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Old 11-27-2008   #1
William F. Owen
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Default Mumbai Attacks and their impact

Moderator's Note: I have changed the title (October 2010) to reflect the posts on the impact of the attacks. Just merged four smaller threads into this (February 2013), but have left alone a thread on Social Media (Twitter) and the Mumbai attacks (ends)


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7751360.stm

Probably worthy of our collective attentions
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- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-15-2013 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Add Mod's note and update
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Old 11-27-2008   #2
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Default Way too early to assess

The dust hasn't settled and it is hard to assess anything until the media gets past their sensationalism phase, but it may be helpful to put the attack in perspective.

http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countr...dia/index.html

From a 2007 Assessment

Quote:
2,765 people died in terrorism-related violence in India during year 2006. A review of the data indicates that nearly 41 per cent of all such fatalities occurred in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) alone as a result of the Pakistan-backed separatist proxy war in that State. 27 per cent resulted from Left Wing Extremism (Maoism/Naxalism) across parts of 14 States, prominently including Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Karnataka. 23 per cent of the total fatalities in 2006 occurred in the multiple insurgencies of India’s Northeast.

By comparison, year 2005 witnessed a total of 3,236 fatalities in terrorism-related incidents across the country. The fatality index, consequently, registered a definite decrease in year 2006.
It would be interesting to see what the numbers were in 2007 and 2008 to date, although that metric in itself means very little. India is challenged by multiple insurgencies, terrorist groups and worrisome neighbors, yet they a do a remarkable job of maintaining relative stability in a country that is ripe for ethnic conflict. I suspect there is a lot we can learn from India and how they manage these complex problems, and hopefully we'll see more posted over the coming weeks on how they managed security challenges historically.

Reference today's attacks, we have seen this type of attack before in the airports of Tel Aviv, Rome and Vienna in the 70s and 80s where the terrorists used small arms and grenades, but they were not nearly as deadly as this Mumbai attack. This was clearly a sosphisticated attack on a number of levels, and the implications of foreign involvement is what is most worrying. http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/detail...1=11/27/2008#1

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The terrorists reportedly came in by sea from Karachi in Pakistan. A boat laden with explosives was recovered later at night off the Gateway of India.

General Officer Commanding of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat, said. Speaking to NDTV, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R. R. Patil said, "There is no plan for talks with the terrorists." Claiming to have some "vital leads", he expressed confidence of a breakthrough soon. Intelligence sources said that a foreign hand is fully evident in these attacks. They have also reportedly arrested a Pakistan national from Chowpatty area in the city. Police chief A. N. Roy said, "There is no indication so far of the identity of the terrorists." He said that the terrorists were highly armed, level of weapons and training suggest that they are not locals.
Perhaps the intended objective is bigger than just India, and actually aimed at regional instability to counter the positive diplomacy between India and Pakistan, which in turn will lead to more effective operations in the FATA. First reports are generally wrong, but if the attackers did come from Pakistan, this would be an opportunity for Pakistan to show the world that it is serious about fighting terrorists]ism within its in borders by cooperating and assisting its neighbors (in this case India) in the fight against this common threat. That would be a major regional paradigm shift in favor of the counter terrorist coalition.

How probable is it that we'll this type of regional paradigm shift? Only time will tell, but this type of attack should further demonstrate to the populations that the terrorists are trying to influence how completely morally bankrupt the terrorists and their objectives are.

Again, looking past the hype, there was even a more deadly attack in Mumbai two years ago, yet Mumbai remains a striving city.

http://counterterrorismblog.org/

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The incidents took place one day after the reported arrest of Lashkar -e-Toiba linked Raheel Sheikh by the Interpol in London. Raheel is one of the alleged masterminds of the conspiracy and was involved in the funding of the July 11, 2006, Mumbai serial train blasts that killed nearly 200 commuters and wounded over 500 people on that fateful day.
It is highly improbable (if not impossible) that an attack was mounted in one days time in response to this arrest. The good news is that they captured the prick.
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Old 11-27-2008   #3
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Wired, 26 Nov 08: Mumbai Attack Aftermath Detailed, Tweet by Tweet
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First-hand accounts of the deadly Mumbai attacks are pouring in on Twitter, Flickr, and other social media......

