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Thread: Mumbai Attacks and their impact

  1. #61
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Mumbai attacks: analysis

    A short balanced commentary by the London-based IISS: http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...ror-in-mumbai/

    davidbfpo

  2. #62
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    Default LeT open source report

    Stephen Tankel has written a paper on LeT: http://icsr.info/2009/04/lashkar-e-t...911-to-mumbai/
    He is a UK based analyst and writes very well on the group (Cited before No.18). On a quick read takes a broad view.

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    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-20-2015 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Update link

  3. #63
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    Default BBC report

    As the trial of the lone Pakistani terrorist moves along at an Indian pace, a new BBC report: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/5...-happened.html . Part of a programme due to be shown tonight. Interesting comments on whether observers were present giving updates, the BBC dismiss tactical knowledge was vailable from watching TV reporting.

    (Added 6th August 2009). The lone terrorist has pleaded guilty by surprise, the trial goes on IIRC.

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-07-2009 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Updated

  4. #64
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    Default Intelligence failures: no dots joined up

    Found when reading an Indian news website and offers a glimpse inside Indian intelligence (or lack of it): http://www.tehelka.com/story_main41....coverstory.asp

    No idea how reliable source is, India is not in focus.

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  5. #65
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    Default Indian terrorist "hides in plain sight"

    At the time of the Mumbai attack it was reported that Raheel Sheikh, a suspect for an earlier (2006) bombing attack was arrested in Birmingham, UK (Posts 2 & 5). A local paper has recently reported Sheikh who'd fled to the UK in 2006, to B'ham at one point, had in fact returned to India at some point and had been arrested in India a month ago.

    From: http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/mi...6331-24742628/ Note the story was picked up by news agencies, but cannot find an Indian coverage or confirmation.

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    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-02-2009 at 11:13 PM.

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    Also a new article in Vanity Fair

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/f...-siege-200911?

    Focuses a lot on the human element, but brings across the chaos of the response and the poor command and control of security forces.

    One wonders how police forces in the West would have handled this? David - how would the Met police in London have coped if 10 heavily armed men had gone on the rampage in Canary Wharf? I struggle to think of any instances where police firearms teams in the UK have had to face well-armed, serious opposition. How many Armed Response Units could they have mustered, deployed and coordinated? I'm sure they would have had to ask for military back-up also - though I guess it would not take eight hours to get from Hereford to London.

  7. #67
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    Default Coping with Mumbai?

    GH_UK,

    Your question:
    One wonders how police forces in the West would have handled this? David - how would the Met police in London have coped if 10 heavily armed men had gone on the rampage in Canary Wharf? I struggle to think of any instances where police firearms teams in the UK have had to face well-armed, serious opposition. How many Armed Response Units could they have mustered, deployed and coordinated? I'm sure they would have had to ask for military back-up also - though I guess it would not take eight hours to get from Hereford to London.
    I suspect that even the Met (MPS) would struggle to respond and rely on containment in the first hour. Containment of the scene would be from a distance, choosing Canary Wharf as your example would help the MPS, rather than say another symbolic target in London, say a major railway station. This first response would absorb all the 24/7 three-man response cars (last figure was eight on duty) and others available e.g. Diplomatic Protection (far larger numbers). Even they would IMHO be quickly be outgunned and run out of ammunition; H&K machine pistols being standard issue. Back-up from better armed and trained full SWAT-like teams would follow, from planned operations and training. Even with those teams deployed it would be containment.

    After the MPS come other police SWAT teams, e.g. Ministry of Defence Police (usually on guard duty) and the London-based Special Forces contingent (for VIP protection etc).

    Any 'well armed, serious opposition' would need the deployment of the Army, primarily the Hereford-based Special Forces and anyone else available (Windsor based light armour, seen years ago at Heathrow Airport in a terror alert).

    After the July 2005 bombings one would hope co-ordination has improved at the centre (Scotland Yard) and for the on the ground tactical commander. Then add on Mumbai and horizon-scanning e.g. school massacres. Not my field this, so opinion and open sources only.

    In support are these comments from another recent thread.

