Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 27, 2008

Bombing Clusters in India

The recent bombings in India are a bit curious. The tactic in these seems to be to release a dozens or more hand grenade size bombs disguised in lunch boxes within a short time frame in various public places in one city.

There were three such incidents this year. Yesterday  the city of Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat was hit with such an attack that killed some 50 people. Last week Bangalore was the attack target and in May Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, was hit.

All these cities/states are ruled by the right wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Such attacks are quite easy to carry out with a very small team of only two or three people.

Now AP reports:

An obscure Islamic group claimed responsibility for a series of synchronized explosions that killed at least 45 people in western India, warning of "the terror of Death" in an e-mail sent to several television stations minutes before the blasts.
..
The e-mail's subject line said "Await 5 minutes for the revenge of Gujarat," an apparent reference to 2002 riots in the western state which left 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, dead. The historic city of Ahmadabad was the scene of much of the 2002 violence.

When those mob killings happened in 2002 and over thousand Muslims died the than ruling BJP, at least, looked away.

The BJP has a history of a using such attacks to rally its constituency. India just closed a nuclear deal with U.S. which the BJP considers as betrayal of national interest:

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will renegotiate the India-US civil nuclear deal if it came to power, opposition leader L K Advani said yesterday during the trust vote debate that will decide the fate of the Manmohan Singh government.
...
He stated that the India-US nuclear deal makes India a “subservient partner”.

There are general elections coming up in May 2009 and the BJP wants to win these.

There are several possible culprits for these terrorist attacks. They may be from a local group of Muslim taking revenge as the email claims. They may be instigated by he Pakistani secret service ISI again acting against U.S. interest. But these bombings may also be part of a 'strategy of tension' the BJP might like to rally its voters. The BJP has a quite selective record on fighting terrorism.

Like often in such cases we do not know who the bad folks are here but I hesitate to jump on the 'Islamic terror' wagon in a case like this. The fundamentalist Hindus do not have a record of being less violent than any jihadi.

Posted by b on July 27, 2008 at 19:03 UTC | Permalink

Comments

"a bit curious."

?

What an odd way to put it.

Posted by: garyb50 | Jul 27 2008 21:01 utc | 1

The plural of Hindu is Hindus.

Hindi is the name of the language spoken by Hindus.

Posted by: Bernard D'Lima | Jul 27 2008 21:30 utc | 2

About the only thing we can be sure about is that we will never know which 'side' it was that planted the bombs.

The poltics of Gujurat are pretty much late 19th century Tammany Hall where all the major factions ie Congress and BJP have a system of patronage that reaches right down into the districts they 'own'.
I don't know where these bombs were exploded ie in urban areas or rural townships, but if it was in urban districts it is difficult to conceive how so many were planted without being detected unless someone on the inside was part of the plot.

I did see a newscast last night (beeb I think) that showed several bombs which had been intercepted before they went off so maybe they were planted by outsiders, or maybe the bombers were clumsy or maybe they were left to be discovered so that the BJP administered state security services could look good.

As I said the truth will never be known which is pretty much the attitude of most thinking Gujuratis I have spoken to. The local pols used to get up a renta-mob and arm them with sticks and torches to wreak havoc in the muslim quarters but most Hindu Gujuratis are no longer fooled by such artifice. As the people have become more educated and seen exactly how their politicians abuse their trust, it has become harder for the BJP to create an incident that can be blamed on Muslims who the BJP claims have been allowed too much latitude by Congress admininstrations.

But Congress have also been exposed as provacateurs when the need arises (ie behind in the polls).

Still as I said above most Hindu Gujuratis have a very cynical attitude towards these incidents and many empathise with the poverty stricken humanity who live in the muslim districts that have been subjected to all manner of abuse whenever some pol from the Hindu majority feels the need to get into the headlines.
I suspect that the excesses of the riots in 2002 shocked even some staunch Hindu separatists.
I was in a business partnership with a Gujurati bloke at the time of the 2002 riots and I saw the turmoil he went through. When the news about the train fire broke he was angry, but when the footage of the arson and murder on muslims was shown that anger changed into a sort of despair at his compatriots gullibility. In fact he expressed doubt then as to whether the train fire happened exactly as claimed, not because of any news from home or ex-pat gossip but because he thought the timing appeared too pat.

He had seen similar smaller riots first hand and told me that they are never as spontaneous as they appear. That there is usually someone in the background cranking up the trouble.
Many innocents pay for this unresolved conflict which is why it is difficult to conceive how any islamic organisation would create so much horror for themselves by cranking up a bombing campaign.

Still they wouldn't be the first revolutionaries to shoot themselves in the foot if these bombings were committed by muslims.

No matter which side did this, the one thing we can be sure of is that it is ordinary citizens who will carry the cost of politicians need to make headlines.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 28 2008 1:30 utc | 3

Re "a bit curious" - anyone but me noted the striking similarity in technique of the horrific, theoretically totally-unlinked bombings in India and those in today's smaller-scale but nonetheless devastating Istanbul bombing?? Both used home-made bombs secreted in containers not suicide-bombers, both had larger, more powerful "second wave" bombs set to blow up the people who were trying to assist the victims of the first bombing - in the Indian case placed at the ready in the vicinity of the nearest first-aid station, in the Turkish one along the route those rushing to assist the victims would pass along.
Of course they could be totally-unrelated, but if so, where did that two-phase technique pop out from... random telepathy? ???
....

