Terrorism. The 2008 Mumbai Attacks

Essay, 2019
5 Pages, Grade: 1.0


Terrorism is a disputed notion. There are several definitions brought forward by regional and national governments creating ambiguity in studies1. Each of these defines it according to their encounters or account with this activity. However, we do not have a universal formulated definition of terrorism documented by the United Nations Assembly.

The Verdict

A death penalty was the verdict issued in response to a terrorist attack in Mumbai. In November 2008, 10 gunmen made bloody attacks on the Capital of India. The 60-hour criminal activity left scores dead among them, civilians, and police officers. Nine of the gang members were hunted down and killed during the attack. There was only one survivor. Qasab was the only one who was not killed by the policemen. He was arrested and presented before the court. A police officer, Mr. Jadhav, who worked selflessly during the prolonged attack, was the chief witness in the case. He helped to identify Qasab while in prison. Mr. Jadhav also made it clear to the judges how the incident occurred. Qasab was found guilty on charges of murder as well as involving in a war against India. His punishment was death. The penalty was executed two years later in Pune city.2 The words terrorism and terrorist have been used in this regard. The scenario is stated as ‘one of the most shocking terror attacks the world had ever seen.’ The armed militants from Pakistan, who are the terrorists, entered India via the sea in evening hours. They made attacks on high-class hotels, a railway station, a restaurant, a hospital, and a Jewish Culture Centre. The activity heated tensions between the two nations.

Academic Consensus Definition and Terrorism

This incident deserves to be labeled terrorism. According to Alex Schmid definition, terrorism is an act of continuous violent activity, performed by a somewhat concealed group for some reasons, namely political, or criminal in which those affected by the violence are not the primary targets.3 These violent activities serve to get attention of the target and put fear in them depending on what is sought. Armed gangsters from Pakistan entered India and committed violent activities in different social places. They take their time and confront the law enforcement in the town head on and kill them. Civilians on the way are also killed by these bandits. The activity was covered by India television, and citizens watched this horrific event. Mr. Jadhav explains how fearful he was being buried below the corpses of his fellow policemen as he imagined it was his last day.4 His family was also in a panic, keeping in mind the job their bread winner does.

Elements of Academic Consensus Definition

The first element in the Schmid definition is much important concerning the Mumbai case. The activity involves direct violence with no legal restrictions as it is outlined in the particular definition element. The next element in which single actions of deadly war are committed by the bandits is of great importance. The other element also in Schmid definition is considerable in this text as it states that the targets in a terrorist attack are ordinary unarmed civilians. The number of civilians killed in a brutal murder is high.

There are some elements which do not correspond to the Mumbai event at all. The first element to start with is where terrorists make a demand in the invaded nations or societies which is not evident in this scenario. The next element is whereby violence acts are primarily due to political reasons which does not correspond in this text. The militants do not show any driven political factors when attacking India. Another element in Schmid definition states the motive of terrorism is to create an environment of fear that gives way for terrorists to interfere with a political process. There are no reports to show any political process in the affected state with Pakistan.


To sum up, there are multiple concerns regarding terrorism and its definition in the modern world. According to Schmid, terrorism has several elements namely, the intent to arouse anxiety, harm civilians, achieve political gains and the main perpetrators being clandestine groups. The Mumbai attack demonstrated an act of terror committed with the intent of harming unarmed people. It is the high time people realized that whatever resembles and causes destructive effects like terrorism is terrorism.


1 Sinai, Joshua. "How to Define Terrorism."Perspectives on Terrorism 2, no. 4 (2010).9

2 Biswas Soutik.” Mumbai 26/11 Attacks: Six Corpses, a Mobile Phone Call, and One Survivor” BBC NEWS, 2018.

3 Schmid, Alex P. "The revised academic consensus definition of terrorism."Perspectives on Terrorism 6, no. 2 (2012): 158.

4 Biswas Soutik.” Mumbai 26/11 Attacks: Six Corpses, a Mobile Phone Call, and One Survivor” 2018.

Excerpt out of 5 pages


Terrorism. The 2008 Mumbai Attacks
Leiden University
Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
terrorism, mumbai, attacks
Quote paper
Funsho Oladele Ibrahim (Author), 2019, Terrorism. The 2008 Mumbai Attacks, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/505860


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