What’s worse than being attacked by jihadi terrorists?

…receiving bizarre emails from them

The ‘Indian Mujahideen’ have sent an email, from a UK domain, claiming responsibility for carrying out the attacks in Jaipur. They have provided enough details, including the chassis number of one bicycle and video clips of others, that suggest that it’s not a hoax.

So what else do they have to say?

“India should stop supporting the US in the international arena, “and if you do continue then get ready to face more attacks at other important tourist places…

Jaipur has been chosen to blow up your tourism structure….

…this is a clear warning to you (the US and the UK)…Don’t send your people to India and if you do so then you people will be welcomed by our suicide attackers.” [IE]

First, the principal demand is too general to be credible. It appears more like a fashionable, polemical justification of the attacks rather than an attempt to put up political demands.

Second, a group that calls itself the ‘Indian Mujahideen’ refers to India’s ‘tourism structure’ in the second person. Freudian slip?

Third, the location and timing of the bombings clearly were meant to kill local people (although a certain famous Australian hanging out in hundreds of miles away in Goa was duly scared). So trying to warn the United States and Britain by killing Indians is a rather indirect way of going about it, especially because al-Qaeda related outfits have preferred more direct methods.

The email message may well have come from the real perpetrators but is almost certainly designed to mislead public opinion. Those with the capacity to carry out coordinated bombings should also be smart enough to know that such attacks can’t imaginably cause broad changes in foreign policy. The claim that this was an attack on the tourism industry would have been more credible if tourists or foreigners were the principal targets. In all likelihood, therefore, the content of this email is a red herring.

The email came out of the same cybercafe outside New Delhi that was used to claim responsibility for the earlier attacks on Varanasi. That shows a level of brazenness. In November 2007, the ‘Indian Mujahideen’ claimed that they were retaliating against the injustice to Muslims in India, the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the Gujarat riots; and also because lawyers beat up the suspects. The ‘Indian Mujahideen’, if it is to be taken at its word, appears to be a rather confused organisation.

7 thoughts on “What’s worse than being attacked by jihadi terrorists?”

  1. Nitin, Do you really think that the jihadis blow up things with specific end result in mind? Just like I go to office everyday, jihadis will keep fighting. When they run out of causes to fight for, they will invent new causes.

  2. Sriram

    Do you really think that the jihadis blow up things with specific end result in mind?

    Fair question.

    Terrorism has a strategic objective. Now, we can take the word of the sorts of bin Laden and Co and conclude that this is only (and ultimately) about making the world into a puritanical Islamic society.

    In reality, the proximate cause is the strategic interest of a state—in this case Pakistan’s—that overlaps/interlaces/manipulates the Islamic fundamentalist cause. If you are the Pakistani handler of a jihadi outfit, you will want the world to believe that terrorists are doing this out of non-negotiable, broad, Islamic fundamentalist reasons.

    So yes, individual jihadis may be dangerous morons driven by religious fundamentalism; but if you want to evolve a national security policy, you want to examine what’s the motive behind these attacks. And then address the people behind those motives. It’s impossible to tackle the numerous individuals or cells that actually carry out these things. You need to look for the oxygen supply, and cut it off.

    As you can see in this case: the vague nature of the demand suggests that this is not the strategic intent. (It might be what the foot soldiers really believe in). That’s the real message in their message. What’s the strategic intent? See the hypotheses in my previous post.

  3. Real “sons of the soil” these fools are. Their nationality is irrelevant. They’re warring the Indian State which is doing its best impression of a punching bag. But know that we the Indian People are increasingly pissed off and are keeping score. Retaliation will be blunt and involve large amounts of collective punishment. We apologize in advance for the collateral damage.

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