Posted by: parvati_roma | Jul 28 2008 1:43 utc | 4

Re. Yesterday the city of Gujarat was hit with such an attack that killed some 50 people.

The blasts were in the city of Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat.

Re. The AP report An obscure Islamic group claimed responsibility for a series of synchronized explosions

This is hard to believe since the blasts happened in the old city, which is predominantly Muslim (per this Reuters report)

Not sure why an Islamic group would target Muslims. This definitely smells very fishy.

Posted by: SimplyLurking | Jul 28 2008 4:06 utc | 5

Namaste parvati_roma, but if you'll forgive the reply, perhaps an old 70's english punk band has the answer...
The Only Ones - Black Operations

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 28 2008 4:22 utc | 6

@Bernard D'Lima - @1, SimplyLurking - @5 - thanks - I have now corrected the plural and the city.

Posted by: b | Jul 28 2008 4:52 utc | 7

SimplyLurking:

"Not sure why an Islamic group would target Muslims. This definitely smells very fishy."

Some explanations from the Indian press:

Experts see Wahabis in garb of Indian Mujahideen

See also:
INDIANISATION OF PAN-ISLAMIC JIHAD - B. Raman

A Turkish theater for World War III*
By Chan Akya

Strictly "food for thought" dept. - with big question-marks, OK? But at least those 3 articles provide - in ever-widening context-circles - a "logical" framework for the constant stream of carnage we're seeing.

Re the last link: Chan Akya certainly knows his history, but I thought his main hypothesis (see his last paragraph) was somewhat over-the-top when I first read it a few days back... now I'm less certain.

Posted by: parvati_roma | Jul 28 2008 9:00 utc | 8

This will lead to a lot of conspiracy theories: Terrorist Attacks Unsettling India

An obscure group calling itself the Indian Mujahedeen warned Saturday that an attack was about to take place “in revenge of Gujarat,” plainly referring to the 2002 killings. The statement was sent in an e-mail message, written in English, to television stations just before the first blasts.

Police in Mumbai traced the email back to the internet protocol address of an American citizen living in Navi Mumbai, a satellite city across the water from India’s commercial capital. Police identified him as Kenneth Haywood, a general manager of an executive training firm called Campbell White. The firm’s website said it offers “accent neutralization, cultural comprehension and verbal/non verbal communication.”

Hmm - CampbellWhite.net is the companies website. The "Staff" link there points to http://campbellwhite.net/staff/staff.htm, a few first names and short bios, no Kenneth Haywood and no pictures.

But a search of "Campbell white" and Haywood leads to http://campbellwhite.net/Staff.htm which has pictures and bios of people including one Kenneth Haywood.

Ken Haywood is our Corporate Training Manager, and the General Manager in Navi-Mumbai. Ken has more than 20 years experience in hands on Corporate Training, and has held senior positions with Fortune 500 companies throughout that time.

Ken’s Background is in the Real Estate Law, and Information Services Industry. He has worked extensively with business leaders, advocates, and training personal since the mid 1980s.

Ken has completed courses of study in Civil Engineering, Real Estate Law, Business Communications, Conflict Resolution, and Advanced Professional Training courses.

You can contact Ken at: ken.haywood@campbellwhite.net


Hmm - sure they want to protect there people and have therefore changed the site. But they should have deleted the old one.

Posted by: b | Jul 28 2008 13:24 utc | 9

As Americans turn to comic-book culture (X-MEN terrorists, IRON MAN terrorists, DARK KNIGHT terrorists, and more to come this fall, e.g. TERMINATOR), and as the swamp creatures rise from the black lagoon of John McCain's growing blitzkrieg ("The Iraq Surge Worked, How Dare Obama Not Bow Down and Kiss the Ring of War Profiteering"), comes this:

BAGHDAD - Suicide bombers struck a Shiite pilgrimage in Baghdad and a Kurdish protest rally in northern Iraq on Monday, killing at least 57 people and wounding nearly 300, police said.

Apparently the surge is working.

In the 1970's, when we were pulling US out of the quagmire of Viet Nam, a war which McCain and all his ilk profited from, but not like they are now, Americans were turning to a different kind of movie culture. ALFIE, about a Cockney womanizer, ELVIRA MADIGAN, a famous tightrope walker, EASY RIDER, two doper bikers, and so on.
Personal, innocent, safe to walk the streets at night.

What changed? 1984 Star Wars made war profiteering a permanent growth industry.

Their other predominent meme is that "huge increases in oil demand are behind the rise in prices", but China's annual auto production is only 136,000 cars!!
Oil is oscillating all over the place on rampant futures speculation, but still the meme is "supply and demand", and every attempt to curtail speculation is met with in-your-face bald lies and refusal to return to pre-Phil Gramm/Enron regulation.

There's a dark and twisted connection between state-sponsored terrorism of the US and it's allies Israel and Pakistan, between rampant war profiteering and this food-energy "supply and demand" speculation meme, which is destroying the world.

Find that connection. If war profits are plowed into food-energy speculation at the same time back-channel black ops are creating more war profiteering opportunities, that would be the end of democracy, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Final Answer | Jul 28 2008 14:58 utc | 10

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