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Counter-Terrorism in India: An Ad Hoc Response to an Enduring and Variable Threat


On 26 November 2008, the world watched in horror as ten armed men in a series of coordinated attacks wrought havoc on the Indian coastal city of Mumbai. Terrorism in India had made the headlines—again. While these were neither India’s, nor indeed Mumbai’s, first major terrorist attacks, their sheer scale and innovation, the high number of foreigners killed, and the inability of India’s security apparatus to respond in a timely and effective manner quite rightly focused the world’s attention upon India’s counterterrorism (CT) infrastructure. Since its inception in 1947, India has been the victim of a remarkably diverse range of terrorist violence. Not only has the country produced an extraordinarily large number of home-grown terrorist groups but it has also been targeted by cross-border and transnational terrorist organizations. According to the University of Maryland’s Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) programme’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2015, although there was no significant increase in the overall number of attacks in 2015, India continued to experience an incredibly high incidence of terrorism, ranking fourth in the world after Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the same time, despite such substantial, diverse and long-standing challenges to its sovereignty and legitimacy, India’s CT infrastructure and consequently its CT responses and policies remain remarkably myopic and underdeveloped.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Singh, Rashmi. 2019. "Counter-Terrorism in India: An Ad Hoc Response to an Enduring and Variable Threat." In Non-Western Responses to Terrorism, ed. Michael J. Boyle. Manchester: Manchester University Press. https://books.google.com/books?id=fsKKDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=singh&f=false

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