December 1st, 2008
02:09 PM ET

Mumbai inspired by al Qaeda?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/01/mumbaivigil.jpg caption=" Mumbai residents held a demonstration on Sunday to protest the recent terror attacks."]
M.J. Gohel and Sajjan Gohel
Asia-Pacific Foundation

The Indian media have described the Mumbai terrorist siege as India's 9/11.

The targets for the attacks, many of them symbols of Mumbai's growing power and wealth, were not randomly selected and were intended to send a direct message to India, Israel and the West.

Indeed, the Mumbai attacks had all the hallmarks of a powerful transnational terrorist group inspired by the ideology of al Qaeda.

Mumbai is no stranger to terrorism.

On March 12, 1993, a series of 15 bombs exploded across several districts of India's financial capital, killing 257. On July 11, 2006, a coordinated bombing spree on the city's transportation system killed 209 people.

Uniquely disturbing about the recent Mumbai attacks, in addition to killing locals, is the deliberate targeting of restaurants and hotels used by Westerners and a Jewish cultural center.

Mumbai is to India as New York is to the United States or London to the United Kingdom. The city is driving India's economic boom.

It is the commercial and entertainment capital of the country, where the "Bollywood" film industry is based. It is the heartbeat of India. What happens there vibrates throughout the nation.

Three factors may help explain the timing of the attacks.

Keep reading...

Filed under: al Qaeda • India Attacked • Terrorism
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Arachnae

    Listening to CNN over the holiday weekend was revolting, with Wolf Blitzer begging his analysts to confirm an al Qaeda connection. 'Please, please, please – let it be al Qaeda...' Because if it wasn't al Qaeda, it's not All About Us, is it? What a nation of egotists we've become.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  2. Indira

    It just broke my spirit to see the death and destruction inflicted upon innocent people. I do not think we will ever be able to get into the minds of these terrorists, because they are not capable of loving.

    Pakistan will continue to live in denial and India will continue to be the victim of these acts- As often as these Islamist terrorists have attacked us- has Pakistan ever realised that no Hindu group has gone to Pakistan to inflict same harm to their people. There are more Muslims living in India than there is in Pakistan. The same cannot be said for the population of Hindu's in Pakistan. Not only that, but those few Hindu's that are in Pakistan they cannot freely practice Hinduism openly nor can they have a temple built in Pakistan.
    We have given the Muslims in India freedom to practice their faith, These people are not only ungrateful, but a nuisance to the world
    They do not want to live in peace,and they cannot, its against their
    Islamic faith and teachings.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  3. Tomasz

    The US has a fixation with naming all attacks as done by Al-Qaida.

    The fact is that most attacks are done because of regional and tribal divides.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  4. Tomasz

    The only shooter the Indians have in custody has confessed to being trained in a Lashkar Al-Tayyiba camp, most likely to pander to those torturing him. If what he has confessed to is true, then this does not mean that the attack was ordered in Pakistan or Kashmir, it means that he trained there to get skills.
    There is still the burden of proof on the Indians and the FBI to determine who ordered the attack.
    CNN has yet to tell the truth about the organizational structure of Al-Qaida. Anyone who performs an attack in the Middle East is automatically labeled Al-Qaida.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  5. Cindy

    When I turned on my TV and saw the Mumbai attacks happening I thought for sure it was a terrorists group either trying to be like al Qaeda or that they were actually working with them.

    And there is no doubt what so ever that these attacks were a message to the U.S. and others that terrorists are still capable of pulling off attacks anywhere at anytime no matter what we say. And also that our efforts to eradicate them has failed.


    December 1, 2008 at 2:20 pm |