Experts, western media blame Indian Mujahideen

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 27, 2008 12:54 hrs

New Delhi: The Mumbai terror attacks could be the handiwork of the Indian Mujahideen and there could be little or no involvement of international Islamic militant groups like Al-Qaeda, say reports in the western media.

The International Herald Tribune (IHT) said in an article on Thursday quoting Christine Fair, senior political scientist and a South Asia expert at the RAND Corporation: "The style of the attacks and the targets in Mumbai suggested that the militants were likely to be Indian Muslims - and not linked to Al Qaeda or the violent South Asian terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba."

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Fair told IHT: "There's absolutely nothing Al Qaeda-like about it."

"Did you see any suicide bombers? And there are no fingerprints of Lashkar. They don't do hostage taking, and they don't do grenades," she added.

The newspaper quoted Bruce Hoffman, a professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the author of the book "Inside Terrorism", as saying that he agreed that the assault was "not exactly Al Qaeda's modus operandi, which is suicide attacks".

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Fair believes the attacks could be "yet another manifestation of domestic terrorism," the IHT report said.

"The public political face of India says, 'Our Muslims have not been radicalized.' But the Indian intelligence apparatus knows that's not true. India's Muslim communities are being sucked into the global landscape of Islamist jihad," it added.

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"Indians will have a strong incentive to link this to Al Qaeda. 'Al Qaeda's in your toilet!' But this is a domestic issue. This is not India's 9/11," IHT said quoting Fair.

In its analysis of last night events in Mumbai, Times Online has observed: "The group that claimed to be behind last night's attacks on Bombay-the Deccan Mujahideen - has not hitherto been heard of in India, let alone in the outside world.

"But it could be an offshoot of the Indian Mujahideen, an Islamist group that was also unknown until it said it had caused a series of multiple bomb attacks on Indian cities in the past year."

Commenting on the terrorist attck in Mumbai at multiple localtions on Wednesday night, The Guardian in Britain said: "The most obvious suspect will be a group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen, an offshoot of the banned SIMI (the Students Islamic Movement). It claimed responsibility for the bombings in Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur and Ahmedabad and following the Delhi bombings it issued an explicit threat that Mumbai would be next."

Deccan Mujahideen claims responsibility for attack

"Although ......(these) killings involved gunmen rather than the bombs used in the earlier attacks, the degree of co-ordination involved points to the same hand at work," it added.

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