Islamist terrorism in India

A hybrid threat

Authored by: Stephen Tankel

Handbook of Indian Defence Policy

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138939608
eBook ISBN: 9781315674742
Adobe ISBN: 9781317380092


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In November 2008, 10 gunmen from the Pakistani militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, rampaged through India’s commercial capital, Mumbai. They attacked two luxury hotels, a café popular with foreign tourists, one of the country’s busiest railway stations and a Jewish community centre. Pakistan-based handlers provided instructions to the militants via voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) communications, which uses the internet as a medium of communication and is more difficult to trace. Indian intelligence was able to lock onto the VoIP number, however, at which point they could listen to all of the calls being made. Overall, 284 calls were recorded, totalling almost 1,000 minutes of conversation. 1 Among the handlers recorded by Indian intelligence, one spoke with a Mumbai accent. In 2011, that same voice was heard again – this time, in Saudi Arabia. It belonged to Zabiuddin Ansari (a.k.a. Abu Jundal, a.k.a. Abu Hamza), who Saudi forces arrested in May 2011 and turned over to Indian authorities the following year (Tankel 2012).

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