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Mumbai attack meets all criteria for a terror attack: NYT

By Hari Krishnan

New York, Dec.14 (ANI): An editorial appearing in the New York Times has said that the killing of nearly 200 people and causing injury to nearly 300 others by persons allegedly trained in Pakistan meets all criterion to define it as an act of terrorism by terrorists

According to Clark Hoyt, the paper's Public Editor, "If it looks as if it was intended to sow terror and it shocks the conscience, whether it is planes flying into the World Trade Center, gunmen shooting up Mumbai, or a political killer in a little girl's bedroom, I'd call it terrorism - by terrorists."

He says that when ten young men in an inflatable lifeboat came ashore in Mumbai last month and went on a rampage with machine guns and grenades, taking hostages, setting fires and murdering men, women and children, they were initially described in The Times by many labels.

"They were "militants," "gunmen," "attackers" and "assailants." Their actions, which left bodies strewn in the city's largest train station, five-star hotels, a Jewish center, a cafe and a hospital - were described as "coordinated terrorist attacks." But the men themselves were not called terrorists.

He says that in the newsroom and at overseas bureaus, especially Jerusalem, there has been a lot of soul-searching about the terminology of terrorism, adding that the issue comes up most often in connection with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

According to Susan Chira, the foreign editor, The Times may eventually put that label on Lashkar, but reporters are still trying to learn more about it.

"Our instinct is to proceed with caution, not rushing to label any group with the word terrorist before we have a deeper understanding of its full dimensions," she said.

Ethan Bronner, the Jerusalem bureau chief, said, "Our general view is that the word terrorist is politically loaded and overused." But he said that sometimes, "when a person's act has been examined and its intent and result clearly understood, we call him a terrorist." (ANI)

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