Domestic terrorismMumbai bombings tied to homegrown group
Indian government officials have focused on domestic terror, indicating that last month’s triple-bombing in Mumbai was the work of a homegrown group, the Indian Mujahideen; the same explosive formulation was used in these attacks as was used in other attacks where responsibility was claimed by The Indian Mujahideen
Indian government officials have focused on domestic terror, indicating that last month’s triple-bombing in Mumbai was the work of a homegrown group, the Indian Mujahideen.
The three bombs, detonated during rush hour, killed twenty-six and wounded more than 130, were the first attacks in Mumbai since the November, 2008 attack that riveted the world.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks three weeks ago. A police investigation is still ongoing, and according to Home minister P. Chidambaram, all indications are that a homegrown group is responsible.
Investigators’ suspicion has fallen on the Indian Mujahideen, a shadowy group with ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani terror group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Those attacks resulted in accusations by India of Pakistani involvement, and the subsequent suspension of peace talks between the two sides. The peace talks were resumed earlier this year.
The Indian Mujahideen is also held responsible for three smaller attacks, including a bombing in the capital, New Delhi.
The recent coordinated triple-bombing made use of ammonium nitrate-based explosives, the same formulation used by Indian Mujahideen in its previous attacks.
The Indian Mujahideen sprouted from the outlawed Students’ Islamic Movement of India, a group described in a WikiLeaks-released cable from the U.S Embassy as “a radical fringe of technically savvy disaffected Indian Muslims who embrace Islamic extremism in response to perceived injustices by the Hindu majority.”
The Indian Mujahideen made contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba after 2002, and were provided by them with with weapons and bomb production training. For their part, Lashkar-e-Taiba denies any links to the Indian terror group.
Indian officials are also scrupulously avoiding any mention of Pakistani influence of any kind with the Indian Mujahideen attacks, since there are continued peace talks between Indian and Pakistani officials currently underway. Pakistani officials did not comment on the attacks.
The official line is that there have been no demands made or responsibility claimed in the recent attacks, that they are just general, undirected mayhem. However, the breakdown of peace talks between India and Pakistan is likely a goal shared by both Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Indian Mujahideen.