Washington: Ranking India among the world’s most terrorism-afflicted countries, the United States on Friday said that none of the perpetrators of the major terrorist attacks in that country last year have yet been prosecuted.
Besides the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the annual “Country Reports on Terrorism 2008” of the US State Department has listed seven other major terrorist attacks in India during 2008 - prominent among them being the Jaipur bombings, attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul and the terror strikes in Ahmadabad, Delhi and Assam.
“In addition to the Mumbai attacks, the rise in terrorist attacks and their coordinated nature throughout India suggested the terrorists were well-funded and financially organised,” the report said.
As for the Mumbai attack, the report said Indian authorities believe that the terrorists used various funding sources including credit cards, hawala, charities, and wealthy donors. Illicit funding sources that may have been exploited to finance terrorist operations were being closely investigated, it said.
According to the report, Indian government assessed that Islamic extremist groups including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Harakat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (Bangladesh) as well as indigenous groups were behind major terrorists attacks.
India believes these attacks were aimed at creating a break-down in India-Pakistan relations, fostering Hindu-Muslim violence within India and harming India’s commercial centers to impede India’s economic resurgence, the report said.
Observing that the Mumbai terrorist attack was the most recent in a long list of lethal terrorist incidents in 2008, the US said local and state police proved to be poorly trained and equipped and lacked central control to coordinate an effective response.
On the other hand, the terrorists appeared to have been well-trained and took advantage of technology, such as Global Positioning System trackers. They entered Mumbai from the sea and attacked people in two hotels, a Jewish center, the main train station, and additional locations. They also planted bombs in two taxis that later exploded in different locations in the city.
Called India’s 9/11, terrorists struck at a variety of locations in Mumbai on November 26, killing at least 183 people, including 22 foreigners, six of whom were Americans and 14 members of the police and security forces. Over 300 more were injured.
The report said, while India has implemented an advance passenger information system to receive inbound passenger information from air carriers operating in India, the system, however, is not compatible with or able to share data with the US and EU equivalent systems.