Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sophisticated Attacks, but by Whom?

A day after the attacks that rattled the Indian city of Mumbai, mystery still shrouds the identity of who might be behind the highly sophisticated attacks that left the city in ruins. As a matter of fact, the attacks have been more ambitious than any in India, both in terms of the scale and the symbolic significance of the targets, and hence the finger pointing at Pakistan is mostly understandable. Indian officials say that some of the terrorists have been arrested, which might disclose the identity of the attackers in the coming days but so far, it’s mostly been conflicting views and panic talk that’s been presented in the media. While the political advantage of blaming Pakistan or Pakistan based terrorist groups including Al-Qaeda is obvious and this has mostly been the line taken by the Indian officials, including Manmohan Singh who hinted at external linkages in the attack. Probably the level of sophistication and planning that must have gone into this attack make this theory plausible. So far, the responsibility for the attack has only been claimed by a local group, Deccan Mujahedeen, but this group may even not exist, and therefore, it might just be a front name. Indian officials blame Lashkr-e-Taiba, a Pakistan based militant group active in Kashmir, though the group has denied the responsibility. It has also to be understood that India has a large Muslim population and although the official version says that they have not been radicalized, it’s a well known fact that the appalling economic disparity between the Hindus and the Muslims and the communal strife that has erupted in India from time to time has made a lot of them very, very angry. Some analysts believe that the attack is not externally motivated or abetted but rather a product of the domestic discontent among a large part of the population. While Indian officials are calling the attack India’s 9/11, its roots may well lie in the internal turbulence that India has constantly refused to accept.

1 comment:

  1. It is not India's 9/11, but is India's Oklahoma 1995.