Nov 26, 2008

On the Mumbai Horror

Squads of armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, restaurants, hospitals and a train station in coordinated attacks across the Indian city of Mumbai Wednesday night, killing at least 88 people, injuring over 240 others, and reportedly taking hostage Westerners. At least 10 sites have been attacked so far, and the city remains in a state of chaos.

The attackers specifically targeted Britons and Americans, according to witnesses.

I find the violence especially surreal given the fact that I have been engaged in some research on the history of western India for some weeks now. After a few hours of work, I put aside my readings on conflict and trade in eighteenth century India only to find myself jarred by the eruption of twenty-first century terrorist violence in Mumbai, the financial and entertainment capital of India.

As of this writing a little-known group named the Deccan Mujahideen is claiming responsibility for the deadly attacks. Of course, this name could simply be a ruse to throw off security and police investigations, but whoever is behind the attacks certainly possesses a high degree of planning.

In addition, the deliberate targeting of Westerners suggests that the terrorists might be sending a message to the West and India about the costs of cooperation, especially in light of recent nuclear agreements between the United States and India. I am also tempted to link the attacks to the ongoing disputes over the region of Kashmir, though there has yet to be a release of the statement of responsibility from the attackers.

So we watch in shock as the death toll and injury numbers rise, and scratch our heads at the latest violence inflicted on innocent civilians in order to advance some group's radical political goals.


Anonymous said...

It will always be Bombay to me!

historymike said...

(ignoring imperialist silliness above)

Here is the text of the eamil sent to news media::

"You should know that your acts are not at all left unnoticed; rather we are closely keeping an eye on you and just waiting for the right time to execute your bloodshed. We are aware of your recent raids at Ansarnagar, Mograpada in Andheri and the harassment and trouble you created there for the Muslims.

"You threatened to murder them and your mischief went to such an extent that you even dared to abuse and insult Maulana Mahmood-ul-Hasan Qasmi and even misbehaved with the Muslim women and children there.

"If this is the degree your arrogance has reached, and if you think that by these stunts you can scare us, then let the Indian Mujahideen warn all the people of Mumbai that whatever deadly attacks Mumbaikars will face in future, their responsibility would lie with the Mumbai ATS and their guardians - Vilasrao Deshmukh and R R Patil. You are already on our hit-list and this time very very seriously."

microdot said...

Today, the Amtrack rail corridor between New York and washington was placed under a high alert status.
There are Units patrolling with M-16s in the train stations.

I would take this action in Mumbai very seriously as to the spector of hightened terrorist activity over the Holiday period.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving from France, where we are nott going to eat Turrkey!

microdot said...

Here are the two threads of ideas relating to the reasons for the Mumbai attack in the European Press today.
One: The communique you quote in the aboce comment has to do with the internal Indian harrassment of Islamic Groups. The style of the attack had nothing to do with Al Qaeda...A; Qaeda has no history of terrorist hostage taking in an event like this and there were no suicide attacks per say.

The other line of thinking is that this is an Islamic off shoot of Al Qaeda and the specific targets have a lot to do with the Indian involvement with Israel.
The Indian arms industry is a major supplier to Israel and they have become diplomatic and security allies regarding the percieved threat of Islamic nationalism.
In fact, the Indian goverment has become a major supporter and ally of Israeli diplomacy in America.
This has made India a de facto enemy of Palestine and is responsible for the recent upswing of terrorist attacks. There have been over 3,000 victims of Islamic terrorist violence in India this year.
One of the main targets of this attack was the Jewish community in Mumbai.

I understand that as of about 6 pm your time. The Hostage crisis was ended.

kooz said...

I think we should just keep our heads in the sand and pretend Islam has not declared war on us. We can pretend they're a religion a peace until they completely destroy us. We've been doing it so long anyways. Oh yeah...I just read in Obama' book that in times of political turmoil...he will stand with the muslims. We are screwed. The russian anaylyst who yesterday predicted the demise of the U.S. in ten years is right.

kooz said...

I'm really suprised the media and liberals are not blaming Bush. I suspect we will see more of this once Barak Obama closes down GB.

microdot said...

Well, I was going to add another detail...the ip address of the email was from Russia.