The terrorist battle in Mumbai has resulted in perhaps three hundred dead, almost as many injured, and one captured terrorist, a young Pakistani named Azam Amir Kasab. Azam Amir Kasab is now talking under interrogation.
Azam Amir Kasab revealed that ten terrorist in all, trained in Pakistan Kashmir in combat techniques, including marine assault. Azam Amir Kasab and the other nine terrorists traveled by merchant ship before they seized a fishing trawler and then landed at Mumbai in inflatable boats. Azam Amir Kasab attacked the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Trident-Oberoi Hotel, a Jewish center at Nariman House, and other targets throughout Mumbai.
Azam Amir Kasab and the other terrorists roamed through the Taj Mahal Hotel massacring every American or British person they could find. Their plan had been to blow up the Taj Mahal Hotel, but the foundation of the 105 year old building was too sturdy for the plastic explosives the terrorists brought with them. Nevertheless, the famous Mumbai landmark has been heavily damaged by fire, explosions, and gun fire.
Azam Amir Kasab attempted to escape by playing dead. However, as he was being transported by ambulance, a security officer noticed that he was still breathing. Azam Amir Kasab claims to have been a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani based terrorist group. Both the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Pakistani government deny responsibility.
The aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist battle, which is being called India’s 9/11, is already being felt at the highest levels of India’s government and around the world. Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil, whose portfolio includes internal security and who has been criticized for a lackluster response to previous terrorist attacks in India, has resigned. He has been replaced by the former Indian Finance Minister, P Chidambaram. Other resignations in the Indian government are expected.
The Mumbai terrorist battle points to a new tactic by Islamo fascist terrorists. Previously Islamic terrorists had preferred suicide bombings, in which a terrorist would blow himself or a car load of explosives up to try to kill the maximum number of people. Azam Amir Kasab has revealed that he and the other terrorists had been instructed to seize their objectives, kill as many as possible, and then fight to the death against security forces. Their goal was to kill at least five thousand people, presumably for the shock and awe value.
Western security forces now have one more possible scenario to deal with. One can imagine a terrorist action, similar to the one that happened in Mumbai, occurring in-say-New York, London, or some other city. Urban warfare is the toughest kind of fighting to train for, especially if one is tasked with clearing out hotels or office buildings of a highly trained, heavily armed foe. The Indian security forces were ill prepared for what happened in Mumbai. American and European security forces need to be ready in case some group, such as Al Qaeda, tries to replicate what happened in Mumai in an American or European city.
Even more urgently, President Elect Barack Obama needs to think again about campaign promise he made that would make fighting the War on Terror more difficult. That includes promises to close Gitmo, water down the Patriot Act, and make wire tapping more difficult. Obama’s liberal base may demand that these promises be kept, but by making intelligence gathering more difficult, Obama may be faced later with a payment in innocent blood.
Sources: Captured terrorist gives account of Mumbai massacre, Chattahbox.com, November 30th, 2008
Mumbai attacks: 300 feared dead as full horror of the terrorist attacks emergesDamien McElroy and Rahul Bedi in Bombay, and Andrew Alderson, Daily Telegraph, November 30th, 2008