Mumbai attacks showcase al Qaeda desperation, says author

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London, Dec.1 : Last week's terror strikes in Mumbai that claimed the lives of 195 people and injured 295, can rightly be seen as a desperation tactic, says Richard Miller, the author of the book "In Words and Deeds: Battle Speeches History".

Fox News quotes Miller as saying that the attacks "represents Al Qaeda (or its acolytes) at its tether's end of current operational capabilities. Their networks have been smashed in America, seriously impaired in Europe, somewhat curtailed in Iraq while under brutal assault in Afghanistan and western Pakistan."

Miller further states that the attacks in Mumbai suggest that Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) has entered a new phase.

Like most historical developments, that of Mumbai follow its predecessors while adding new elements, he adds.

What are the old elements? Like the 1998 attacks on America's African embassies and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, Mumbai was a stunningly murderous public relations gesture to show the target's impotence and Al Qaeda's ubiquity.

And the perpetrator is almost certainly either Al Qaeda or an Al Qaeda-inspired and/or directed and/or franchised operation.

The well-done 4GW attack was directed against "soft-target" nodes, that is, targets that are central points in larger networks whose disruption are thought to have mega-consequences.

Targets like the Chabad House were selected as a recruiting tool, murders easily committed in view of Al Qaeda's anti-Semitic obsessions and necessary to buttress its standing with those who share them.

So what has Mumbai added to this now "traditional" mix? A new force multiplier: Planning x Scope of Operations x Dispersion = prolongation of the terror, and of course, the publicity accorded it, says Miller.

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