LeT terrorist Abdul Salam Bhuttavi, who trained 26/11 attackers, dies in Pakistan jail

Hafiz Abdul Salam Bhuttavi, an UN-designated terrorist who trained the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) attackers for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and acted as the outfit’s chief on at least two occasions, died in a prison in Pakistan’s Punjab province while serving a sentence for terror financing, his aide said on Wednesday. Bhuttavi, who founded LeT headquarters in Muridke in Punjab, was deputy to the outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. The JuD is the front organisation for the LeT. ”Bhuttavi, 77, was incarcerated at District Jail Sheikhupura, some 60 kms from Lahore, since October 2019 in a terror financing case. On May 29, he felt severe pain in his chest and was shifted to hospital where he was pronounced dead (due to cardiac arrest) on arrival,” a JuD official said His funeral was held at the LeT/JuD headquarters in Muridke in which a large number of the supporters of the banned organisation participated amid high security. A source in the Punjab government told PTI that JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, who is lodged at the Kot Lakhpat jail since 2019 serving multiple sentences in terror financing cases, had requested the government to allow him to attend Bhuttavi’s funeral but permission was not granted. An Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore had given Bhuttavi a jail term of 16 years in a terror financing case in 2020. A close aide to Saeed, Bhuttavi faced sanctions from the US treasury department in 2011. The UN Security Council’s ISIL (Daesh) and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee added Bhuttavi to its list of designated terrorists in March 2012.