The portrait of the Indian religious terrorist includes men in business attire. He no longer represents the greedy, biased, and illiterate fundamentalist of Al Qaeda, for example. India's terrorist supports the image of a modern man; he is motivated, educated, and yet can quickly retreat to the shadows.
The series of bomb blasts in Bombay (now called Mumbai), the capital of western India's State of Maharashtra, shows the intent of this emerging terrorist group. They seek religious revenge against the religious majority (Hindus.)
These men are suspected in twin car bombings 25 August 2003, which killed 52 and injured more than 150 people, in the financial heart of India. Investigations show these terrorists are unlike worldwide Islamic militants because they are local men. These men cut ties with Muslim dominated Pakistan, which held prior reign of terror, they require no foreign connections or financing. They are committed to their cause, however warped it may be. Their vengeance grows out of centuries of religious struggle, but more recently, August's blast sought revenge for Muslim slaughter by Hindu zealots in 2002 during the Gujarat riots.
The investigators admit that these new terrorists offer no record in Bombay, where life is often caught-up in the underworld activity. Located on India's western coast along the Arabian Sea, Bombay has a population of nearly 18 million who speak primarily two languages, Hindi and Marathi. Under its seemingly secular and resilient veil, the marshy coastal city has a deep communal divide, the Hindus being the majority (79 percent), followed by the Muslims (18 percent) and the Christians (4 percent), is a city where superstars and Indian movie producers of Bollywood co-mingle with underworld dons to help each other. Bombay is resident to reputation as Asia’s largest slum, the largest red light district, and to extensive money laundering for drug traffickers.
The Bombay police are accustomed to dealing with the underworld criminal. It’s a male, macho world where quick cash can buy the naïve goon a big bottle of wine or secure his sexual fantasy. The police only need to tap the bars and brothels at the right moment to capture theses men.
Blasts against Muslims in 1993 were a "business objective" for the Bombay underworld dons. August's (2003) blasts launched new intent from terrorists who commit crimes against Hindus. Islamic militants “Gujarat Revenge Group” are growing active in Bombay, and work hand-in-hand with a banned militant students organization Students Islamic Movement in India (SIMI).
You can break criminals, but these guys think they are right, the Bombay police told the press.
Blasts in 2002 and 2003 can be attributed to the fight for sacred ground both Muslims and Hindus claim as their own. To Hindus, Rama is the God of Hindu's epic Ramayana, whom they claim was born at the former 16th Century Babri Mosque (Masjid), in Ayodhya. Muslims used this mosque for prayer until 1947 when the mosque was sealed by India's government. In 1986 India's lower court reopened the mosque for Hindi worship.
Hindus believe this is Rama's birthplace, and archeologists claim existence of a medieval Hindu temple underneath the mosque. Hindu leaders used archeological evidence to plan rebuilding a temple, which set-off violence in northern Indian State of Uttar Pradesh, leaving 2,000 dead and many injured. Initial investigation linked terrorism in 1993 to fall-out from Muslim rage. Investigations in 1994 found a Pakistan-connection to the Hindu massacre, which did use the Bombay underworld. It was an assignment for the “Mafia dons,” some of whom settled in Pakistan. The investigation ended. Now Bombay's terrorists operate independently.
One young doctor suspected in planning August's blasts, was arrested in connection with a bomb explosion in December 2002. He calmly told police that they are doing their job, and he is doing his.
The list of new terrorists includes; engineers, doctors, post-graduates of management schools, and even an assistant professor of the prestigious National Defense Academy. The Bombay police now rethink their profile of the dreaded terrorist characterized by the United States.
What pushes these men to engage in terrorism? If it is not money, or a desire for materialistic comfort that drives them to kill civilians? The Indian illuminati links bomb blasts since February 2002 with the Muslim reprisal against the Hindu zealot massacre in adjoining State of Gujarat. It only appears to be a never-ending cycle of religious terrorism.
In February 2002, a Muslim mob attacked Hindu volunteers riding a train from Gujarat to Ayodhya in route to Rama's construction site. The train was forcefully stopped in Godhra, train coaches were doused with gasoline and set on fire, killing 58, mostly Hindu. Hindus later tortured Muslims, raped Muslim women and Muslim-owned homes and factories were targets of arson. Children were not spared. Ahmadabad, the capital of Gujarat, resembled the killing fields; deserted streets and neighborhoods reeked of carnage.
While the media (especially the English language publications) unequivocally condemned India's Hindu ruling party for being responsible for such a nefarious crimes, they do not point fingers at those in power or question why leaders end investigations without resolution.
Nearly 35 percent of Bombay’s population is from neighboring Gujarat. They are mostly Hindu traders and have a hold on the bullion market of Bombay. August's car bomb exploded in the bullion market in south Bombay implicates 'Gujarati connection' and is related to the blasts begun in 2002. Sixteen people have been killed and nearly two hundred injured by explosives placed in crowded buses and trains in Gujarat's outskirts dominated by Hindus.
It is now clear from investigations that, the new Islamic terrorists in India, as in Bombay or elsewhere, are the young and motivated Gujarat Muslim victims. They are sufficiently educated, and socially aware to fight for a country they feel is rightfully theirs. Police arrested an electronics engineer at his workplace in connection with the bomb blasts, where police found a video of the Gujarat riot and an Al Qeada ‘manual’ which called for war against countries that understood the “language of bullets."