In a rare instance, U.S.-labeled terrorist Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, leader of the Pakistani Islamic group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, offered rescue and medical assistance to victims of superstorm Sandy as it devastated northeast U.S. cities, CNN reported Wednesday.
“Islam orders us to help them without discriminating between religion, cast or creed,” Saeed said in a statement on the group’s Facebook page late Tuesday.
Accused as a mastermind to the killing of 166 people in Mumbai in 2008, Saeed said that it is their religious and moral obligation to help Americans distraught by the storm.
“We offer our unconditional support and help for the victims,” he said, “If U.S. government allows, we will send our doctors, relief and rescue experts, food and medicine on humanitarian grounds.”
However, according to the CNN report, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told the media Wednesday that they are declining the offer.
“While we have great respect for Islamic tradition of social assistance to those who are in need no matter where they might be, this particular offer strikes us as very hollow," he said.
In 2001, the U.S. government branded the group as a “foreign terrorist organization” and has since then offered a $10 million bounty to anyone who can give information to Saeed’s whereabouts. In 2002, Pakistan banned the radical Islamic group as well.
In 2008, Saeed along with other Laskhar-e-Tayyiba leaders, the group’s military arm, were branded by the U.S. Treasury Department as terrorists, freezing their assets.
The Islamic group’s military group has also been suspected of organizing terrorist attacks to liberate Muslims in Kashmir, India’s disputed region, over the past few years after the 9-11 attacks in the U.S.
In April, Saeed appeared on TV saying that the U.S. government can “contact” him “whenever they want.”
Pakistani authorities say they haven’t received “concrete evidence” against Saeed while the Indian government accuses Saeed of training gunmen on the Mumbai attack and is on the look-out to where the Islamic leader might be.
Saeed still continues to move freely today.