The Mumbai cauldron: Who pressed the repeat button of history?

"Locals say the orgy of killings in Mumbai began here. Three men walked into the cafe, drank beer, settled their bills and walked out. Then they fished out guns from their bags and began firing."

BBC, "Mumbai attackers create "killing Zone" (Updated as: "Officials quit over India"), Thursday, 27 November 2008 [1]


As I analyse the news and developments in the aftermath of the 26 November 2008 Mumbai terror, the historian in me has a sense of deja vu. Who pressed the repeat button of history?

I sincerely pray and hope that we will learn the entire truth behind the despicable acts in Mumbai that claimed so many innocent civilians? Yes those who perpetrated the odious acts were Muslims and yet there is something intangible, if not imponderable, that requires closer analysis akin to a post mortem or vivisection.

Noticeably the perpetrators were young men wearing Versace apparel, reminiscent of young India impatient at the obfuscation of the super rich who seek to shut out those who dare to climb up the ladder of affluence and freedom from poverty. India is bursting at the seems of affluence and prosperity and yet there are so many who seek to claw their way out of the poverty trap find amazingly high walls to scale and a social networking system that is caste based.

No newspaper has ever noted or commented on one extraordinary fact, namely that these backpacking youngsters made no demands as would terrorists except for a questionable missive released in the name of a nebulous and hitherto unknown organisation ‘ the Deccan Mujahideen’ which I suspect is just a cover for something more sinister and larger, demanding more ‘respect for Muslims’. Could it be that they had problems ‘with the system’ and that they became cannon fodder for those whose agenda is to sow instability and mayhem in an upwardly mobile country where space was unlimited? Think about that.

Those who executed the military precision operation were certainly not amateurs but highly trained and motivated professional terrorists who were prepared to die for their cause and who, I suspect, were part of a larger geopolitical agenda and the operational nature and scale of their enterprise suggests that they were not religious zealots for at no time is there any record or indication of them chanting or exemplifying any religious fervour like those who allegedly flew their hijacked planes into the World Trade Centre.

To reiterate, there are so many imponderables and intangibles that every objective and rational person cum analyst is obliged to sit up and carefully evaluate the unfurling events.

What transpired in Mumbai, as evil as it was resonated of Operation Susannah better known as the ‘Lavon Affair’ one of the most bizarre events in Israeli history which occurred around November 1954.

So who pressed the repeat button of history ?

Historians will remember Operation Susannah [2] a Machiavellian charade that played itself out in Egypt in 1954 at a time when a nascent Israeli State was in a state of perpetual war and there was a power struggle between David Ben Gurion’s successor Moshe Sharret and defence minister Pinhas Lavon, the latter who was seeking to unseat Moshe Sharett the dovish prime minister who had taken over from Ben Gurion. For the sake of completeness and relevance Ariel Sharon and Moshe Dayan known for their martial conduct and covet terrorist operations were also implicated.

British and American targets were blown up in Egypt by a ring of Jewish terrorists and the intention was to blame it on the Egyptian regime headed at the time by Gamal Abdel Nasser but the affair was blown and the ring leaders, all Jewish were apprehended and a few were hanged whilst those who survived the usual prison ordeal were forgotten about in Egyptian jails. It was only in 2005 that the Israelis acknowledged involvement when President at the time,Moshe Katsav,honoured the nine Israeli agents who were involved.

Fast track to 26 November 2008 and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s televised address to the world when he alluded to the involvement of powers outside India which every one interpreted implicating Pakistan. Is there, I wonder, any connection between the Mumbai outrage and the fact that India and Iran were getting closer to foreclose on a collaborative relationship involving the exchange of nuclear technology and hence Israel which has a relationship with India was getting nervous, like a jealous lover and sought, through Mossad, to stage the terrible deed? Hoping, I might add to net Iran, if not Pakistan since both are in any case the usual suspects?

Could it be that a criminal mastermind aware of the foregoing and who was on Interpol’s the most wanted list and on the US watch list as a terrorist supporter, namely Dawood Ibrahim an Indian national hiding in Pakistan, himself implicated in at least over 200 bombing outrages in India, and whose extradition was on the cards decided to exploit the situation? So many editorials allude to Pakistan among the usual suspect but are so thin on content and evidence which needs to be sought out and evaluated for facile remarks are extremely prejudicial in the search for truth and justice for the victims of this terrible occurrence.

So many people died and their deaths needs to be fully investigated by the Indian authorities. There are so many imponderables as well as intangibles and that is why one needs to move out of the laager of labels such as ‘Islamic’ terrorists and sift out the wheat from the chaff. In this way every civilised and rational as well as caring individual who recoiled in horror as the terrible drama played itself out on television screens across the world, wherever he or she may be, would be able to justifiably and righteously condemn those who have more than blood on their hands.


[1]. "Mumbai attackers create "killing Zone" (Updated as: "Officials quit over India")
BBC, Thursday, 27 November 2008

[2]. "The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics. and the Formation of Modern Diaspora"
by Joel Beinin;brand=eschol

Further Reading:

"The Rape of Kashmir – Parallels with the Israeli Occupation of Palestine"
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed