Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai attacks show quantum leap in quality of terrorism

It’s time to get worried, very worried. The Mumbai attacks show a quantum leap in the quality of terrorism. If 9/11 showed that hurling planes into buildings yielded real mass terror, and 7/11 attacks showed the vulnerability of mass transit systems, 26/11 showed that the new terrorist is not much different from a well-trained commando .
From suicide bombers, it’s the age of the suicide fighter or the suicide commando. Welcome to the age of “urban jihad” . Rohan Gunaratna, an expert on al-Qaida , told press, “The tactics and methodology of these terrorists is in the style of al-Qaida .” High-profile targets, motivated and experienced fidayeen with extensive and sophisticated training point to a more “professional” terror master. Whether the sponsor of the terrorists is the al-Qaida or not is not certain, but it’s now generally agreed that al-Qaida is certainly an inspiration, if not a direct sponsor. Indian security sources say it’s quite likely that the terrorists have been trained by al-Qaida-like organizations . A more telling feature is the singling out of international targets — British and Americans as well as Israelis — all pointing to a bigger enemy than India. Certainly , they are aimed at striking terror among the people who matter most to India’s commercial capital, because they would be in Mumbai for business and pleasure.

The Israelis are an inspired target, seeing that they are al-Qaida’s sworn enemy. Security sources too are surprised . “This is certainly a shift from what we have seen until date, in the form of small cadres, with basic terror training and limited resources. Here we are seeing well-trained , highly motivated, hardcore militants who are well-versed in commando-style surgical operations.” The targeting of foreigners is also new. Earlier terror attacks in India stuck to Indians as targets, but this was different. It has shades of attacks in Bali, Mombasa , Sharm-el Sheikh, all of which targeted tourists. The difference is that in Mumbai, there’s more of one-on-one fighting rather than bombings where the perpetrators are anonymous. That’s the evolution, and the reasons are not far to find. First, thanks to the attack, the terrorists have had spectacular media coverage and succeeded in bringing Mumbai to a standstill. The terrorists are also flush with funds, because after the 1993 Mumbai blasts, this has been the most highly funded attack. Terrorism analyst B Raman says this could come either from the Mumbai underworld or from an al-Qaida or pro-Qaeda organization.


  © Free Blogger Templates Blogger Theme by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP