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Islamic Terrorists Murder 200, Injure Hundreds more in “Significant Attack”

The Attack in Bombay, India: Timeline, Suspects & Analysis

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director
director@homelandsecurityus.com

12 July 2006: India has hundreds of thousands of miles of railway track, and over 14,000 trains cross through the country every day. On Tuesday, 11 July 2006, eight bombs exploded in the first-class compartments of packed Bombay commuter trains Tuesday, killing nearly 200 people and wounding hundreds more in a well-coordinated terror attack perpetrated by Islamic terrorists. Bombay, also known as Mumbai, is the heart of India’s booming financial industry and the home of Bollywood, a city that presents itself to the world as being comparable to New York in terms of its social and economic importance.

INITIAL TIMELINE (Subject to alteration with additional investigation)

indiamapblasts

The first bomb exploded in a train at Bandra station at 6:20 p.m. Following the initial blast, additional explosions followed down the line of the Western Railway at or near stations at Khar at 6:24 p.m., Jogeshwari at 6:25 p.m., Borivili at 6:26 p.m., Mira Roadat 6:29 p.m., Matunga and Mahim, both at 6:30 p.m. Various sources provided different times and added that two blasts took place at Borivili.

Wider Overview:

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The Suspects

Two al Qaeda related Islamic terrorist groups were immediately suspected: Lashkar-e-Toiba (a/k/a Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba or Lashkar-i-Toiba, LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

The LeT, (literally translated as “The Army of Pure” or “The Army of the Righteous”) was formed in 1990 and is based in Muridke, Pakistan and Muzaffarabad (Pakistan-administered Kashmir). The Islamic terrorist group is considered well trained and funded, and has been actively carrying out attacks on Indian armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

The LeT was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on December 26, 2001. Through its web sites, the LeT has defined their mission to destroy the Indian republic and establish an Islamic form of rule. They further state that the US, Israel and India are the main centers of “infidelity” and must be destroyed to promote spread of Islam. LeT has a great number of supporters inside India who have been recruited by Islamic mullahs. This group is also suspected of involvement in the December 13, 2001 attack on India’s Parliment in New Dehli. (See http://www.indianembassy.org/new/parliament_dec_13_01.htm).

Also of particular interest as the possible mastermind of yesterday’s blast is Dawood Ibrahim (also known as Dawood Ebrahim and Sheikh Dawood Hassan), who is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under U.S. Executive Order 13224.

dawood

According to the US Department, “Dawood Ibrahim” (pictured above), an Indian crime lord, has found common cause with Al Qaeda, sharing his smuggling routes with the terror syndicate and funding attacks by Islamic extremists aimed at destabilizing the Indian government. He is wanted in India for the 1993 Bombay Exchange bombings and is known to have financed the activities of LeT. He is the prime suspect in masterminding a series of bomb blasts that occurred in a single day in 1993 in Bombay that killed 260 people and injured over 1,000 more.

The Indian government accuses Pakistan for providing a safe haven for Ibrahim, alleging that he has close ties with Pakistan’s intelligence agency (the ISI). Dawood’s D-Company has reportedly played a critical role in providing weapons and funds to various Islamic terrorists in India. Pakistan, however, has repeatedly denied any accusations that it is providing asylum to Dawood.

Immediate Arrests

Following the blasts on Tuesday, one known terrorist was arrested in south Delhi and about 5 ½ pounds of RDX seized from his possession, according to Indian police.

Aijaz Hussain, a resident of the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested from the Lodhi road area after police received a tip-off about his movementa, stated Deputy Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar.

Links to Previous Plots, LeT

Police are looking at possible links between Tuesday’s well-coordinated blasts on commuter trains in Mumbai (Bombay) and the seizures of radio-controlled detonators in Mumbai in March, as well as a large amount of the explosive RDX at Aurangabad in May. On 9 May 2006, ATS agents seized about 65 pounds of RDX explosives and arms and arrested over 10 suspected LeT members at Aurangabad in the Marathwada region, located about 220 miles from Bombay. The seizure also included 10 AK-47 assault rifles and 2,000 cartridges.

Following the arrests of May 9, 2006, 7 more terrorists were arrested and 13 kg of RDX and six AK-47 rifles were seized from different locations in central and northern Maharashtra.

The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Mumbai Police busted two suspected cells of LeT following the seizures, but admitted they were unsure if additional cells existed. Police are now focusing on determining whether those arrested in connection with the two Islamic cells had any knowledge of yesterday’s terror attacks. The ATS had earlier claimed the arrests made by it had helped avert a major terrorist attack on Mumbai.

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