July 11, 2006Security

Mumbai. Again.

Bomb blasts on trains

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Terrorists have attacked Bombay again. More from Amit Varma. The Mumbai Help blog has the latest updates and information.

This follows the recent escalation of attacks in Jammu & Kashmir.

Update: Who?

Praveen Swami has by far the best analysis at this stage as to who the perpetrators are:

Tuesday’s murderous terror bombing in Mumbai was a tragedy foretold. A least half-a-dozen Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkat ul-Jihad Islami cells planning major operations in western India had been interdicted since January: one, sooner or later, was certain to penetrate India’s police and intelligence defences.

…what evidence is available, though, suggests that the tactics and techniques used in the Mumbai bombings are similar to those deployed in the wave of strikes that have taken place across India since the end of 2005. Fabricated from easily-available chemicals such as potassium permanganate or aluminium chlorate, with small amounts of RDX to accelerate the detonation, the kinds of explosives that seem to have been used in Mumbai are easy to manufacture — and lethal when used in crowded locations.

If recent experience is a guide, investigators are likely to find that the real architects of the bombing are outside its reach: the Lashkar is headquartered at Muridke, near Lahore, while the HuJI operates out of bases in Dhaka and Chittagong. More likely than not, though, the operation will have been facilitated by local operatives of these terror groups — part of a subterranean but still enormously dangerous movement of small numbers of recruits into the ranks of Islamist terror groups.

Whichever terror group executed Tuesday’s bombing is likely to have drawn at least some of its operatives from the large pool of former Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) members in Maharashtra — an organisation that has survived a ban imposed in 2001 by operating under a variety of cover names. Several of the 11 Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives arrested from the Aurangabad area in May, while attempting to move a shipment of explosives, assault rifles, and grenades into Gujarat, had worked for SIMI before it was proscribed…

Policing and intelligence work helped prevent at least a dozen major terrorist strikes just this year. What the Mumbai strikes have made clear, though, is that India must prepare itself for a long and brutal war ahead. [Praveen Swami/The Hindu]JK covers additional aspects.

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