The attacks in Mumbai were not a slap to the face of America. Despite Defense Secretary Bob Gates’ comments that the recent attacks in Mumbai were targeting Americans and Britons, there is no evidence to indicate this is true. In fact, the targeted hotels were Indian-owned and the vast majority of foreigners caught in the crossfire escaped unharmed. According to Newsweek, if foreigners (particularly Britons and Americans) were the focus of the attacks, the terrorists ignored truly target-rich areas.
Contrary to what some may believe, people who are organizing attacks do not wait for religious or historically significant days to carry out their operations. They strike when the intended impact will be highest – that’s why Times Square won’t be gassed on New Years Eve, or why the parliament buildings won’t be bombed on Canada Day. We expect trouble to occur on those days and so security is enhanced making it harder for a would-be attacker to be successful.
Maybe tourists were the target. I don’t think so – the expected result was apparantly aimed at the local population in an attempt to increase domestic anger between the two countries whom many people believe are most likely to actually chuck nukes at each other.
Who are the attackers, and where do they come from? Anonymous emails and telephone conversations by at least one of the attackers identified the group as the “Deccan Mujahideen” which makes no sense – the Deccan Plateau is a huge geographic area that is not home to major separatist or known extremist organizations. Furthermore, the group is not known to have existed prior to now; it is very likely the name is either a hoax or a front for another organization.
The Indian government has been blaming Pakistan for the attacks. If they are truly convinced of their neighbor’s guilt, they are being incredibly reserved in their response. The American “intelligence” community is pointing the finger at Kashmir-based organizations. Perhaps the whole thing is a red herring intentionally designed to solicit a regional response.