India cannot pin all the blame on outsiders

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November 28, 2008

Radical Islamist terrorism has flourished among the sub-continent’s seething mixture of racial and religious rivalries

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Images of that great Bombay monument, the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, engulfed in flames and thick billowing smoke cannot help but recall the collapsing twin towers of 9/11. The attack seems to bear all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda operation.

The terrorists chose Bombay (Mumbai), the New York of India; they targeted iconic buildings – the Taj and the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, the flamboyant mini-St Pancras that is redolent of the Raj-era glory days. The terrorists are reported to have been daring in their approach – they arrived by sea not far from the Raj’s 1911 monument to itself, the basalt Gateway of India.

The Bombay outrage is a reminder of how crucial South Asia is in the creation of radical Islamist terrorism. Although the US often points the finger at Europe as its main incubator, it is in the sub-continent and the surrounding arc of states, simmering with ethnic and religious rivalries, that Islamist extremism thrives. Continue reading

How the attack on Mumbai was planned

Vicky Nanjappa and Krishnakumar in Mumbai | November 29, 2008 | 06:20 IST

Investigators working on the Mumbai terror attack have unearthed vital information about how the terrorists managed to enter Mumbai.

The interrogations of the two arrested terrorists, Abu Ismail and Ajmal Kamal, have revealed that 20 men were involved in the terror attack. While eight terrorists set up base in Hotel Trident and Taj Mahal Hotel, 12 others came to Mumbai in a boat.

Intelligence Bureau officials are trying to verify if the terrorists came in through the Persian Gulf.

The arrested terrorists have revealed that they hijacked two fishing boats and used them to come to Mumbai, armed with guns and ammunition. Continue reading