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Thread: Mumbai Attacks and their impact

  1. #81
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    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.
    Perhaps. I also think a scenario as outlined above (multiple sustained attacks over time) would cause this country to lose its mind. Take a look at what Malvo caused in NOVA.

    I used to think this movie was over the top, but honestly I think we would turn to a solution like the one in "The Seige" faster than we would like to admit. Especially with the partisan talk show climate out there.
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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I doubt the country would.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    Perhaps. I also think a scenario as outlined above (multiple sustained attacks over time) would cause this country to lose its mind. Take a look at what Malvo caused in NOVA.
    However, I have no doubt the media would -- and would do their level best to drive the country to emulate them.

    Folks I know who lived in DC and Northern Virginia at the time of the Great Sniper Hunt were mostly dismissive of the idea of major panic though they acknowledged at the time the media hype was heading things that way. One friend living in Chevy Chase called it the 'Charlie Moose show.'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    Perhaps. I also think a scenario as outlined above (multiple sustained attacks over time) would cause this country to lose its mind. Take a look at what Malvo caused in NOVA.

    I used to think this movie was over the top, but honestly I think we would turn to a solution like the one in "The Seige" faster than we would like to admit. Especially with the partisan talk show climate out there.
    The movie "The Siege" is often discussed in Israel, as to what US reaction would be if their population was to experience the same frequency and magnitude of either suicide bombings seen in 2002, or rocket attacks.

    For example, in 2002, had the US lost the same % of it's population to suicide attacks, the number would be in excess of 6,000 dead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    The movie "The Siege" is often discussed in Israel, as to what US reaction would be if their population was to experience the same frequency and magnitude of either suicide bombings seen in 2002, or rocket attacks.

    For example, in 2002, had the US lost the same % of it's population to suicide attacks, the number would be in excess of 6,000 dead.
    I think you've also got to consider how big our country is. Let's say there are 50 suicide attacks within the span of a month (one in each state). The odds of me knowing any of the victims or feeling threatened is much lower than if I'm in Jerusalem and some guy blows himself up in Tel Aviv. The distance between those two locales is shorter than many people commute to work in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    I used to think this movie was over the top, but honestly I think we would turn to a solution like the one in "The Seige" faster than we would like to admit. Especially with the partisan talk show climate out there.
    Am I completely out of touch? The movie sounds absurd to me, as does the notion of "the partisan talk show climate" adding to the possibility of it. I'll even throw in the partisan TV shows and internet sites and I still think it's absurd. This only struck a chord with me because I read the recent blog posts of Bernard Finel who seems to think that one party is good, one party is evil, and Sarah Palin is going to be President. I am amazed to see how much this fear-mongering from both sides of the political spectrum is gaining traction. How many of the people who fear Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have actually listened to their shows while stuck in traffic? It's a mix of flawed history, nonsensical and outlandish attacks against their political enemies that only appeal to a small slice of the population, jokes, and random callers who are even more poorly informed and poorly educated than the hosts. There are no demands to overthrow the government, wage violence, or spread hate. It's a bunch of harmless nonsense, just like the crap on cable TV and the partisan internet sites. It appeals to the fringes, yet many seem to be convinced that it is going to take over the country. I don't get it.

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    As a Pakistani-American, I have more than a passing interest in this subject, and I do think that the movie scenario ("the siege") is overblown. I have no doubt that if there is a mass-casualty terrorist attack there will be a backlash and so on, but I dont think the country will slip into martial law or any other nonsense like that.
    I think the concept "Mumbai style attack" needs to be defined better for this discussion. The Mumbai attack was NOT some small group of demented Indian Muslims who decided it was their duty to avenge XYZ offenses by going postal on a massive scale. It was a well planned terrorist operation, meticulously put together by a professional terrorist organization (possibly with the support of a certain state agency). The equivalent of that in the US would imply that there is an identifiable foreign-based terrorist group carrying out the attack. In such a situation, how long would it take for anger to be focused on said foreign organization and its sponsors/hosts/friends and away from some sort of mindless arrival of jackboots in the White house?
    Personally, I dont see such an attack as very likely because I think organizations capable of such planning and execution are known entities and calculate their moves carefully and will not chose to do something like this at this time.

