes, businesses and possessions. Image by Kevin Downs. Copyright Demotix.

Pledging help of every kind, he said “Jamaat-ud-Dawa is ready to send its volunteers, doctors, food, medicines and other relief items on humanitarian grounds if the US government allows us.”

Known as the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the JuD founder also carries a $10million US bounty on his head.

The American Embassy in Pakistani capital Islamabad however refused to accept help from Saeed. Using their Twitter account,  the embassy made it clear that while they appreciate the gesture of Muslims to help, they clearly did not take his offer seriously.

@usembislamabad (US Embassy Islamabad): We respect the Islamic tradition of help to the needy, but we can’t take Hafiz Saeed’s offer seriously.

Following the tweet, a spokesperson for JuD posted the following replies:

@JuD_Official (Jamat ‘ud’ Da'wah): @usembislamabad Our offer was precisely due to the seriousness of the matter. We hope Muslims in #US will keep the tradition alive. Inshallah

@JuD_Official (Jamat ‘ud’ Da'wah) @usembislamabad Our Help offer is for the American people, we will engage Muslims in US to be at forefront to help their fellow countrymen.

@JuD_Official (Jamat ‘ud’ Da'wah): @usembislamabad #USAID Rajiv Shah took us serious when he visited our relief camp in 2010 & distributed relief goods there – #Hafiz Saeed

The US embassy went as far as calling Saeed a suspect for his involvement in Mumbai attacks and also labelling his organization JuD as a ‘designated terrorist’ organization.

@usembislamabad (US Embassy Islamabad ‏): Saaed is wanted for suspected involvement in the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166. JuD is a UN&US-designated terrorist org.

The Twitter account for JuD was once more ready with a response.

@JuD_Official (Jamat ‘ud’ Da'wah): @usembislamabad US govt has conceded to the fact of inadmissible evidence against Hafiz Saeed. UNSCR hearing is pending. Leaves nothing behind.

Reactions over this offer remain mixed. While many term it as generous, some also see the irony behind it.

@Rifaqat_Mir (Rifaqat A. Mir): In spite of the enmity the US poses to Hafiz Saeed he still has the generosity and benevolence to show compassion for his enemy

@humayusuf (Huma Yusuf): They say Muslims don't have a sense of humour, but Hafiz Saeed's offer to help #Sandy victims is HILARIOUS …

@anDYRude (Anirudh Malladi): Just read that Hafiz Saeed, a dreaded terrorist, has offered “Help in the form of food, doctors etc” to victims of #HurricaneSandy. LMAO!

@nidak_ (Nida Khan): Entertaining exchange of trolling going on between Hafiz Saeedand the US embassy Islamabad. 1-1, I'd say. #NextRound?

@anamzehra86 (Anam Zehra): US Embassy's response to Hafiz Saeed's offer is their way of saying ”we take your religion seriously,you should too”

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