Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Most Curious Terrorist Incident in Mumbai (Bombay), India

We here at "Bloodthirsty Warmonger" have been waiting for some of the dust to settle before writing about this latest terrorist strike in India. It appears that most of the people involved in this operation were home-grown insurgents (they were overheard speaking Hindi), but one participant who was captured alive, Azam Amir Kasav, hails from Pakistan. At least seven of the gunmen held British passports. The well-planned, coordinated nature of the attack is an al-Qaeda signature, while the fact that these terrorists were well-armed indicates that they had access to a generous supply of money, possibly from Iran or one of the oil-rich Arab states. It is most noteworthy that they should have targeted Jews in this operation.

Our hats go off to the plucky inhabitants of Mumbai, who are trying to restore normal activity, even before all the terrorists had been killed or captured, and to the "Black Cat" commandos, who came to the rescue of 200 hostages at the Taj Mahal hotel.

Mark Steyn, once again, has this insightful take on the incident:

But we're in danger of missing the forest for the trees. The forest is the ideology. It's the ideology that determines whether you can find enough young hotshot guys in the neighborhood willing to strap on a suicide belt or (rather more promising as a long-term career) at least grab an AK-47 and shoot up a hotel lobby. Or, if active terrorists are a bit thin on the ground, whether you can count at least on some degree of broader support on the ground. You're sitting in some distant foreign capital but you're of a mind to pull off a Mumbai-style operation in, say, Amsterdam or Manchester or Toronto. Where would you start? Easy. You know the radical mosques, and the other ideological front organizations. You've already made landfall.

It's missing the point to get into debates about whether this is the "Deccan Mujahideen" or the ISI or al-Qaida or Lashkar-e-Taiba. That's a reductive argument. It could be all or none of them. The ideology has been so successfully seeded around the world that nobody needs a memo from corporate HQ to act: There are so many of these subgroups and individuals that they intersect across the planet in a million different ways. It's not the Cold War, with a small network of deep sleepers being directly controlled by Moscow. There are no membership cards, only an ideology. That's what has radicalized hitherto moderate Muslim communities from Indonesia to the central Asian 'stans to Yorkshire, and co-opted what started out as more or less conventional nationalist struggles in the Caucasus and the Balkans into mere tentacles of the global jihad.

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