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Nov-27-2008 11:22printcomments

Analysis From Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report on the Mumbai attacks

Comment from Jane’s South Asia Analyst, Urmila Venugopalan.


Mumbai slum
Courtesy: galen-frysinger.com

(LONDON) - “An unknown group, Deccan Mujahideen, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks via email, although this has yet to be verified.” Jane’s South Asia Analyst, Urmila Venugopalan, commented. “Nevertheless, it has triggered speculation that the group may be linked to the Indian Mujhaideen, which sent email manifestos claiming responsibility for four attacks it carried out between November 2007 and September 2008.”

Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report explained that an examination of the strategy and tactics employed by this new group suggest significant differences to the terrorist violence that has beset India over the past 15 years and specifically over the past year.

Attacking international and luxury hotels and other soft targets is not a new phenomenon in the region, particularly in light of the September 2008 Mariott bombing in Islamabad that killed more than 50 people, but the apparent focus on killing or capturing foreign businesspeople, specifically US and UK nationals, has never occurred before, suggesting a wider global anti-Western agenda.

This stands in contrast to the national issues that appeared to motivate Indian Mujahideen.

From a tactical perspective most terrorist attacks in India (excluding Indian-administered Kashmir) have been carried out through the use of improvised explosive devices planted on bicycles, motorcycles and cars, and triggered by timers or mobile telephones. In contrast, according to press reports, the attackers involved in the latest Mumbai violence were armed only with Kalashnikov assault rifles, principally, and hand grenades.

Venugopalan further commented, “Until now, terrorist attacks in India have targeted civilians, often in busy market or commercial areas, and in communally sensitive areas with the intention to foment unrest between Hindu and Muslim communities. The taking of hostages, if a deliberate part of the operation, represents another new development.”

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Jane’s, an IHS company (NYSE: IHS), is the leading open source information provider and conference organiser on defence, international risk and national security to governments, militaries, industries and academia around the globe. Jane’s is headquartered in London, and also has offices in Alexandria, Virginia; Singapore; Tokyo; Dubai; and Sydney, Australia. For more information, please visit our award-winning website, janes.com.




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