In short, the choice of the city based on much more than a sentiment such as "Mumbai isn't too far from Pakistan, we can get our guys there easily, and there are a lot of westerners in that infidel haven." And maybe Pakistan isn't needed to stir up trouble.
Writing for the New Republic, Joshua Kirkpatrick explains:
In part, this was because there had been little radical infiltration of most Indian mosques. India's Muslims historically practiced a moderate, syncretic form of the faith, and for years Persian Gulf-based radicals groups found little welcome in the Indian Muslim community. Indian terror experts I know did not, until recently, believe Al Qaeda had established any kind of footprint in the country.
That has changed. In just the last few months, an allegedly homegrown terror network called the "Indian Mujahedeen" claimed responsibility for launching strikes in Delhi, Bangalore, and other cities. In the September Delhi attack, another sophisticated strike with coordinated bombings, 24 people were killed and more than 100 injured. Strikingly, several of the men arrested in one bust of this group were middle-class Muslims, including a software engineer. After one attack, the Mujahedin made clear that they were homegrown, declaring in a message that their strike was "planned and executed by Indians only."
After years of moderation, India's Muslims--including even some middle-class Muslims--finally may be striking back at the discrimination stacked against them, creating space for them to at least be inspired by al Qaeda. Though a few Muslims have risen up in society, like the previous Indian president, Abdul Kalam, overall India's 150 million Muslims remain a permanent underclass. One national survey taken in 2006 discovered that Muslims consistently lag behind their Hindu peers in earned income, education, and other signs of progress. The study further found that Muslims have been sliding down the social ladder in recent years, and now face discrimination that some have concluded is comparable to that faced by India's notorious Dalits, or "untouchables."
At the same time, radical Hindu organizations, who long have targeted Muslims--they have been involved in several notorious anti-Muslim pogroms--have become more sophisticated themselves, and are launching strikes against Muslim targets. This month, in fact, the Indian government arrested members of a Hindu terrorist organization for the first time.
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