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Background Information on Terrorism in India


Background Information on Terrorism in India

November 27, 2008

In the wake of the coordinated terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, on November 26, 2008, START here provides some background information on previous terrorist activity in India:

  • START's Global Terrorism Database (GTD)reports 4,108 terrorist incidents occurring in India between the years 1970 and 2004. During this period, India ranked sixth among all countries in terms of terrorist incidents (behind Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland), and Spain).
  • GTD reports 12,539 terrorist-related fatalities in India between 1970 and 2004--an average of almost 360 fatalities per year from terrorism in India. Terrorist fatalities per year in India peaked in 1991 and 1992, when 1,184 and 1,132 individuals (respectively) were killed in such incidents.
  • Terrorists in India have employed a variety of attack types over time: 38.7% of terrorist events were facility attacks, 29.7% percent were bombings (in which the intent was to destroy a specific facility), and 25.5% were assassinations. The recent events in Mumbai would be classified as a series of coordinated facility attacks.
  • Detailed information on terrorist incidents in India between 1970 and 2004 can be accessed via the GTD online interface. The interface includes an Advanced Search function, allowing users to specify which types of incidents they want to explore.
  • START's Terrorist Organization Profiles (TOPs) collection includes information on 56 groups known to have engaged in terrorism in India. Included among these groups is Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), known to have undertaken attacks in Mumbai in recent years.
  • In addition, information is available on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT); early reports in the Indian newspaper the Hindu indicate that at least three suspects who have been detained in the immediate wake of these Mumbai attacks are LeT members.
  • Information on the origins, history, and activities of the 56 groups known to have engaged in terrorism in India in the past can be accessed, as well as groups that have been active in neighboring countries, via the Tops Online Interface. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ © National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), College Park MD, 2008.