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November 25th Mumbai Terror Attacks

The Taj Hotel in South Mumbai was the scene of the attack

The Taj Hotel in South Mumbai was the scene of the attack

Another day and another terror attack in another Indian city has left almost 100 people dead and hundreds injured.  The scale of the attack — spread across two five-star hotels, a hospital, the Victoria Terminus, and other parts of South Mumbai — is stunning.  Quite obviously, this can’t be the work of an impromptu assemblage of disgruntled extremists.  The planning, the weaponry used, and the coordinated execution points to a very well planned attack, executed by very well trained, possibly even professionally trained, attackers.  A group that I’ve never heard of before, the Deccan Mujaheddin, claimed responsibility for the attack.  It would be premature to dismiss this as an attempt to divert attention from the real terrorist group, just because this is a name that we’re not familiar with.  This group, if in fact it exists, could be an alliance of sorts between foreign terror groups and intelligence services, such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which provided the ammunition and/or the money, and Indian terror groups and their backers such as the Indian Mujaheddin (IM) and SIMI, which provided the logistics and the plan. That the terrorists were apparently looking for civilians with American or British passports leads me to believe that this couldn’t entirely be the handiwork of Indian terror groups, if at all they were involved at any level.  Terrorism in India is very localized and it isn’t the M.O. of local terror groups to target foreigners.  The objectives of terror groups in India fall into two broad categories — (a) to seek retribution (against Hindus, law enforcement agencies, the State, etc.) for what they see as injustices, or (b) to inflict damages so unbearable that it would demoralize India into conceding independence to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

While it’s quite clear that these local terror groups wouldn’t’ be fans of the United States or of the United Kingdom, I don’t believe that their objectives would be pan-Islamic.  If it does turn out to be true that they were targeting Western interest in the city, then this would be the first such incident, and one that adds a dimension that draws India into the fold of “mainstream” terrorism.

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Pink City goes Red

Chaos and destruction in Jaipur

Hate to say this, but I knew this was coming. Over 60 dead, 150+ injured. This is an unfortunate price that India pays for being in the neighborhood that it is in. There are gasses in the Sun that are more stable than the political environment in South Asia. Every time there’s a change-of-guard in Pakistan, India bears the brunt of some attack or the other. Now, there’s every possibility of course that this could have been the work of home-grown millitants. Certainly, the Indian government apparatus made itself no friends with it’s wanton turn-a-blind-eye approach to Gujarat. But if there isn’t any correlation between political disturbances in Pakistan and civilian attacks in India, then it’s one heck of a coincidence.I saw this coming. The print media in Pakistan, which comprises largely of mouth-pieces of the government, tends to unintentionally betray the the establishment’s thought processes. There has been a steady increase in the number of “Kashmir independence” related articles and general anti-India propaganda on Pakistani news websites – certainly the largest battery of news articles and op-eds on the subject since the 2005 peace agreement. Of course, there have always been the usual venom spewing op-eds from Shireen Mazari, but that’s just Shireen being the fire breathing old dragon that she is, and I’m not one to take her petulant diatribes seriously.

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