......The local bloggers at Metblogs Mumbai have new updates every couple of minutes. So do the folks at GroundReport. Dozens of videos have been uploaded to YouTube. But the most remarkable citizen journalism may be coming from "Vinu," who is posting a stream of harrowing post-attack pictures to Flickr.
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Old 11-27-2008   #4
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Live IBN reports are streamed here (I wish CNN would run them directly, instead of talking over the Indian video and commentary).
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Old 11-27-2008   #5
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The incidents took place one day after the reported arrest of Lashkar -e-Toiba linked Raheel Sheikh by the Interpol in London. Raheel is one of the alleged masterminds of the conspiracy and was involved in the funding of the July 11, 2006, Mumbai serial train blasts that killed nearly 200 commuters and wounded over 500 people on that fateful day.

The good news is that they captured the prick.


Sorry Bill, Raheel Sheikh has not been detained in London or London Heathrow or Birmingham airport; as reported by the Indian press and websites after a comment in Mumbai by a senior police officer: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/CB...-arrest/390993

Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-27-2008 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Failure to move quote and add title. Then link.
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Old 11-27-2008   #6
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Default Raining on my parade

David,

Thanks for the update, so we scratch the good news for the time being. Hopefully you'll have some better news in the coming days First reports are generally wrong, or at least not entirely accurate.
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Old 11-28-2008   #7
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CNN is now talking about Israeli advisors being sent to Mumbai. It's been mentioned to me over the years that the Israeli's have good relations with Indian special forces/counter terrorism units. Is this true? Can anyone give me some info on this?

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Old 11-28-2008   #8
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Default The Israelis do business with many people in south

Asia. A LOT of business, to include advice and indirect assistance. Same, surprisingly, applies to the ME, not with everyone but still a considerable amount.

With India, specifically, in addition to some training programs and a lot of direct sales, there are also some joint development programs. LINK, LINK.
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Old 11-28-2008   #9
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If you want up to the minute on the ground information/intelligence go here http://twitter.com/shloky/

Shlok is a phenomenon.

you can also go here http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23mumbai and pick up some more. The noise to info level climbs though.
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Old 11-28-2008   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
CNN is now talking about Israeli advisors being sent to Mumbai. It's been mentioned to me over the years that the Israeli's have good relations with Indian special forces/counter terrorism units. Is this true? Can anyone give me some info on this?

Adam L
It's no secret. There is extensive military co-operations between Israel and India. Has been for over 50 years. Obviously there is a very big Indian community here in Israel.

One of the attacks in Mumbai was directed directly at Jews and Israeli citizens, and Israelis were taken hostage and killed. A Rabbi is amongst the dead so, as always, Israel has to get involved.

The performance of the Indian Army and Police is currently being strongly criticised here on the TV and in the Press, and as far as I can see with good reason.
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Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
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Old 11-28-2008   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
It's no secret. There is extensive military co-operations between Israel and India. Has been for over 50 years. Obviously there is a very big Indian community here in Israel.
I was unaware there was a large community in Israel. Of course, the important question is, "How is the food?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
The performance of the Indian Army and Police is currently being strongly criticised here on the TV and in the Press, and as far as I can see with good reason.
Yes, it looked pretty disorganized from what I saw. Does anyone know a site that explains how all of the units (police and military) fit into their system?

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Old 11-28-2008   #12
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All,

Good Summary and analysis at the Long War Journal:

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Almost two days after terrorists attacked the Indian financial hub of Mumbai, the military is still working to root out the remnants of the assault teams at two hotels and a Jewish center. More than 125 people, including six foreigners, have been killed and 327 more have been wounded. The number is expected to go up, as Indian commandos have recovered an additional 30 dead at the Taj Mahal hotel as fighting has resumed.

The Mumbai attack is unique from past terror strikes carried out by Islamic terrorists. Instead of one or more bombings at distinct sites, the Mumbai attackers struck throughout the city using military tactics. Instead of one or more bombings carried out over a short period of time, Mumbai I entering its third day of crisis.

