In 2008, the world watched the city of Mumbai encounter an extremely complex and well-coordinated terrorist attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) killing 164 persons.
Today, Mumbai encountered another devastating terrorist attack that has killing at least five people. At this writing more than 100 people have been injured. While this attack does not constitute the physical similarities in comparison to 2008, rest assured, the terrorist have succeeded.
Terrorism is not necessarily about maiming and or killing others. Its true goal is achieved through instilling fear. Terrorists love violence because the more violent an act, the more fear becomes instilled. The choice in creating such violence has been through the implementation of explosive devices.
Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED’s) have been a favorite device loved by terrorists.
The terror group Hezbollah can be construed as the founding father of terrorist VBIED’s even though car bombings have been around much longer than Hezbollah’s existence.
Currently, terrorists around the world have incorporated VBIED’s into their fear instilling arsenal.
Today, in Mumbai, approximately three explosions detonated, one of which came from a VBIED causing the metropolis to go into a state of high alert.
An additional fourth explosion is rumored to have failed in its detonation. With three explosions rocking the city and a fourth failing, no one is certain how many additional explosive devices remain in thecrowded Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar areas of the city. With such uncertainty of this coordinated attacks conclusion, the people in Mumbai are surely in a fear state.
No terrorist organization has yet to claim responsibility of this recent incident. It is likely that such an incident was supported by Al Qaeda yet executed by LeT. If this is the case, LeT demonstrates its strength on repeating coordinated attacks in the city of Mumbai. While their tactics may have been varied between 2008 and now, their perseverance remains.
Coming at a time when Secretary of State Clinton recently delivered a warning to the Pakistani government about U.S. initiatives in the region including a possible significant reduction in monetary aid, we can anticipate a lot of speculation about the reason behind today’s attack.
In the end, terrorist’s attacks of this magnitude take time and involve intelligence collection, rehearsals, and logistical procurement. At the moment, however, it is unlikely that today’s atrocity had anything to do with recent U.S. statements against Pakistan.
Kerry Patton is co-founder of the National Security Leadership Foundation, a non-profit organization pending 501c (3) status. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of “Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies” and the children's book "American Patriotism." You can follow him on Facebook.