The terror strike in the heart of India is yet another grim reminder of Islamofascism's lethality.
The Mumbai terror bombings have once again put a nation -- long under threat from Muslim radicals -- back on edge. The attacks, which left 18 dead and scores more wounded, are part of a larger campaign of violence that has targeted India for years.
Those responsible, believed to be the Indian Mujahedeen (IM), chose targets such as the Opera House business district and a bazaar, even placing one bomb near a bus stand. To ensure maximum carnage, the attacks were carried out during rush hour. Such are the calculating and cruel methods of terrorists.
Yet, even in the face of evil, the Indian people remain strong. Schools are open for learning while vendors are open for business. Fear, the enemy's weapon, must not take hold. And this, Indians know. They have experienced this kind of savagery before. Some examples:
In 2003: 54 people were slain, 244 injured in a twin car bombing attack. The Zaveri Bazaar, a highly trafficked jewelry market, was, like the recent bombings, among the targets. The bombs went off at lunchtime. Lashkar-e-Tariba, a Pakistan-based Muslim terror group, is widely thought responsible.
In 2005: Multiple blasts struck a market in New Delhi and claimed the lives of 66 people, over 200 were injured. A terror group linked to Lashkar-e-Tariba claimed responsibility.
In 2006: In less than 15 minutes, a series of bombs placed on a commuter train killed more than 200 people; over 700 were wounded. The Indian Mujahedeen, believed to be a "shadow organization" for the Lashkar-e-Tariba, were linked to the attacks.
In 2007: 3 coordinated explosions killed upwards of 40 people at an amusement park and street food stall. The attack fit the modus operandi of the Indian Mujahedeen and the group was later implicated. That same year, another crowded commuter train was struck; 68 people were killed.
In 2008: Muslim radicals widely believed to be connected to the extremist infested ISI, Pakistan's spy agency, carried out a series of shootings and bombings in Mumbai. The rampage lasted more than 2 days. One hundred and sixty-five people were killed, including 6 Americans.
Though these are just a few examples of the terror inflicted by Muslim extremists, they offer a window into their methods as well as their ability to exact a high human toll. The damage caused is intended to have a lasting impact.
Though terrorists will use sophisticated explosives and assorted weaponry, their arsenal also includes crude devices. These devices, often "IEDs," are designed not only to kill, but also to physically and psychologically maim survivors.
In this week's attack, investigators found not only traces of RDX, fuel oil, TNT, and ammonium nitrate, but also ball bearings used for shrapnel. This deadly cauldron of destruction makes clear their desire to inflict pain upon those well away from the blast center.
For Islamofascists, the scars of their victims serve to warn those who would stand against them.
Thankfully, the Indian people are resolute, unwilling to capitulate to the backward demands of Islamists. India's leader, Prime Minister Singh, also understands that this barbarism must be confronted.
On the warped ideological ends of the Indian Mujahedeen and like Muslim radicals, Singh once said: "These terrorist acts are aimed at destroying our social fabric, undermining our communal harmony and demoralizing our people," adding that his nation will "rise to the challenge."
The prime minister's steadfast determination stands in stark contrast against those in the West who actively excuse, even defend, the acts of radical Islam. Make no mistake: such a view is not an act of tolerance, but of weakness -- the kind that has deadly consequences.
As Narendra Modi, chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, warns, events of the past week could signal the beginning of a new round of sweeping attacks that are similar in measure to the Mumbai attack of 2008. Minister Modi reminds us othat the coordinated blasts, orchestrated by "nefarious elements," were part of a larger strategy to "prove" that the Indian government "is not capable of containing them" and that "they have the strength to destroy the country."
Though terror groups have not the capacity to do so, frequent attacks that weaken Indian society would have creeping ill effects. Robert Spencer, a bestselling author and Islamic scholar, notes that in the twisted vision of Islamists, "societal upheaval" would make Sharia Law "much easier to impose." Whether in India or elsewhere -- including here at home -- this must be stopped.
One thing is sure: if the malignant ideology of Muslim fanatics is not marginalized and undercut, their campaign of violence will continue.
Brendon S. Peck holds a Master of Arts in history and political science from the College of Saint Rose and has completed graduate work at Columbia University. He is a freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.