Rants and Raves

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mumbai analyzed

Following a lead from Mark Steyn here: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZjkwNjVlNmE5MWUyOTVhMWIyODkzNWNlZGM1YjU2Zjc=

"The Oldest Hatred," I found in the online site of the Indian daily newspaper The Hindu here: http://rantsand.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-year-new-administration.html

the scanned 69 pages of the dossier of evidence from the ongoing investigation by the Indian authorities of the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

There's a lot here, the names, ages and nationalities of the victims, the names of the terrorists from the interrogation of the lone survivor, pictures of the equipment (cell phones, GPS, guns, etc), excerpts from translated transcripts of the terrorists communications, and a fair amount of technical data.

The documents all together constitute a blueprint for such attacks, including mistakes to be avoided in the future. (The group failed to sink the hijacked ship after arriving at the point from which they launced their rubber assault craft and murdering the captain.)

There are some interesting things I wouldn't have thought of: the group split up after landing ashore, and took taxis to the area of their targets. They left bombs in two of the taxis that exploded later, killing the drivers.

There are puzzlers too. The lone survivor seems to be a font of information. What gives?

They did some fairly extensive training beforehand, that evidently didn't include interrogation resistance.

Did they count on all the group getting killed? Or didn't they care what the world knew after the fact?

The investigation also reveals what is becomming a serious problem in this kind of warfare. The handlers monitored on-the-spot news coverage and tipped the terrorists off to special forces rappeling onto the building roofs from helicopters.

And, the transcripts give a picture of their motivation:

From The Hindu: http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thscrip/print.pl?file=2009010760571200.htm&date=2009/01/07/&prd=th&

The transcripts in the dossier make it apparent that the six handlers were closely monitoring events in Mumbai through the live TV coverage which went on non-stop for 60 hours. “There are three ministers and one secretary of the cabinet in your hotel. We don’t know in which room,” a Pakistan-based caller tells a terrorist at the Taj at 0310 hrs on November 27. “Oh! That is good news” It is the icing on the cake!,” he replies. “Find those 3-4 persons and then get whatever you want from India,” he is instructed. “Pray that we find them,” he answers.

At the Oberoi at 0353 hrs on November 27, a handler phones and says:

“Brother Abdul. The media is comparing your action to 9/11. One senior police official has been killed.”

Abdul Rehman: “We are on the 10th/11th floor. We have five hostages.”

Caller 2 (Kafa): Everything is being recorded by the media. Inflict the maximum damage. Keep fighting. Don’t be taken alive.

Caller: Kill all hostages, except the two Muslims. Keep your phone switched on so that we can hear the gunfire.

Fahadullah: We have three foreigners, including women. From Singapore and China.

Caller: Kill them. The dossier then notes that the telephone intercept records the “voices of Fahadullah and Abdul Rehman directing hostages to stand in a line, and telling two Muslims to stand aside. Sound of gunfire. Cheering voices in background. Kafa hands telephone to Zarar,” who says, “Fahad, find the way to go downstairs.”

In another call, to the Taj this time, a handler says, “The ATS chief has been killed. Your work is very important. Allah is helping you. The Vazir (minister) should not escape. Try and set the place on fire.”

At Nariman House at 1945 hrs on November 27, the handler ‘Wassi’ tells a terrorist: “Keep in mind that hostages are of use only as long as you do not come under fire because of their safety. If you are still threatened, then don’t saddle yourself with the burden of the hostages. Immediately kill them.” He then adds, “The Army claims to have done the work without any hostage being harmed. Another thing: Israel has made a request through diplomatic channels to save the hostages. If the hostages are killed, it will spoil relations between India and Israel.”

“So be it, God willing,” the terrorist replies.

I'm going to download these documents to my computer for more detailed study.


  • At 7:49 AM, Blogger Ted said…

    Analyzing Mumbai, there's no doubt terrorists are a problem, but certainly not the scare-tactic, phony threat Americans have been fear-blasted with the last eight years so a tiny cadre of backers and bankers can fill their pockets with largess from the public fund.
    I find it amazing how many nominal conservatives there are who find welfaring unwed mothers repugnant, but welfaring CEOs and stock brokers glorious.
    It doesn't matter whether the shakedown "threat" is global warming, SocMed or TWOT, more debt and biger government is not the answer.

  • At 10:48 AM, Blogger Joseph Sixpack said…

    Regarding the apparent abundance of intelligence that the lone detainee has divulged, I recall some minor controversy when Indian authorities stated that they would use sodium pentathol to extract information from him.

    It is nice to see prudence favored over political correctness. Existential threats have a way of doing that... at least in some countries.

  • At 5:11 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    On the subject of using ungentle means to acquire intelligence, John Derbyshire said it best. If you're going to come down on the side of "it's never justified," you'd better tell your Significant Other, "Sorry Old Dear, but I'd rather see you dead than cause a terrorist a moment's discomfort."

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    WTF is so ungentle about sodium pentathol? Everything I've read is it produces an effect similar to being drunk and loosens the tongue. Sometimes too loosely...
    "Habib" starts talking about his adventures with goats, and those cops are going to find out what I mean.
    Coming down off of it is probably worse, though.

  • At 5:50 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    I was just struck by an odd thought. I've heard that agents can be trained to resist pentothol and such drugs, much the same way you can learn to cope with alcohol and other recreational drugs, by practice.

    But Muslims aren't supposed to indulge in anything that intoxicates...

    Could lack of exposure to intoxicants make them particularly vulnerable to the so-called truth serums?

    Of course, there's an awful lot of hypocrisy over that matter. But the pattern of indulgence among Muslims I've known tends towards binge drinking, and total lack of control.

  • At 12:09 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    I have no qualms with SP as an interrogation enhancement.
    On various other measures known to have been advocated by certain bureaucrats and politicians of the former administration, and which the current one is hushing up about, since it's been handed all it needs to inflict socialist fascism on U.S., not so much...In fact, not at all.
    To the point, let me turn the argument around: What if it's YOUR "significant other" or kids that vanish in the middle of the night, are flown to another country and have the electrodes clamped to their uh..."anatomy" by the DHS/CIA gestapo?
    Reality check...1,2,3.
    "It can't happen here" is what they said a long time before most of it did!
    Sold to us by the destroy-the-republicans, I might add.


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