November 28, 2008

Bombay Blitzkrieg Day 2

Thanks to ACE who provided the link to the IBN live feed.


Amongst the Indian Bloggers

UltraBrown is still blogging see here.

Retributions has updated and added several posts just scroll.

Mubai-Help is a blogspot blog set up to cover this. They have the casualty list amongst other things.

The Counter Terrorism Blog has unkind words to say about India's counter terrorism efforts here. Note though that it is early and hindsight is 20/20. There are a LOT of false alarms and once the terrorists are in the city this was a very challenging situation. Note that most of the hostage rescue operations seem to have been fairly successful, though unconfirmed reports indicate that the Aussies bore the brunt of the deaths amongst the tourists .

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UPDATE: All of the Jewish hostages in the Mumbai Jewish center were killed. Damn...
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As I type this IBN reports that fighting has resumed at the Jewish center.

The Captains Journal has some analysis here that is worthy of a read.
 I'm sure there will be second guessing of the Indian response. We would likely do better to apply any lessons learned.
The attack on Mumbai is exactly the sort of thing we feared for several years after Sept. 11. Now it is coming to pass.

With the possible exception of New York City, I doubt that any US city would fare appreciably better than Mumbai did if faced with a similar assault. It is only a matter of time before something very much like this happens here.

Everyone needs to give serious thought to where they sit in Jeff Coopers color coded mindset scale...mentioned here by Amanda Ripley...via

The four colors are White, Yellow, Orange and Red. If something goes horribly wrong when you are in the White state, you will fail, Cooper wrote. White is a state of relaxation and complacency. Yellow is the ideal--a state of relaxed awareness, when you are not conscious of any particular threat but you are conscious of the horizon, of what is happening around you and of the possibility that anything could happen at any time. Orange is when you are acutely aware that something is wrong, and Red is when you are in the thick of it.


Such color coding has become something of a joke of late as a result of the DHS warning system but Cooper's point is still quite valid.

No adult should be in "white" except possibly when asleep or having sex. Part of being an adult is being aware and acknowledging that there is always some risk and being willing to deal with calamities in a calm adult way when they happen.

Dr. Helen has some related thoughts here...

Be aware of your surroundings, and be aware that YOU are responsible for yourself. Sheep are led to slaughter just as easily as they are led to captivity. Don't be a sheep.
This applies to any type of calamity...not just terror attacks.
For example...as we head into winter, how well are you prepared for 10 days without power in subfreezing weather because of an ice storm?

December 23, 1998, "The Christmas Ice Storm": A major ice storm struck central and southeast Virginia beginning on Wednesday, December 23 and lasting into Friday, December 25, Christmas Day. Icy conditions caused injuries from slips and falls and numerous vehicle accidents. Ice accumulations of up to an inch brought down trees and power lines. Outages were so widespread (400,000 customers on Christmas Eve) that some people were without power for up to ten days.


Happy Holidays gentle readers...
Semper Paratus

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November 27, 2008

Mumbai Attacked


A devastating terrorist attack has taken place in Mumbai India (Bombay). Numerous bombs have been set off, and an amphibious assault was launched from small boats. An unknown (but large) number of terrorists ran from the waterfront and stormed several hotels and transportation nodes. Over a hundred civilians are dead. It is unclear at this time if the assault was from the Ocean, Thane Creek or both.

Image Via BBC
There are reports that the terrorists were particularly targeting citizens of the UK and USA. It is unclear how sucsessful they were in his but it is obvious that they were not too discriminating and the people of Mumbai suffered terribly tonight.

More here here here and here.

The CounterTerrorism Blog, ACE and Rusty are blogging this extensively as is Allahpundit.

Indian bloggers liveblogging this include, The Khalma Bhat Show, Retributions, Youth Curry, and UltraBrown, whose last post, as I type this, was from the thick of things.

Hemant Kakare, the head of India's Counterterrorism Task force has been killed in the line of duty as has Mumbai's near legendary cop, Vijay Salaskar.

One odd bit. At least some of the terrorists were armed with Sten Guns


Though this bastard is armed with some AK variant.

The terrorists attacked the train station as well and left this in their wake...


A few thoughts.

No atom bomb, nerve gas or large airplanes appear to have been used, yet this was a devastating attack carried out by the straightforward technique of approaching the cities waterfront, getting out of the boats, running ashore and proceeding to kill people and break things.

There do seem to have been some pre-planted bombs and this required a lot of planning, but this could, in theory, wreak havoc in an American coastal city.

The US Coast Guard needs to ensure that its port state control, pollution and facilities personnel are up to date on their weapons qualifications. These personnel are the first line of defense or at least raising the alarm against an attack of this nature. Those of us on shore side, even reservists, need to be very, very aware of that.

An attack like this on any number of coastal locations on the US and its territories would likely be a suicide mission for all involved, but it would be a devastating morale hit for the nation and in certain locations could cause serious infrastructure damage. The Gulf Coast ports are much closer to  largely deserted stretches of South America, or actively hostile Venezuela than Mumbai is to Arabia or even Pakistan.

India is at war, but we are too. If as seems likely this is the work of AlQuaeda or an ideologically related group, then this is an attack on an ally by our common enemy.

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