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November 29, 2008

Ten Terrorists Caused "India's 9/11"?
Correction: 20 to 40?

Above the Post Update: The NYT reports estimates of 20 to 40 terrorists -- the nine killed and one captured are just the hold-outs and the ones who didn't flee.

That's still not an awful lot of guys, though.

One reason for the nervousness is that it seems likely that not nearly all the terrorists were caught or killed — and so far the whereabouts of the rest are a mystery. At least eight were confirmed dead on Friday, although more might be found as soldiers and the police combed through the two hotels. Security officials declared that they had taken control of the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower on Saturday morning, killing three militants.

Estimates of the number of attackers have ranged from 20 to 40, with the number depending to a considerable extent on the number of boats involved. As security forces seek to reconstruct how the gunmen managed to inflict so much carnage so quickly, they have been turning their attention to how so many assailants managed to reach the heart of Mumbai undetected and with such a large collection of guns, ammunition and explosives.

I hope that an American response to this sort of thing (and remember, it has long been speculated that the terrorists would move away from mega-attacks like 9/11 to simpler but easier attacks like invading a mall and shooting it up) would be a lot better.

I suspect it would be. However, a couple dozen terrorists in a high-traffic area could kill a lot of people before cops could show up.

Americans tend to carry more personal defensive weapons than just about anyone else in the developed world, but the terrorists would not be hitting targets in rural Texas, but in areas like NYC or big suburbs which are unarmed.

Even if a group of terrorists encountered some armed citizens -- the citizens would not be acting as a coordinated group and would be out-gunned in any event.

While cops in America would, hopefully, shut down this sort of an attack within (at most) a half an hour, the success of the terrorists in Mumbai only encourages fresh attempts at this sort of thing in our own country.

A lot of people can be shot or blown up in ten minutes.

I'm pretty sure that the long-anticipated small-scale run-and-gun terrorist attacks on malls and theaters and even waterparks -- anywhere with large crowds of people -- just went from a possibility to a near-certainty.

Via Hot Air's headlines.


Hard to imagine that India's police reaction could be that slow-responding to 10 armed psychopaths. It's possible the terrorists were just that good at executing their plan, but it seems more likely the cops weren't good enough.

India strongly suspects Pakistan -- and Pakistan warns (perhaps hoping to enlist tUS pressure) that should India deploy its military to Pakistan's border, Pakistan will (of course) divert all forces used in the War on Terror to respond.

Commandos ended a three-day rampage by Islamist gunmen in Mumbai on Saturday, gunning down the last of the militants who killed nearly 200 people in a strike on India's financial heart.

Elite Black Cat commandos killed the remaining four militants after a running gunbattle through a maze of corridors, rooms and halls in Mumbai's best-known hotel, the Taj Mahal.

There were signs of mounting public anger over the attacks, most of it directed against Pakistan, and officials in Islamabad said the next two days would be crucial for relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

One senior security official said Islamabad would divert troops to its border with India and away from fighting militants on the Afghan frontier if tensions erupted over Mumbai.

"If something happens on that front, the war on terror won't be our priority," the senior security officer told journalists at a briefing. "We'll take out everything from the western border. We won't leave anything there."

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said "elements" in Pakistan may have been responsible for the attacks in Mumbai.

Other officials have said most, perhaps all, of the attackers were from Pakistan, a Muslim nation carved out of Hindu-majority India in bloodshed in 1947. The two countries have fought three wars since the partition, and relations have always been tense.

More on the massacre:

The commander said his men had had to literally feel their way through the hotel corridors and rooms in complete darkness.

The black-clad commando said it had been impossible to differentiate between dead bodies, the injured and people simply pressing themselves to the floor in terror.

“When an exchange of fire takes place in darkness and there are bodies strewn all over and blood all over, you’re actually not looking who is injured or killed,” he said. “You’re just looking for someone with lots of weapons on him.”

But if were just a case ofo shooting indiscriminately, one would assume they'd kill a lot of civilians, but also kill the terrorists somewhat early in the ordeal.

A lot more at the link, including the bonus treat that seven of the terrorists appear to be British-born Pakistanis.

Britain itself is rapidly becoming one of the world's preeminent exporters of Muslim terrorism. Maybe they should see to that at some point.

Denied: Off of Hot Air's headines, a denial that any British-born persons were among the terrorists at all, issued by Indian intel.

Booray For Bollywood: Bollywood actors react with mixture of introspective criticism of their own country and sappy renditions of John Lennon's Imagine.

Oh, wait, that was our cadre of actors. Bollywood actors are demanding better security and an in one case an "iron hand."

Shabana Azmi: I was on the phone with a friend in London when she asked me to switch on the TV. It's a diabolic war waged on our city and country. This isn't the time to place blame. We need to maintain peace and communal harmony and cooperate with the police. Our condolences to police officers who sacrificed their lives. Terrorism should be struck down with an iron hand.

Gleen Grenwald Now Worries the Indian Constitution is Being Shredded: He worries a lot.

He's quite an imbecile.

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