In the aftermath of a raid by Indian commandos, CNN reports that 5 hostages have been found dead in the Mumbai Jewish center that had been attacked and held by terrorists. No word was released as to the hostages’ identities or whether they were killed in conjunction with the commando raid. The total death toll resulting from the terrorist attack is now at approximately 125.
As suggested in Stratfor’s analysis of the attack’s consequences, India may be lurching toward casting the blame on neighboring Pakistan.
As anger mounted, India blamed “elements“ from Pakistan for the coordinated assault on its financial capital, which seemed designed to scare off foreign executives and tourists. Pakistan said the two countries faced a common enemy.
Fox is now reporting the terrorists has having heretofore suspected but unstated connections to militant Islam and possibly to Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi:
“Do not bring politics into this issue. This is a collective issue. We are facing a common enemy and we should join hands to defeat the enemy.”
Pakistan and India do share a common enemy – rogue, animalistic terrorists with no decency or morality and no nationalistic allegiance – and joining forces to eliminate this threat to world security would be an excellent idea. How realistic that goal is given Pakistan’s seeming inability to police its own territory is questionable at best.
Personally I think that Stratfor’s report is overly pessimistic. The Mumbai attacks are a shock to India, but they undoubtedly understands that controlling militant terrorists is difficult under the best of circumstances and that the circumstances in Pakistan’s tribal regions are far from that. Politics may enter into the mix once the dust settles, but it seems to me unlikely that Pakistan’s government will have been involved and that India will, despite the required saber rattling, recognize that.
What these attacks signify is that Islamic terrorism is far from defeated despite being largely rooted out of Iraq. They are well-armed, trained, and funded and can strike, at least in small numbers, if not wherever they want, in unexpected places and do major damage to innocent people and civilian infrastructure.
Furthermore, it’s worth remembering that there are no lengths to which these murderers will not go in their attempt to cow the rest of the world into submitting to their unholy vision of what the world should be like. Events in Mumbai should serve to refresh that fact in our memories.