    A "spontaneous jihadi operation" in which some morons in Virginia get together, decide they need to avenge the blood of their brothers in Marja or whatever and go to I-95 and start killing people is a very different matter. Its not out of the question (my guess is that a small but non-zero number of such morons does exist) but its even less likely than Lashkar E Tayyaba deciding to raise their jihad to thermonuclear levels. And there is a very good chance that said morons will give themselves away (possibly to FBI flypaper operations) before they ever buy their guns and drive up to the interstate. And its likely that if they DO get to the interstate, they will not do as much damage as Schmedlap's scary scenario because they are morons, not trained terrorists.
    But if it does happen, what would the response be?

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    Default A UK illustration

    Omarali50,

    Partial quote:
    A "spontaneous jihadi operation" in which some morons in Virginia get together, decide they need to avenge the blood of their brothers in Marja or whatever and go to I-95 and start killing people is a very different matter....But if it does happen, what would the response be?
    Replace 'I-95' with the UK's busiest highway and I can comment. Chaos and fear if the attackers are not caught. A national state of high alert for the security forces, military aid - notably reaction forces with helicopters - and if there is a second attack a state of emergency. Grim for isolated minority and Muslim communities with attacks on mosques etc. A series of vigilante actions on ''suspects", e.g. Bangladeshi waiters driving home at night.

    In a bizarre way if Muslims are amongst the casualties, as they were in 7/7 bombings, then less anger amongst the general population.
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    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    The equivalent of that in the US would imply that there is an identifiable foreign-based terrorist group carrying out the attack. In such a situation, how long would it take for anger to be focused on said foreign organization and its sponsors/hosts/friends and away from some sort of mindless arrival of jackboots in the White house?
    Personally, I dont see such an attack as very likely because I think organizations capable of such planning and execution are known entities and calculate their moves carefully and will not chose to do something like this at this time.

    ...

    But if it does happen, what would the response be?
    I think I was thinking about the reaction to a sustained terror campaign inside the USA - as described in the article linked by David above - http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...rs-later/3659/

    Thirty days of attacks on soft targets would make us crazy. I hope I'm wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    I think I was thinking about the reaction to a sustained terror campaign inside the USA - as described in the article linked by David above - http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...rs-later/3659/

    Thirty days of attacks on soft targets would make us crazy. I hope I'm wrong.
    I am sure 30 days of attacks would drive a lot of people crazy, but that sounds like an implausible scenario. Israel is not a good comparison. Israel has occupied Palestinian land for 50 years, they live next door, they have been fighting for decades, they know each other's capabilities (more or less) and attacks and counter-attacks are all part of a given pattern that both sides can make sense of (even when they dont like it). Who would launch this sustained campaign against the US? You would pretty much have to be in Mexico to do that (Canada is presumably off the radar after yesterday's game) and what Mexican organization is working on any such campaign?
    "lone wolf" actions by individual Muslims suddenly seized by the urge to practice jihad are certainly possible, but that's not the same thing as a sustained campaign.
    LET (to take one example) could probably launch ONE well coordinated attack if they wanted to (meaning they have the ability, but not necessarily the motivation), but they are not crazy and such an attack would be a crazy undertaking (the US is not India and so on).
    David, England (unfortunately) does have a bigger pool of Islamist nuts than the US does. An attack is more likely there than in the US, but even there, I dont think its very likely. My guess is that it is becoming LESS likely with every passing year. I firmly believe that "lone wolf" actions are not that important or that likely. The really serious threats always come from organizations and those are under pressure in Pakistan and too remote from the modern world in Somalia...

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    Default LeT leader denies Mumbai

    The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader has been interviewed in Lahore and in a wide ranging interview denies the organisation are terrorists. Plus Mumbai wasn't us.

    Link:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...t-1928033.html
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    Default Mumbai taught London police needs....

    Not an unexpected comment given in a talk to a CT security industry exhibition:
    Military-style guns for police to fight terrorists on the streets Britainís top counter-terrorism officer has called for armed police across the country to be equipped with high powered assault rifles to cope with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...e-streets.html

    This advocacy raises a number of issues, e.g. why across the country, not just London. More fundamentally, is a Mumbai type attack likely in London or other places?
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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Military-style guns for police to fight terrorists on the streets Britainís top counter-terrorism officer has called for armed police across the country to be equipped with high powered assault rifles to cope with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack.
    IIRC 2 UK constabularies have H&K G-36. The Fuzz at Luton Airport certainly do, and SO-19 has been seen with G-3K.

