With a hitherto little known outfit called Deccan Mujahideen claiming responsibility for the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai, the big question is who are these whackos?
Frankly speaking, we (and most Indian media sources too) have nary a clue who these maniacal killers are (the idea behind this post is to see if we can get other readers to contribute whatever they may have heard on this outfit).
Obviously, given their name the Deccan Mujahideen is an Islamic militant outfit.
We doubt Deccan Mujahideen is a completely new outfit because the resources required to launch a terrorist operation of this magnitude is likely to beyond the reach of a new-born organization.
There are at least twenty terrorists armed with grenades, AK-47 guns and other small arms. Media chatter that they came in via boat adds credence to suspicion that some of them could even be foreigners.
There are also reports that Deccan Mujahideen could be closely connected with the Indian Mujahideen, whichÂ had issued a warning a few months ago of an impending attack on Mumbai.
But given that Mumbai is a teeming metropolis of 16 million people, it’s very difficult to launch a preemptive strike without strong intelligence, always the achilles heel of Indian law enforcement.
While India is a secular country in theory and at least mostly in practice, Indian Muslims have lately been feeling greatly estranged from the mainstream for various reasons -Â their low socio-economic status has left them embittered as other groups have prospered in India, a growing feeling that their religion is under attack in a largely Hindu India, rise of Hindu religious forcesÂ and involvement of Pakistani secret service ISI and other foreign militant groups.
The attacks by Islamic groups in India could also be a strategy to increase the bitterness between the majority Hindu community and the Muslims and widen the gulf between them. Whether that strategy will succeed only time will tell.
Although the first bunch of Islamic terrorists in India (mainly in the disputed Himalayan state of Jammu & Kashmir) were Pakistanis, Chechens, YemenisÂ or Muslim from other countries, lately the terrorist attacks in India have been of the homegrown variety, i.e. the local boys have taken over.