WE have another book on the Lashkar-e-Toiba’s (LeT) attack on Mumbai when this ally of al Qaeda, supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, secretly landed on the seafront of Mumbai, the financial capital of India, divided themselves into four groups and went around spreading death and destruction wherever they went.
It was a commando style raid by a group of specially trained jihadis who went about killing innocent men, women and children. “The war of civilisation between the Muslims and the infidels has begun in Indian history,” declared the so-called Indian Mujahideen. The author draws attention to the fact that the intelligence agencies of India as well as of the United States had reportedly detected chatter in the jihadi circles in Pakistan about the planned attempt by the LeT. Despite this, physical security, which is the basis of effective counter-terrorism, was found wanting. The country paid a heavy price for its inaction with 166 persons paying with their lives.
Who trained these terrorists? The al Qaeda? The LeT? The Jaish-e-Mohammad? Nobody knows for sure. The author says that it is no longer the Salafis of the Arab world, who have to be feared. “It was also the Wahabised Deobandis and Ahle Hadith of Pakistan. It was their ideology emanating from mosques such as Binori in Karachi, which started motivating the post-9/11 global jihad.”
India had known for quite some time what was happening but not the experts and policy makers of the West. India’s warnings regarding the pernicious nature of the LeT and the danger it posed to the world were dismissed derisively as motivated by India’s dispute with Pakistan over Jammu & Kashmir.
The author suggests adoption of certain measures to counter terrorism and these include a comprehensive enquiry, smart counter-terrorism moves along with many other points like establishing a national commission of professionals to inquire into all major terrorist strikes, collect a common data base on terrorism, set up a task force, and most important of all, “Mumbai offshore oil installations and the nuclear and space establishment on the western coast” should be protected much more as these are most vulnerable to strikes by sea-borne terrorists.
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