The latest installment of the This Day in Islamic Terrorism series.
Mumbai was nothing new to India. Jihad has been ravaging that region for over 1000 years. The first attempted invasion of India by Muslims occurred in 636 CE -- under Caliph Umar, within four years of Muhammad's death.
- Francois Gautier
This is one such occurrence 11 years ago today.
The bombings were apparently in retaliation to the earlier riots in the city the previous year, when Hindu gangs and Fundamentalist Muslim groups clashed with each other following the murder of a traffic policeman named "Selvaraj" , by a member of the radical Islamist group Al Umma (The Ummah).
The first of the serial bombs exploded at 3.50 p.m. on Shanmugham Road in R.S. Puram, 100 metres from the venue of an election meeting that was to be addressed by Bharatiya Janata Party president L.K. Advani. There were allegations that suicide bombers were ready to target L.K.Advani on that day.
(Pictured Left) On West Sambandam Road in Coimbatore, bodies of two victims of one of the 13 bomb explosions that rocked the city on February 14.
(Right) BJP president L.K. Advani, whose election meeting in the city was cancelled following the explosions, at the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. In the foreground, a woman mourns the loss of her son.
S.A. Basha and 34 other
persons have been convicted for the conspiracy of bomb blasts in
Coimbatore, India for a life term. There were 4 bomb blasts in
Coimbatore on 14th February 1998. There were 12 blasts in
which 54 innocent people died. One of the suicide bombers was to target
L.K. Advani, however he did not activate the bomb which was aimed at
L.K. Advani as Advani’s flight was delayed and had not reached the
venue of the meeting on the fateful day. Basha was head of Al Umma, an
extremist organization in Tamil Nadu formed in 1993, which had been
accused of masterminding the bomb blasts. Till the eighties, there were
hardly any extremist organizations in Tamil Nadu. However, after the
demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, Islamic extremism spread to Tamil
Nadu and Al Umma was one such organization.
Read more about Al Umma's terrorist tactics here.