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'Fidayeen attack completes terror cycle'

Vicky Nanjappa | November 27, 2008 12:10 IST
Last Updated: November 27, 2008 12:15 IST


Terror has been redefined in course of one of the most deadly attacks on Indian soil Wednesday November 26.

Terrorists called up Karachi via satphone

MK Dhar, former joint director of the Intelligence Bureau, says that the modus operandi of the latest attack completes the terror cycle.

Terrorists start off by carrying out small blasts; they then graduate to serial blasts -- and the final, climactic attack is always a fidayeen strike, calculated to show the administration of the target nation just how powerless it is against the external threat.

Pics: Encounter on Marine Drive | The Terrorist

Dhar believes that analysis of the attacks as intended to destabilize the economy and/or foment communal unrest is off the mark. The ultimate goal is to hoist the flag of Islam in India, Dhar told rediff.com.

Is this Indian Mujahideen's revenge on the ATS?

IB sources, meanwhile, say that while it is still early days, there is greater clarity about the nature of the latest attack. The mail sent out by the Deccan Mujahideen ahead of Wednesday's strikes is similar to the ones sent out by 'Indian Mujahideen' ahead of earlier attacks across the country. This time, however, the mail originated in Russia [Images], in order to create a distraction, IB sources say.

Pix: Mumbai bleeds | Video: Taj on fire | Video 2

Dhar suggests that the attacks are not the work of a sleeper cell or small home-grown terrorist group, but show the marks of a well entrenched outfit. The former intelligence chief believes that of all the likely suspects, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba is most likely the author of the attacks, as the group, that takes its strategic cues from Al Qaeda [Images], has the capability of carrying out such fidayeen attacks, which require access to a disciplined, well-trained cadre prepared not just to plant a bomb and vanish, but to engage in a long-drawn out operation that shows up the incompetence of the target country's security apparatus.

However, say IB sources, the LeT could not by itself have carried out this operation. It is believed that the Pakistan-based group drew on local support from groups in Kashmir, Kerala [Images] and Maharashtra.

Mumbai's landmarks that were attacked

The IB is also actively investigating where the boat carrying arms and ammunitions for the attack on South Bombay hotels came from. Though the early suspicion is that it originated in Karachi, there is also the possibility that it came from Bhuj, in Gujarat.

An intelligence source said the IB is also examining a report that when some area fishermen asked where the boat was from, the terrorists named Kerala.

Dhar says the immediate learning of this attack is to underline how poor India's coastal security is. Further, he says that the intelligence apparatus has in recent times been distracted by the wall to wall media coverage of the Malegaon blast probe, and as a result lost sight of the prevention side of intelligence. That the attack happened despite the IB having specific intelligence indicates just how lax the security apparatus has been, Dhar said.






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