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Sunday, 24 October 2010

Mumbai 26/11/2008: My Observations.

It has been around 2 years since multiple attacks on Mumbai on 26-11-2008 had taken place. Although, I have written a whole book on those attacks, I have few observations based on the developments, information & investigations post attacks. They are listed as below:

1)      The planners were successful in brainwashing the terrorists, training them effectively & supervising the attack in Mumbai. They may replicate this success formula.
2)      The conspirators of the attacks got more than what they estimated. They not only managed to slay large number of civilians but also senior police officers, military officer & commandos. They got unexpected media coverage & stretched the attack for a long time.
3)      The plan was hatched with lots of patience, secrecy, research, focus on details & optimum use of technology. The preparations began more than 2 years before the attacks.
4)      Planners had a large list of targets but only few were selected.
5)      The attack exposed the watchfulness of Mumbai Police to face such attack. Before these attacks terrorist activity for Mumbai police was just Bomb explosions. They never expected AK-47 carrying terrorist to attack Mumbai.
6)      There were advanced inputs by intelligence sources which indicated that terrorists could come by sea route.
7)      The attacks have also exposed the coastal security of Mumbai by police, coast guards & the Navy.
8)      The attacks were the first of its kind coverage for Mumbai news reporters also. Role of media was criticized by a section of print media & law enforcing agencies for showing the live coverage of commando operations as the handlers of the terrorist were getting info on the strategy of defense forces. However, I believe that an attack of such magnitude could not be planned by the masterminds relying just on the tv coverage.
9)      During the attacks there were several incidents of rumor mongering like shootout again at CST, G.T.Hospital & Parsi Dairy of Marine Lines & death of then DCP Viswas Nagre Patil.
10)  The attacks also led to infight, mudslinging & responsibility fixing, both among the government & the police force.
11)   Although, lots of money have been spent & so many things have been done taking lessons from 26-11 attacks, few things seem funny & ridiculous. There were many DFMDs (Door Frame Metal Detectors) installed at various railway stations before the attack, but they were no use of detecting armed terrorist. Still there are DFMDs allover & they appear to be of no use in case terrorist decide to storm the railway station in the same manner. The rear entrance of Police Club is locked after the sunset believing that (?) the terrorists will again come that way & the door will restrict them.
12)  We are still very much prone to attacks like Moscow theatre hostage crisis, recent hostage situation in a tourist bus of Philippines caused by an ex policeman &  Rahul Raj bus hostage case of Mumbai.
13)  Most of the politicians who were relieved of their responsibilities after the attack have been reinstated again at prestigious posts.
14)  Taxi drivers haven’t learnt their lessons. Most of them don’t check if passengers are taking along their luggage after getting off the cab.
15)  Friendship with terror agent Hedley has facilitated Mahesh Bhatt’s son Rahul to bag entry into reality show Big Boss.