Lord Nazir Ahmed was suspended from the Labour party Monday after reports surfaced that the Muslim life peer offered a bounty for the capture of President Obama and former president George W. Bush.
At a conference in Haripur, Pakistan, Ahmed said he would offer £10 million ($15.8 million) for the capture of the president and former U.S. president.
'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, Ahmed reportedly said.
Ahmed made the remarks in retaliation of the U.S. issuing a $10 million bounty for the capture of Pakistani militant leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who is the leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, a terrorist organization thought to be behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.
Saeed was linked with Osama bin Laden. Documents found in a U.S. raid last year of bin Laden's final hideaway in Abbottabad, Pakistan confirmed it.
We have suspended Lord Ahmed pending investigation. If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable, said a Labour Party spokesman to the Telegraph.
The international community is rightly doing all in its power to seek justice for the victims of the Mumbai bombings and halt terrorism, said a Labour party spokesman in a statement.
Ahmed called the US reward for Saeed an insult to all Muslims. By placing it Obama challenged the dignity of the Muslim ummah he said to the business community in Haripur. The Middle East media Research Institute translated Ahmed's remarks.
Ahmed said he would drum up the funds at any cost, even selling his house and other personal assets.
Ahmed denied allegations that he had offered a bounty for Obama and Bush. He said that he told the conference that Bush and former Prime Minister Tony Blair should be prosecuted for war crimes.
I never said those words, he said, speaking from Pakistan. I did not offer a bounty. I said that there have been war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan and those people who have got strong allegations against them -- George W. Bush and Tony Blair have been involved in illegal wars and should be brought to justice.
I do not think there's anything wrong with that, he said. He added that his suspension was news to him and that anyone suspected of terrorism should be brought to justice.
Ahmed became the first ever Muslim life peer for England at age 40. He was born in Pakistan and appointed to the House of Lords in 1998. He opposed the 2007 knighthood bestowed on Salman Rushdie, claiming the author had blood on his hands.