    From Wilf's posting on another thread:
    My understanding is that SWAT = Special Weapons and Tactics, was implicitly developed for the minimum use of force, so it is ROE dependant, and that was explicit in the original concept. The UK developed a "Red- Amber- Green," scale to define the use of force in the Urban environment. Red was basically LE-SWAT, and Green was "ceiling hits the floor," stuff. For sure, all the "Shoot house," stuff is basically garbage, against someone who knows you are coming.
    Wilf also reminded us of the last example of a heavily armed man going on a rampage, the Hungerford incident in 1987: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungerford_massacre

    I responded:
    Some years ago I asked our local SWAT equivalent what happens if the "bad guys" do not stay still i.e. in a premises and go mobile. There was a pained reaction and invocations of "Trust us, we know they will". Bearing in mind the 24/7 capability was six firearms officers, so I asked will front and rear entrances be covered? "Trust us, we practice a lot". I assume "bad guys" have learnt, "stay still, you lose". Then of course along came the Mumbai attack and all the comments worldwide on whether capability matched that risk.
    Hope that helps.

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-03-2009 at 02:41 PM.

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    David,

    Very enlightening - thanks for the comprehensive (and swift) answer.

    gh

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    Default Terror in Mumbai, on HBO

    On HBO tomorrow night at 8 pm (thursday 8 pm)

    http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/terrorinmumbai/
    >

    HBO DOCUMENTARIES WEBSITE > HBO DOCUMENTARIES CLIPS

    Rated TV14: ADULT LANGUAGE, VIOLENCE, ADULT CONTENT

    Running Time: 64 minutes

    Genre: Documentary

    In 2008, an organization determined to surpass Al Qaida as the world's most feared terrorist group sent 10 gunmen to Mumbai on a mission of murder. Their mission: to stage a spectacle so cruel and terrifying that the world could no longer ignore Lashkar-e-Taiba--the "Army of the Righteous." This documentary tells the inside story of the horrifying attack as told by the victims--and by the terrorists themselves. (TV14) ()

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    I read Peril in Pakistan by FB Ali on Pat Lamb's blog in which he linked to some recent polling data. Amongst which

    On the Mumbai bombings they were first told that the Pakistan group Lashkar-e-Taiba were being fingered in the media.
    Do you believe this? - 75% No, 7% Yes.
    The follow up was
    Who then? A third did not know 42% India, 20% US no one else exceeded 1%

    If this is a true reflection of Pakistani public opinion it means that about one in every seven Pakistanis think that America sent its covert operatives to blow up a hotel in Mumbai and kill 146 civilians. Which is a little worrying as this is the population of our 'ally' against terrorism but they seem to think we are the terrorists.

    Also when asked who they liked/disliked Osama bin Laden just beat their own Prime Minister in the popularity stakes (although neither did very well).

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    In matters of national security, in most modern states, the MAJORITY of the population sensibly follows the lead of their government and specially their military. If there was a terrorist attack in Canada and the US govt and army told everyone that USA was not involved and enemies of the USA (RED China, Palau, whatever) did it, you would find that a good 75% would say thats what they think. How would they know any better?

    In Pakistan, ISI is still arresting journalists who try to take foreigners to the village of Ajmal Qasab. Pakistani television has never made it clear that any Pakistani had anything to do with it. Lots of religious parties, columnists, news anchors and so on go around saying these are all plots by Hindus, Jews, USA and so on.

    What do you expect 75% of the people to believe?

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    I note the poll was conducted in March and AFAIK the Pakistani government accepted Lashkar-e-Taiba’s involvement in January. I do not know how the Pakistani public get their information and which sources they believe. The poll would indicate they do not hold their own government in very high esteem. In any case does it really matter? How they came to their belief is not the point; we have to deal with the reality of a population that basically views the US as the enemy and their own government as their accomplices. Any policy initiatives or military actions should be framed based on these realities not the lip service being paid by those who are benefiting form US largesse.

    Omarali50 I am not sure I followed your Canadian bombing analogy. I would question the “sensibly follows the lead of their government” bit. As I recall polling data - long after the US Administration had admitted that Iraq was in no way involved in 9/11 – showed a large proportion of the public still thought it was. This seems to back up your assertion that the public will believe what they were told by the government, however it throws into question whether they were sensible so to do. When my government looked like it was going to go to war in Iraq my children went off and protested. I stayed at home confident that while the WMD claims seemed very weak the intelligence they were privy to – and I was not – must have been very strong as they would not attack another country without solid proof. Less than 75% of my fellow citizens (UK – are we a modern state?) fell for the propaganda and I will be more difficult to con next time. As you say it is difficult for the public to come to a judgement as there is seldom any reliable information. One other worrying point in your post is the military. How did they get in to this conversation? I hope they will not be telling me what to think about anything, they should implement the policies of the politicians – assuming we are talking about democracies rather than military governments.
    Last edited by JJackson; 11-20-2009 at 01:37 PM.

