The terrorist raid on Mumbai in late November 2008 dramatized the maritime aspect of the war against terrorism. Soon after the raid, the Indians claimed a surviving terrorist stated that he was one of 16 who had come by sea. They hijacked a small Indian fishing boat, killing the crew. The boat provided cover for their entry into Indian coastal waters; they came ashore by dinghy. The Indian authorities associated the attack with a Pakistani Islamist organization with ambiguous ties to Pakistani intelligence.
The Indian government generally associates Islamist terrorism with Pakistan, and it has gone to extraordinary lengths to seal off the border with that country, including erection of a fence. The attack demonstrated that no country with an open seacoast can imagine itself immune to infiltration. Security depends as much on governments of nearby countries as on the usual border-control measures. For the United States, that suggests some sobering realities. India is in a far more difficult position, with a semi-hostile neighbor across the Arabian Sea.