Deccan Mujahideen?

The “Deccan Mujihadeen” have claimed responsibility for the Mumbai attacks today. It doesn’t seem clear who this group is, but there are two good reasons why it’s plausible that such a group might exist and have typical Salafist motivations.

The Deccan is the plateau in central eastern India, roughly contiguous with Andhra Pradesh with its capital, Hyderabad. Andhra is what remains of the domains of the Nizam and is a historically Muslim region. As part of the independence agreement, the NIzam was given considerable independence from the rest of India, an agreement that was quickly violated by the Indian government who ‘invaded’ within a year. There is thus a natural solidarity of feeling with Muslims in Kashmir who found themselves part of India rather than (Muslim) Pakistan because of their rajah who was a Hindu.

The descendants of the Nizams of Hyderabad have the best claim to be Caliph, which provides a second basis for radical Islam to be centred in Andhra. A useful source of background is the book The Last Nizam by John Zubrzycki (MacMillan).

OTOH a group called Indian Mujahideen, with much less geographical locality, threatened attacks on Mumbai after successful attacks they carried out on Jaipur. So there may be some opportunism and specious justification in the choice of the group name to take responsibility for these attacks.

There’s some background here

and, by now, in many other places.

Suspicion of an al Qaeda link arises because of the simultaneous attacks, which has been a favourite tactic. However, the range of attack modalities and the low level of skill required for some of them suggest to me that there were a large number of lightly trained participants. Which doesn’t rule out an al Qaeda supervisor, of course.

See also Times of India on this subject.

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