A quick intelligence assessment of the Wednesday bomb blasts in Mumbai by global intelligence analysis group Stratfor
Three explosions were reported in Mumbai on July 13 in the crowded Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar areas of the city. The explosions began around 7:10 p.m. and occurred within minutes of each other. There are reports that a fourth bomb, likely at the Roxy Theater, failed to detonate. Current casualty estimates indicate five people have been killed and 100 injured thus far.
This marks the first major attack in India since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Though the magnitude of these explosions has yet to be determined, this attack does not appear to be as sophisticated as the 2008 attacks, which involved an assault team consisting of a number of militants that coordinated 10 shooting and bombing attacks across the city.
The July 13 attack, by contrast, appears to have not involved suicide attackers but consisted of explosives placed in a taxi, a meter box and locations where they could be remotely detonated. This tactic is much more in line with those used by more amateurish groups, such the Indian Mujahideen, who have targeted crowded urban areas before.
Nonetheless, the attack comes at a critical juncture in U.S.-Pakistani relations as the United States is trying to accelerate a withdrawal of its military forces in Afghanistan.
The 2008 Mumbai attacks revealed the extent to which traditional Pakistan-based Islamist militant groups, such as elements from the defunct Lashkar-e-Taiba, had collaborated with transnational jihadist elements like al Qaeda in trying to instigate a crisis between Islamabad and New Delhi.
Such a crisis would complicate U.S.-Pakistani dealings on Afghanistan, potentially serving the interests of al Qaeda as well as factions within Pakistan trying to derail a negotiation between the United States and Pakistan. (www.stratfor.com)
(Also see: Serial blasts in Mumbai)