Hafiz Saeed: Twitter suspends account of man accused of orchestrating Mumbai terror attack

There was no immediate response from Twitter

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The Independent Online

Hafiz Saeed, the man accused of orchestrating the 2008 attack on Mumbai, has been a prolific and enthusiastic user of social media.  Over the years the 64-year-old Pakistani has taken to Twitter to level accusations at India, to vow his support to Kashmir and even to give his backing to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

But today his online voice has fallen quiet after Twitter apparently stepped in and suspended his account. Amid ongoing controversy about a man on whose head the US has placed a $10m reward, a search for Mr Saeed’s account results in the message: “The profile you are trying to view has been suspended.”

Mr Saeed, who heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), an Islamic charity, has been accused of heading the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group and of plotting the attack on Mumbai by 10 Pakistani gunmen that resulted in the deaths of more than 160 people. Though Mr Saeed has always denied the allegations, the UN has declared him a terrorist and placed sanctions on the JuD, describing it as a terror outfit and a front for militant activity.

There was no immediate response from Twitter as to the reason it had apparently taken the decision to suspend Mr Saeed’s account. The social media site maintains the right to suspend accounts for violation of its rules or even for investigation if it is suspected that an account has been hacked. Neither Mr Saeed or a spokesman for the JuD were available for comment. 

On social media, there was swift reaction to the suspension of Mr Saeed’s account. “Glad that @twitter has suspended account of int'l terrorist @HafizSaeedJUD”, wrote Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the US. “Hope @twitter will suspend new terrorist accounts too”.

In September Mr Saeed had used social media to accuse India of releasing excessive water into the Indus river which he said was responsible for flooding downstream in Pakistan. “Pakistan should raise Indian water aggression issue on global forums while practical steps be taken for Kashmir freedom struggle,” he said.

His most recent message on twitter was on 5 December when he voiced his wish that Pakistan will avenge its defeat in the 1971 war against Bangladesh and that Muslim victims of a 2002 massacre in India would receive justice.