Early claims from an unknown terrorist group, the Deccan Mujahideen, supposedly an offshoot of the Indian Mujahideen (itself an emanation of the Students Islamic Movement of India –SIMI-), have raised fresh speculations that the Mumbai attacks could have been carried out by Indian “home-grown” terrorists.
Despite the fact that the IM/SIMI group had carried out several attacks in the past on the Indian Territory (mostly bomb attacks), the modus operandi used by the Mumbai attackers was consistent with the Pakistani Al Qaeda affiliated group Lashkar E Taiba (LeT) reported tactics, especially the plot to infiltrate Mumbai by the sea to carry out terrorist attacks.
We can report that in early 2007, a little noticed similar plot has been foiled by the Indian police, leading to the arrest of several LeT members. In March 2007, two Pakistani militants of LeT confessed that they had infiltrated into the Indian Territory in a group of eight through sea route from Karachi to Mumbai. This was the first reported infiltration of Pakistani militants through sea-route. Two Indians were also arrested for providing assistance to the LeT militants.
The same month, on March 8, 2007, A.K. Antony, the Indian minister of Defense publicly admitted before the Parliament that several intelligence reports warned that “terrorists of various organizations have received training for their infiltration through sea routes” and that such infiltrations were “likely”.
Initial details from the Indian investigation indicate that the attackers were heavily armed, that their tactics were “military tactics”. They were also provided with sophisticated communication devices, false IDs and several credit-cards from Citibank, HSBC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and SBM (State Bank of Mauritius), in addition to cash money.
These sophisticated, well-planned, financed and coordinated attacks were all but expected. The Mumbai attacks demonstrate the growing organizational and financial means of the radical Islamic terrorist groups in the region.