    - and if the UK Police want to be able to take on Mumbia-type clowns, then they will have to change the law.
    "Minimum use of force" has no place in a real fire fight.
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    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    The former RUC (now PSNI) HQ Mobile Support Units (HMSU) carried HK G3 rifles for years. The PSNI HMSUs are still equipped with them, as seen in the shooting of Officer Stephen Carroll last year.

    Evidence...


    PSNI also appear to have G36..


  13. #93
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    Default Mumbai spin-off: small update

    A re-run of terrorist training camps and attacks in the West, allegedly for Mumbai-style attacks, but the last paragraph fits in with the last few posts on UK police firearms policy & practice:
    In response police have reassessed the way they deal with attacks. Metropolitan Police tactical response teams have been training on a "shoot to kill" basis after briefings that most deaths in such an attack were likely to occur in the first 30 minutes of an attack.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...r-attacks.html

    That still poses a number of problems, such as getting to the scene, a briefing and then engagement. I shall leave aside how many properly armed officers are available and engaged.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-30-2010 at 07:08 AM. Reason: Add link
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    It may be that, just has the military have been major chnage in the last decade, so the Police have to do the same, maintaining the perception of the 'bobby on the beat' but backing him/her up with more responsive force options...
    Last edited by SJPONeill; 09-30-2010 at 07:05 AM. Reason: bobby, not booby, on the beat!!

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    Default More details?

    From an Indian magazine, interesting reading (even if not all true....who knows that the truth is in such matters):

    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?267300

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    Default Mumbai on Thames

    SAS officers warn that Britain is unprepared for a Mumbai-style attack
    Two former senior commanders of the SAS have warned that Britain's security forces would be unable to cope with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack in central London.

    This would temporarily create a war zone within London and one that cannot effectively be countered by the police alone. The police are good at policing but we doubt they would want to try war fighting.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...le-attack.html
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    David,

    Isn't this largely true everywhere? At the end of the day one has to balance the likelihood and potential damage of such an attack against the cost of defending every potential place such an attack could occur.

    London is a city famous for being able to shake off far worse attacks on a nightly basis, and to brush itself off and get on with business the following day. While no Londoner would want to return to the dark days of WWII, nor to have a Mumbai-style attack launched against them; I suspect they also would not want prefer a London designed to prevent/quickly squash such an attack either.
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    Default Er...........?

    Can someone explain what this statement means (I'm hoping its a typing error) given that the preceding four points would, ahem, point to the opposite conclusion (IMO)...
    "And fifthly, defence spending must be reduced to ensure that the department does not compromise National Economic Security at a time of ongoin financial instability"

    p.s. Isn't the idea of National Economic Security somewhat...anti-capitlaist/free market?

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    Default London plus

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Isn't this largely true everywhere? At the end of the day one has to balance the likelihood and potential damage of such an attack against the cost of defending every potential place such an attack could occur.

    London is a city famous for being able to shake off far worse attacks on a nightly basis, and to brush itself off and get on with business the following day. While no Londoner would want to return to the dark days of WWII, nor to have a Mumbai-style attack launched against them; I suspect they also would not want prefer a London designed to prevent/quickly squash such an attack either.
    Bob,

    I agree, although I only visit London. Yes, a Mumbai-style attack would be mayhem for a time, even say if London Heathrow was the target - lots of people, symbolism and lots of armed police. What contemporary Londoners think I know not. I am not convinced the popular London memory stretches back to the WW2 Blitz, let alone the Irish bombings; institutions can be different.

    We have an unusual coincidence here: a UK defence review, a Conservative Party conference (in Birmingham), a terror alert and forthcoming cuts to public spending (including the police and other agencies).
    davidbfpo

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    Default Likely or unlikely?

    The German air attacks on London during WWII only increased the UK's resolve, I suspect part of that was because it reinforced a sense of nationalism.

    A successful Mumbai attack on the other hand would call into question the legitimacy of the current government (maybe rightfully so). It isn't so much a matter of how the people react as a whole, but the internal political instability that would follow such an attack. I agree the effects would be limited, and in the end do much harm to the Islamists than the West, but then again the Islamists have never been known for thinking rationally.

    However I do disagree that the threat of such an attack is low probability, quite the contrary, until it proves to be ineffective the Islamists will attempt to use it repeatedly. I'm surprised they haven't used it since Mumbai, but then again it takes a lot of longer to train competent commando style forces than brain washing a young man to strap on a suicide vest.

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