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  • Averting Terror Attacks

    On September 13, five serial bombs shattered the weekend peace across several popular market complexes in New Delhi, killing 30 innocent civilians and injuring nearly 90. An elusive outfit calling itself “Indian Mujahideen” (IM) claimed responsibility for the bombings via an email sent to national media houses 10 minutes after the first blast at Karol Bagh.

    September 25, 2008

    'Unity of Effort': The Missing Link in the Afghan Counter-insurgency Campaign

    More than six years after the initiation of Operation Enduring Freedom the Taliban and its affiliates are back, wreaking havoc on the fragile security situation and impeding development activity in Afghanistan. The Taliban-led insurgency is spreading its tentacles to new areas, with the relatively stable north swinging towards instability. This paper takes stock of the deteriorating security situation and singles out the lack of 'unity of effort' as a missing link in the international community's counter-insurgency campaign, contributing to its ineffectiveness in establishing security.

    September 2008

    The July 2008 Terrorist Attacks in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad

    Two co-ordinated strikes on July 25 and 26, 2008 in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad killed 54 people and injured nearly 200. In the next few days, 28 bombs including two car bombs were found in Surat, which possibly did not explode due to faulty mechanism. This set of incidents seems to mark a new terrorist tactic – the targeting of important cities to cause significant casualties. Serial blasts of this kind began in India with the October 2005 co-ordinated strikes in New Delhi.

    August 12, 2008

    Will CCTV Technology Deter Terrorists?

    The low-intensity bombs that blew up in Ahmedabad and Bangalore have thrown light on the challenges before India’s intelligence agencies. Not only are the agencies unsure of who is behind the attack, the terrorists remain faceless. The obvious question to ask is: why has there been a spate of low-intensity bombings in small markets as opposed to say, the high-intensity bombing of a strategic location?

    August 07, 2008

    Causes and consequences of Terrorism in Punjab: A Rationalist Perspective

    In many ways the story of Punjab is anomalous to the stylized facts of civil war literature. Empirical literature on civil wars points to a negative correlation between income and likelihood of conflict. There is also cross-country evidence to suggest that rough terrain contributes to greater possibility of violence. Both these facts did not hold in the case of Punjab. However, recent research on terrorism supports the view that terrorism is not correlated with poverty and lower education levels.

    July 18, 2008

    Changing US Perspective on Terrorism

    Every year the United States releases a report on global terrorist activities as required by its domestic law. The latest report is titled Country Reports on Terrorism and includes developments in countries in which acts of terrorism occurred as well as countries that are state sponsors of terrorism. It also provides information on terrorist groups responsible for the death, kidnapping, or injury of Americans. An analysis of these reports over the last few years reveals significant changes in the American perspective on terrorism over the years, especially with reference to Pakistan.

    July 02, 2008

    The Growing Threat of WMD Terrorism

    Terrorism is both a subjective and a pejorative term. This being so, difficulties emerge in attempting to find a definition of terrorism that can be classified as universal. The key problem with defining terrorism is that it is ultimately a moral judgement shaped by social and political contexts and so, definitions will vary depending on these contexts. But how can we have a “global” war on terrorism when there will never be unanimity over exactly who the terrorists are?

    July - September 2008

    Terrorist Attack on the Danish Embassy in Islamabad

    On June 2, terrorists exploded a car-bomb outside the Embassy of Denmark in the high-security diplomatic area of Islamabad. The explosion instantaneously killed eight people, injured more than twenty five and damaged properties in the vicinity. People killed in the attack were mainly Pakistanis, including the local staff at the embassy and a Danish citizen of Pakistani origin. It is not clear how an explosive-laden car was able to enter such a highly-guarded area without detection.

    June 09, 2008

    Who are the “Indian Mujahideen”?

    At least nine co-ordinated blasts rocked Jaipur on May 13, 2008, killing more than 70 people and injuring 200. Subsequently, a little known Islamic militant group, Indian Mujahideen (henceforth IM), claimed responsibility for the attacks through an e-mail that contained threatening assertions. The authenticity of the mail has been confirmed by the Indian Intelligence Bureau. Since then, the security establishment in India has been trying to decipher the details of this organisation.

    May 30, 2008

    Lessons of Jaipur

    The Indian reaction to the terrorist attacks in Jaipur has so far been quite predictable. As usual the media has congratulated the citizens of Jaipur for ‘resilience’ and maintaining communal amity, while at the same time lambasting the security set-up in the state as well as in the centre including each and every security, intelligence and investigative agency and their working procedures, lack of coordination, absence of a central agency, etc. First of all, it has to be underscored that Jaipur was very important in the terror target book.

    May 28, 2008