The battle for Mumbai continues
Note: This post is the continuation of this morning’s roundup
Don’t miss tonight’s SAJA podcast at 10PM Eastern.
BBC report and most recent slideshow: Troops battle to end Mumbai siege
The mode of attack–assault teams launched into the heart of a major city–is already sending chills down the spines of security officials and governments throughout the world.
The attacks came 48 hours after Pakistan’s new president, Asif Ali Zardari, practically threw away 50 years of Pakistani policy by announcing his readiness to end the dispute with India over Kashmir.
Zardari is an ethnic Baluch who, unlike previous Pakistani leaders who had Indian backgrounds, has no direct family history in pre-partition India. As a result, he is not as sensitive on Kashmir as his predecessors.
The Bombay attacks could be a message to Zardari that, though he may be uninterested in Kashmir, the issue is still central to many in Pakistan.
The new label used may also be significant. Deccan, a region in south-central India, was the intellectual and cultural capital of Indian Islam for centuries.
By using the term “Deccan Mujahedin”, the terrorists may be trying to pass two messages. First, that the Islamist movement is no longer interested only in Kashmir but intends to strive for the reconquest of the whole of India for Islam.
This runs in line with the new pan-Islamist thinking that propagates the will to recover all lands once ruled by Muslims – from India to Spain and southern France, passing by Siberia, parts of Russia and the Balkans. “Deccan” designates a movement that has universal aspirations precisely because it claims local roots.
The designation is also intended to show that India now has a home-grown Islamist terror movement.
At Fox News:
N.Y. Rabbi, Wife Among 6 Hostages Reported Dead Inside Jewish Center; Va. Father, Daughter Killed in Initial Attacks; Battle Rages at Taj Hotel The article also includes this map:
Regarding the murder of the hostages at the Jewish Center, The Holtzbergs: Not “Ultra” and Not Missionaries. You must read this entire post, as a clip won’t do it justice. The Holtzbergs’ two-year-old son, Moshe, was smuggled out of the building last night and is now with his grandparents.
Officials in India, Europe and the United States said likely culprits included Islamist networks based in Pakistan that have received support in the past from Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.
Analysts said this week’s attacks surpassed previous plots carried out by domestic groups in terms of complexity, the number of people involved and their success in achieving their primary goal: namely, to spread fear.
Several analysts and officials said the attacks bore the hallmarks of Lashkar-i-Taiba and Jaish-i-Muhammad, two networks of Muslim extremists from Pakistan that have targeted India before. Jaish-i-Muhammad was blamed for an attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.
Both groups have carried out a long campaign of violence in the disputed territory of Kashmir, which India and Pakistan have fought over for six decades. The roots of the long-running conflict are religious: A majority of India’s population is Hindu, while most Pakistanis are Muslim.
Phyllis Chesler writes about The Thanksgiving Day Massacre in Mumbai