Sunday, November 30, 2008

Responsibility for the November 2008 Mumbai attack

Today I spent a great amount of the day pulling together information about the responsibility for the Mumbai attacks. Was it committed by local disaffected Muslims? Was it caused by foreign nationals from Pakistan? Who was behind these murders?

The truth is, even after sifting through public news sources for two days, we are not sure. There is much work to be done yet by investigatory agencies. At least the public story remains unclear.

Even if we are told that all the attackers are Pakistani, there are discrepancies. The sources that say there were 10 terrorists, including the one captured. However, allegedly, the captured man himself claimed there were 16 fediyeen that went ashore. If so, what happened to the other six? Are there still gunmen at large in Mumbai, who have blended into the crowd, fell among the dead or escaped with the wounded, or perhaps fled the city entirely?

Was there a woman accomplice in a burqa at the hospital? Who was she? Are there other attackers still at large? Or is it just that some bodies have yet to be recovered?

Initial impressions and evidence shows that one or more of the attackers, and possibly all of them, were from Pakistan. Yet repeated statements support the foreign nationals had or received significant local knowledge or assistance. Who aided them, specifically? And how much assistance was provided?

These are just some of the mysteries surrounding the case yet to be clarified or resolved.

After spending nearly two full days poring over news sources, digesting conflicting reports, and reading dozens of sources, from biased polemics, to feigned apologetics, one can only come to one conclusion: we must do more investigation and sifting through evidence. It would be imprudent to come to any hasty generalizations or premature conclusions.

There is a great deal of heat beginning to bake on the topic. Frustrations are starting to rise for answers. People are hungry to find scapegoats, or to erect stereotypical straw dogs, and some are frankly seeking immediate vengeance or to seize opportunity to capitalize on this sitation.

Yet there is increasing amounts of sober, rational and mounting evidence pointing towards certain organizations and even individual actors.

The following video from CBS News is a good, rational, and clear analysis of the situation:

Our prayers and best wishes go out to those victims and families of the attacks, and to those who are seeking to re-establish and maintain peace and justice.

[Last Edited: 30 November 2008, 7:50 PM Pacific Time]

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