July 13, 2011 — -- Bombs rocked Mumbai and killed more than 20 people in jewelry and financial districts in the first major terror attack since Islamist gunmen from Pakistan killed 175 in a multi-day attack in November 2008.
Indian officials said the blasts had killed 21 people and wounded more than 100, and that the toll was expected to rise. The Indian government did not assign blame for today's attack. It has blamed the Pakistani-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the 2008 Mumbai attack, and has accused the Pakistani government of aiding the earlier attack. The Pakistani government was quick to issue a statement condemning today's attack.
A bomb exploded in Mumbai's jewelry market at around 7 p.m. local time, followed quickly by a second blast in the Opera House business district and a third bomb in a crowded central Mumbai neighborhood. At least one of the explosions reportedly involved a vehicle bomb.
The U.S. consulate in Mumbai released a statement reminding U.S. citizens "to exercise prudence," to monitor the news and to follow directions from Indian officials. "At this time, there is no reason to suspect that U.S. citizens were the target of the attacks," said the statement, "and there are no reports of U.S. citizens killed or injured as a result of these attacks.
In a statement, President Obama condemned the bombings, calling them "outrageous," and pledged U.S. support for the Indian government. "The American people will stand with the Indian people in times of trial," said the president, "and we will offer support to the India's efforts to bring the perpetrators of these terrible crimes to justice."
On November 26, 2008, 10 Pakistani terrorists entered Mumbai from the sea and began conducting assaults on civilian targets throughout the city, including a hospital, a train station, two luxury hotels, a bar popular with foreigners and a Jewish community center. They killed civilians with automatic weapons and explosives and took hostages. By November 29, all but one terrorist had been killed by Indian security forces.
The sole surviving attacker, Ajmal Kasab, told Indian authorities that Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the attacks. Kasab was found guilty of murder and dozens of other charges and has been sentenced to death.
Pakistani-American David Headley, born Daood Sayed Gilani, pled guilty in 2010 to helping the LET plan the attacks. Headley made numerous trips to Mumbai to scout the locations. Both Indian and U.S. investigators said that Headley told them the ISI helped the LET plant the attack. Testifying at the federal trial of Tahawwur Rana, his alleged coconspirator, Headley said the leadership of the ISI was not involved in the Mumbai attack planning, but testified that some ISI agents were involved. Rana was convicted of providing support to LET but acquitted of any role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.