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    Maybe i was being too sensible with that "sensibly" thing.

    I was thinking of an earlier post of mine where I argued that even when people believe lies told by their national security apparatus, there is some rationality to this attitude. Most people are not "in the know" and the point at which you decide your own govt is a bunch of manipulative liars is (for most people, not University types) a step too far because they still have to live in that country, with that govt, and the alternative may be anarchy.

    Sorry, not very clear here, but I have to run soon, will try again someday.

    Anyway, my point was that people in Pakistan are not ouliers in this matter of being influenced by their national security apparatus. The outlier is the national security apparatus, which believes that its in their interest to propagate lies about this issue in order to keep their dominant position within domestic politics.

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    The outlier is the national security apparatus, which believes that its in their interest to propagate lies about this issue in order to keep their dominant position within domestic politics.
    This is an outstanding point. Kudos on your recent comments on the Pak military and the influence its public relations apparatus has on public opinion in Pakistan.

  15. #75
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    Default Update on LeT

    Once more Stephen Tankel has provided an update on LeT (the group blamed for the Mumbait attack):http://ctc.usma.edu/sentinel/CTCSentinel-Vol2Iss11.pdf

    LeT is emerging as a global actor in terrorism.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Two to read: long and short

    Some commentary on Mumbai:

    1) a long journalistic piece, mainly eye-witnesses and a short update on the changes since:http://www.vqronline.org/webexclusiv...umbai-attacks/

    2) a short comment by Stephen Tankel:http://icsr.info/blog/Retrospective-introspective
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    Virginia Quarterly Review has an excellent 4-part article on the Mumbai attacks here.

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    Folks over at the al-Sahwa blog have posed the question (Emerging Threats: Active Shooter Scenario) of how to cope with the threat of active shooters who seek to pull a Mumbai here in the US.

    My comment is here (I still don't understand why it hasn't happened, given how easy it would be).

  19. #79
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    Default A few points

    Schmedlap,

    A good catch this "peering into the abyss" link:http://al-sahwa.blogspot.com/2010/02...e-shooter.html

    We have briefly looked at a Mumbai incident in the UK and the former US CT czar Richard Clarke wrote a long article in January 2005 on what could happen - with multiple target themes in the USA. See:http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...rs-later/3659/

    We have been lucky that AQ to date has devoted such attention in attempts to attack a hardened target - passenger aircraft in the air; a point discussed elsewhere on SWC, IIRC on the Detroit attack thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=9331

    Not to overlook the Zazi plot with an attack on another hardened target NYC.

    The hard reality for CT response planning is that we live in a target rich environment, where guarding a static target can be criticised as uneconomic and deflect the attacker to easier targets (known as 'Prepare' in the UK CT strategy). Hence the resources allocated to first responders and follow-on services.

    A point that is easily overlooked in the Mumbai attack is that the attackers kept mobile; moving on foot and at one point in a hijacked police Jeep to other targets.

    I am mindful that such scenarios can easily increase fear - after all one of the key aims of terrorism - and maybe this has precluded the state / government raising the issues with the public.

    What about the attack on traffic entering the CIA HQ at Langley, many years ago in 1983 and the lone attacker was eventually arrested. See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_sh...A_Headquarters

    What about the non-AQ enemies following these options? "Home grown" terrorists. IIRC there have been sporadic gun attacks on abortion clinics, Federal buildings and the like.

    Scary - Yes
    Tell the public now of the possibility - Unwise
    Prepare for the possibility - Yes within other contingencies
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-28-2010 at 11:00 PM.
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    David,

    In my opinion, the silver lining on this issue is that I think terrorist strikes in this country are not intended to really instill fear among Americans. I really think they are intended to provoke us. I think it would be far more frightening if terrorists started hitting "soft targets" such as shopping malls, gridlocked interstates (such as in the hypo I cited), or a high school sporting events. Instead, they want to attack symbols of American financial, economic, military, or cultural significance in order to draw us into a fight on their turf.

    Could it be that the "flypaper theory" is actually playing out (albeit not for the reasons often cited)? Rather than us being proactive and "fighting them over there so that we don't fight them here," the terrorist motivation might be precisely to fight us over there because they don't want to fight us here. Hitting soft targets might just result in greater inward-looking domestic security measures. But hitting major symbolic targets, for some reason, seems to stir us to anger more easily. If their intent is to "fight us over there" then they seem to have chosen their targets wisely and maybe this means that we don't have to fear attacks on soft targets.

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