ISLAMABAD: Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed in an interview revealed that he had been taught by the same teacher who had taught al Qaeda supremos Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri, Dawn.com reported late on Tuesday.
JuD, listed as a charity organisation in Pakistan, is labeled by India and the United Nations as a terrorist organisation.
In an interview to Dawn.com, the JuD chief revealed that he had studied under the tutelage of Sheikh Bin Baz, who had also taught bin Laden and al-Zawahiri.
Bin Baz was the grand mufti (scholar) of Saudi Arabia from 1993 until his death in May 1999.
AfPak head and a retired Central Investigation Agency (CIA) officer, Bruce Riedel in his book titled “The Search for al Qaeda” described Bin Baz as one who “preached a very reactionary brand of Islam, proclaiming the earth is flat, banning high heels for women as sexually provocative, barring men from wearing Western suits and imposing other restrictions on behavior.
When asked whether it was a coincidence that he studied under the same cleric who taught bin Laden and Ayman al al-Zawahiri, Saeed called it an “honour” for both the students and the teacher.
The most wanted man by India; Saeed holds a master’s degree in Islamic Studies and also was a teacher at the Engineering University, Punjab.
Saeed also mentioned about his meeting with al Qaeda leader bin Laden.
“Yes once I had met Osama Bin Laden but that is an old story I met him probably in 1982 in Saudi Arabia and in that meeting we just waved at each other.”
Responding to a question about about reports regarding financial help by bin Laden to establish Lashkar-i-Taiba back in 1989-90, Saeed denied it, calling it a “baseless allegation.”
On being asked whether how it was possible that he could not have met bin Laden in Afghanistan while he was waging jihad next door in Indian Kashmir, Saeed brushed aside the question saying, “put this matter aside.”
Doubt over bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad
Speaking about the May 2 raid by US Navy SEALs in which bin Laden was killed, the JuD chief, said that the US was the biggest terrorist who were yet to prove any of the allegations against the slain al Qaeda leader in a court of law. He declared his killing as an extra judicial act, expressing doubt over bin Laden’s presence in the Abbotabad compound, at all.
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