Small Wars Journal

This Is How the Kashmir Terrorist Attack Could Start a Major War

This Is How the Kashmir Terrorist Attack Could Start a Major War by Mohammed Ayoob - The National Interest

On February 15, after chairing a top-level meeting of his cabinet’s Security Committee, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi declared, “I want to tell the terrorists and their backers... they have made a big mistake. You will have to pay a very heavy price . . . I assure everyone that the forces behind the attack... we will bring them to justice.” This declaration came after the February 14 suicide bomber attack on a convoy of vehicles carrying 2,500 Indian security personnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in the Pulwama district in southern Kashmir.

The attack resulted in the death of over forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which has very close ties with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and often acts as its surrogate in the context of the ongoing unrest and terrorism in Indian-administered Kashmir, immediately claimed responsibility for the terrorist operation.

 

It quickly became clear that the claim was true for several reasons. First, the meticulous planning and execution of the attack bore the hallmark of professionalism beyond the capacity of homegrown Kashmiri terrorist groups to master. Second, a complex support network was needed to acquire the large amount of explosive material used to detonate the car bomb—again something beyond the capacity of local groups without being discovered by the Indian security apparatus. Third, the JeM’s involvement was clearly established when four days after the Pulwama attack Indian security forces encircled and killed in the same area a senior Jaish commander who had been infiltrated into Kashmir from Pakistan to organize the operation and recruit the suicide bomber…

Read on.