LONDON – Britain's Press Association and other British media say a Labour Party member of the House of Lords has been suspended while the party investigates reports that he offered a 10 million pound ($16 million) bounty for the capture of President Barack Obama.
Nazir Ahmed has denied making the comments, which were reported by the press in Pakistan during a visit to that country.
An unnamed Labour spokeswoman told the Press Association on Sunday that the party would condemn the purported comments by Lord Ahmed if the investigation proves he made them.
The reports come days after the U.S. announced a $10 million bounty on Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, an Islamist who operates openly in Pakistan and founded the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
A Labour Party spokesman said: "We have suspended Lord Ahmed pending investigation. If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable."
According to Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper Lord Ahmed offered the bounty in response to the $10 million U.S. bounty announced a week ago.
The U.S. suspects the Lashkar-e-Taiba group of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people died as terrorists stormed hotels and a train station.
The British peer reportedly said: "'If the U.S. can announce a reward of $10 million for [the capture of] Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10 million [for the capture of] President Obama and his predecessor, George Bush."
Lord Ahmed, who was born in Pakistan, became Baron Ahmed of Rotherham at the age of 40. In 2007 he was highly critical of the awarding of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie, claiming the author had "blood on his hands."
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