No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the so-called Indian Mujahideen is the prime suspect. India’s Intelligence Bureau has previously denied that the Indian Mujahideen exists. Instead the Bureau has claimed the terror group is a creation of the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, or HUJI-B, an al Qaeda affiliate. HUJI-B created the Indian Mujahideen to confuse investigators and cover the tracks of the Students Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, which provides logistics for the attacks. SIMI is a front group for the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami and Lashkar-e-Taiba inside India.
J. Malcolm Garcia first reported on the dangers of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) affiliates in the region for us in 2006. And, of course, Jason Motlagh wrote his National Magazine Award-winning account of the LeT’s 2008 attack on Mumbai. Readers of that piece will remember that the sole survivor from among the attackers was Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, who is being held at Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail. The Indian press is widely noting that today is Kasab’s twenty-third birthday.
President Obama has issued a statement:
I strongly condemn the outrageous attacks in Mumbai, and my thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and those who have lost loved ones. The U.S. government continues to monitor the situation, including the safety and security of our citizens. India is a close friend and partner of the United States. The American people will stand with the Indian people in times of trial, and we will offer support to India’s efforts to bring the perpetrators of these terrible crimes to justice. During my trip to Mumbai, I saw firsthand the strength and resilience of the Indian people, and I have no doubt that India will overcome these deplorable terrorist attacks.
A list of the dead and wounded has been released.