Timeline to date.
The fidayeen technique – a rudimentary form of “shock and awe” warfare – was introduced into Kashmir by Pakistani radical organisations that entered the Kashmir insurgency from the mid-1990s onwards.
Six young men with large bags came ashore, after which the two who remained in the boat started the outboard motor again and sped off,” said one witness. “They were fair, chikna [well-off] and looked around 20, 22, 25 years old. They said they were students. When we tried to find out what they were doing, they spoke very aggressively, and I got scared.”
Other guests also praised the conduct of the hotel staff, one telling Reuters that kitchen workers even managed to continue preparing food for the first few hours of the siege.
“Only when the kitchens became out of bounds did they express regret for not being able to serve us food,” said a guest, who asked not to be named.
The politics of Bombay itself became intolerant in the past 25 years, but the city, discovering its true metier with liberalisation, became more heterogeneous and variegated than I can remember, partly because its old centres of wealth had to disperse and scatter from within, as property prices rose unthinkably and offices moved to the less salubrious suburbs. Similarly, the uncontainable, swelling traffic enforced the creation of new routes, flyovers through previously unvisited (for the middle class) areas, and random, swift, and intriguingly uneven, gentrification.
But despite the multi-religious and multi-ethnic origins of terrorist violence the Indian authorities have, until recently, tended to treat only Muslims as terrorists. So while Muslim “terrorists” have been subject to extraordinary laws of detention and trial in special courts, Hindu nationalist “rioters” have been tried in regular courts, or, more usually, not been punished at all.
One of the principal complaints of Indian Muslim groups is the failure to bring to trial any of the Hindu ringleaders responsible for pogroms in Bombay in 1993 and Gujarat in 2002 in which more than 4,000 Muslims died.
The men looked beyond the instant updates of the Indian media to find worldwide reaction to the events in Mumbai.
Their analysis of at least five BlackBerry mobile phones recovered suggested the terrorists had links to England.
“There was a lot of content from the English media, not just in London but the Urdu and Arabic sites that are very strong in the north of England,” the Commando leader said near the site of the city’s third siege at Nariman House. “We have some analysis started on this and we will pass it on to Scotland Yard, no doubt.”