Feature

Mumbai takes a hit

Terrorists strike in the cosmopolitan heart of India

“Coordinated terrorist attacks in Mumbai,” the financial heart of India, killed more than 100 people and wounded at least 250 others, said Joshua Brustein in The New York Times online. The attackers, wielding automatic weapons and grenades, targeted two five-star hotels, the main train station, a Jewish center, and other areas frequented by tourists. A “previously unknown” group, the Deccan Mujahideen, claimed responsibility.

“Always be suspicious when a ‘new’ terrorist organization crops up,” said Blake Hounshell in Foreign Policy online. Some Indians speculate that this is actually the work of Lashkar-e-Taiba, “a nasty Islamist organization” based in Pakistan. However, the “more straightforward explanation” is that the Deccan Mujahideen is the same as the “Indian Mujahideen,” who have credibly claimed similarly large attacks in India.

Whoever was responsible, this “was not India’s 9/11,” as some Westerners suggest, said Swaraaj Chauhan in The Moderate Voice. India has already bravely faced “several ‘9/11s’” over the past two decades—where was Western interest a few years ago, say, when armed terrorists “nearly crippled” India’s Parliament? The difference seems to be that this time the terrorists were clearly “looking for ‘U.S. and British’ citizens to attack.”

The “horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai” are certainly a “stark reminder” in the U.S., said David Callaway in MarketWatch, that the dour economy isn’t the only—or even most important—issue facing us and our new president-elect. With the murders in Mumbai and threats in New York, “there are far worse things out there than a lousy holiday shopping season.”

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