An attack of this nature cannot be thrown together overnight. It requires planned, scouting, financing, training, and a support network to aid the fighters. Initial reports indicate the attacks originated from Pakistan, the hub of jihadi activity in South Asia. Few local terror groups have the capacity to pull of an attack such as this.

While it is early to know exactly what happened in Mumbai as the fog of war still blankets the city, multiple press reports from India allow for a general picture to be painted. An estimated 12 to 25 terrorists are believed to have entered Mumbai by sea. After landing, he attack teams initiated a battle at a police station, then fanned across the city to attack the soft underbelly of hotels, cafes, cinemas, and hospitals. Civilians were gunned down and taken hostage, while terrorists looked for people carrying foreign passports.

Preparation

While the exact size of the assault force and the support cells is still not known, police estimate about 25 gunmen were involved in the attack. The number of members of the supporting cells that provide financing, training, transportation, and other services could be two to four times this number. Operational security for such a large unit, or grouping of cells, is difficult to maintain and requires organization and discipline.

To pull off an attack of this magnitude, it requires months of training, planning, and on-site reconnaissance. Indian officials have stated that the terrorists set up "advance control rooms" at the Taj Mahal and Trident (Oberoi) hotels, and conducted a significant amount of reconnaissance prior to executing the attack. If the news about the "control rooms" is accurate, these rooms may also have served as weapons and ammunition caches for the assault teams to replenish after conducting the first half of the operation.
Mumbai-attacks-11262008.jpg

A terrorist outside the train station in Mumbai.

The planners of the Mumbai attack appear to have chosen able military-aged males. Witnesses have described the men as young and fit. Some of the gunmen appear to have been well trained; some have been credited with having good marksmanship and other military skills.

A witness who saw one of the teams land by sea adescribed the gunmen as "in their 20s, fair-skinned and tall, clad in jeans and jackets." He saw "eight young men stepping out of the raft, two at a time. They jumped into the waters, and picked up a haversack. They bent down again, and came up carrying two more haversacks, one in each hand."

An Indian official claimed the attackers used "sophisticated weapons," however this may be an overstatement. Reports indicate the gunmen used automatic rifles, hand grenades, and some machineguns, as well as several car bombs. The terrorists did not have sophisticated weapons such as anti-aircraft missiles to attack helicopters supporting Indian counterterrorism forces.
More at the link.
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Old 11-29-2008   #13
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First of all, the attackers went right to the local police station and attacked it. Clearly meant to reduce command and control of the counter. Whether by luck or by design, they were able to take out the top three terror cops at that station.

According to some sources, while there are many anti-terror groups within the security forces, they are not typically tasked together with any type of linear, interactive or interchangable leadership. Basically, city, province, state then military. Obviously, the city police are meant to be the first responders. With the local police assaulted and thrown off stride, their response time and efforts would be definitely thrown off and coordination with other units or up the line would be hindered. With the top cop and his two deputies gone, there would be a question of who takes over command as well, well before any other response teams could arrive and then as they appeared.

One has only to look at local law enforcement politics to understand that there would be a lot of people running around thinking they were now in charge and should issue orders. a bunch of which would be contradictory and possibly non-sensical. So, while the headquarters is in chaos and the LEO on the beat are out with limited instruction or communication, the terrorists get a nice little window of time to go about their business with little interdiction.

This is one factor that has me very sure that this was not a local group nor a "new group" accept to say a group claiming some other name as their "corps" name. LeT, probably, but I bet there is some higher org and experience that provided the training, facilitation and strategic planning.
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Old 11-29-2008   #14
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Working with the Indians is delicate business for several reasons that make U.S. cooperation with them difficult:
1. They are EXTREMELY sensitive to anything that might be construed as them not being complete peers (regardless of how relatively lacking they may be in the topic at hand).
2. They demand quid pro quo reciprocation on engagement activities. 1 in India, then 1 in the U.S., repeat. While reasonable, our current authorities and funding lines don't support such a cycle.
3. They have a mind numbing bureaucracy. A request for engagement goes into a big folder. That folder then needs to physically move up and back through over 30 in/out boxes from initiation to approval.
4. Huge muslim populace, largest Shia populace outside of Iran, and a majority Hindu populace and caste system. Two guesses where muslims shake out. There is friction.
5. Indo-Gangetic Plain. From the "Gates of Islam" at the mouth of the Indus river in Pakistan (formerly India) to the mouth of the Ganges river in Bangladesh (formerly Pakistan, formerly India) is one broad, flat plain that spans the sub-continent and is home to over 450 M Muslims with a continental divide so low as to be imperceptable to the human eye. Talk about an "arc of instability."

