Who Are the Mumbai Terrorists?

Analysts doubt earlier claim of responsibility; assault tactic rare
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2008 5:40 AM CST
A grieving relative of a terrorist attack victim weeps outside St. George's Hospital in Mumbai, India, today.   (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
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(Newser) – A previously unknown terror group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the Mumbai attacks, but analysts think the claim might not be genuine, Reuters reports. Witnesses said that the attackers were young, South Asian men speaking either Hindi or Urdu—meaning they are probably Indians, not foreigners. But unlike previous incidents, yesterday's attacks were carried out by gunmen carrying grenades, and no bombs were used.

The most likely perpetrators are the Indian Mujahideen, a splinter group of the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India. They have made credible claims of responsibility for past attacks. In May the group made a specific threat against tourist sites, the targets of yesterday's violence, if the government failed to stop supporting US on the international scene. But all of the Indian Mujahideen's previous attacks have involved serial bombs; military-style raids involving numbers of attackers are not common.