We are really babes in the woods when it comes to understanding and effective engaging in this region. If the Isrealies have a spcecial bond/relationship that is good...but it brings it's own special challenges as well. A perception of US sponsored, Jewish CT activity is likely to have negative consequences that far exceed any immediate effect.

Last edited by Bob's World; 11-29-2008 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 11-29-2008   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kehenry1 View Post
Whether by luck or by design, they were able to take out the top three terror cops at that station.
It would appear to have been luck:

Quote:
Police say as the suspects moved from Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST, formerly Victoria Terminus) train station, they entered a lane which has access to important buildings like the Times of India office, Cama hospital and a school. They came onto the main road and went towards a multiplex cinema.
Mr Karkare was shot at near Cama hospital and soon after the other two officers were also shot near the multiplex.
BBC, 12:39 GMT, Saturday, 29 November 2008, Mumbai police mourn their dead
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Old 11-29-2008   #16
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http://www.newsweek.com/id/170301

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To get a sense of the shift, consider the BJP's candidate for prime minister this time around. Lal Krishna Advani is an aging rabble-rouser who in the mid-1990s helped gather a huge Hindu mob that tore down the 16th-century Babri Mosque, leading to riots that killed more than 2,000 people (Advani was later cleared of criminal charges). He is far more radical than his predecessor, Atal Behari Vajpayee, who served as prime minister from 1998 to 2004. And Advani's heir apparent is Gujarat's chief minister, Narendra Modi—who has been denied entry to the United States for his alleged role in the 2002 riots in Gujarat that killed more than 1,000. Not long after the riots, Modi warned a crowd that Muslims were trying to erode India's Hindu majority by having many children. "We have to teach a lesson to those who are increasing the population at an alarming rate," he said.
Quote:
You might assume that such ties, unless repudiated, would hurt the RSS's popularity and the BJP's electoral chances in India, which is the world's largest democracy and a secular one at that. Unfortunately, that's not how things have transpired in the past. In fact, some of the BJP's prior electoral victories followed bouts of incendiary anti-Muslim hatred and actual violence. Vajpayee was first elected prime minister following the Babri Mosque riots, for example, and the mayhem in Gujarat in 2002 helped Modi win a thumping victory in that state, even though—or because—he was blamed for delaying police action to protect Muslims. Now, by casting the government's terror investigation as an anti-Hindu conspiracy, the BJP hopes to repeat this formula today and unite the faithful. "The various wings of the [RSS]—and it's a vast organization—will rally together," says Rangarajan.
India's reaction to these attacks will very much shape their future.
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Old 11-29-2008   #17
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I guess it's over now, the last attacker is dead. 10 guys with guns, grenades and explosives killed 195 and wounded several hundred. It looks like the attackers were Pakistani and the one that was captured said the goal was to create an "Indian 9/11."
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Old 11-29-2008   #18
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Default Making sense of Mumbai

Yes, early days and much confusion, spin, prejudice and some insight. I was impressed with these two articles by Stephen Tankel, from Kings College London War Studies: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...attacks-india4 and http://kingsofwar.wordpress.com/ first article there now.

Not heard of author before, so here is the first potted bio found: http://icsr.info/about/people/Stephen_Tankel

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Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-29-2008 at 10:56 PM. Reason: Add last paragraph re bio
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Old 11-29-2008   #19
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Default Analysis from Maria Ressa

Here is some interesting analysis http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/world/11/...thods-ideology

Maria A. Ressa is the author of Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia. She is senior vice president for news and current affairs of ABS-CBN and managing director of ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel). She was CNN’s correspondent for nearly two decades.
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Old 11-30-2008   #20
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Steve Coll's comments were similar to Mr. Tankel's. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/stevecoll/

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