Massive terror plot in Mumbai; 80 dead, 250+ injured; Update: 900 injured; Update: “Chatter” points to Al Qaeda? Update: 10 separate attacks

posted at 3:03 pm on November 26, 2008 by Allahpundit

Awful, and doubly worrisome in light of the FBI alert issued this morning for the NYC subway system. According to CNN, they hit the airport, two hotels, a cafe, a railway station and a gas station — and there may be more on the way. The Foreign Ministry’s opened a war room to deal with it.

Has there ever been an attack with this many targets?

Armed with AK-47 rifles and grenades, a couple of terrorists entered the passenger hall of CST and opened fire and threw grenades, Mumbai General Railway Police Commissioner A K Sharma said.

The terror strike which began at 10:33 PM at Chhatrapathi Shivaji Terminus(CST), formerly known as the Victoria Terminus(VT), claimed 10 lives in the premises of the station alone, police said.

Three persons were killed in a bomb explosion in a taxi on Mazegaon dockyard road and an equal number were gunned down at Taj Hotel. The victims in the hotel were its employees.

The lobby of the Oberoi hotel was on fire and the hotel evacuated, eyewitnesses said.

Maharashtra DGP A N Roy said tonight’s attack in “at least seven places” is a “terror strike.”

No word yet on how many are involved, but the fact that they’re using guns and grenades instead of suicide bombs makes me wonder if this isn’t some homegrown group or a Pakistani jihadi outfit like Lashkar e-Taiba instead of AQ. LeT members were arrested in connection with the last attack on Mumbai, so there’s precedent. You might be hearing the name “Dawood Ibrahim” pop up in the coming hours, too; revisit this post by our old friend Clint Taylor for essential background.

Update: As expected, Counterterrorism Blog points the finger at LeT and a native Islamic student group.

Update: DrewM at Ace’s site claims that the hotel attackers demanded American hostages among the guests, specifically.

Update: Total chaos.


Update: At the Standard, Thomas Joscelyn asks a question wonders if an attack of this scale and coordination doesn’t point to Pakistan’s ISI.

Most, if not all, of the targets are places that cater to westerners – restaurants, hotels, trains, etc. Moreover, the terrorists have laid siege to a couple of hotels and the terrorists are incredibly mobile, moving from location to location. The attacks are ongoing and the casualty count keeps rising. The result is a traumatized city and nation.

It is too early to tell with any precision who is behind these attacks. The smart money is on the multi-headed hydra of terrorist and extremist groups based in Pakistan and Kashmir. Indeed, Pakistan’s intelligence service has waged a proxy war against India using terrorists for decades. The two nuclear powers have avoided a large-scale exchange, but the Pakistani ISI has repeatedly sponsored or aided terrorist groups targeting civilians in India. For example, Indian authorities were quite vocal in blaming Pakistan for the July 11, 2006 train bombings, which killed more than 200.

Update: A clue, maybe, as to how they pulled this off without no one noticing anything. How young are we talking about here?

“They were very young, like boys really, wearing jeans and T-shirts,” Rakesh Patel, a stunned British guest at the Taj, told an Indian television channel. He said he had been among about a dozen foreigners who had been herded together by two heavily armed men and taken up to the hotel’s upper floors.

“They said they wanted anyone with British and American passports and then they took us up the stairs. I think they wanted to take us to the roof,” he said. He and another hostage had managed to escape when they reached the 18th floor, he said.

Update: A group no one’s ever heard of called the Deccan Mujahedeen is taking credit. What’s worse: If they’re lying or if they’re telling the truth, which would mean amateurs somehow pulled off an attack this sophisticated?

Update: Correction — looks like they’re been heard from before.

Update: Unbelievably, the Times of India now says more than 900 have been injured. How is that possible absent at least one monster blast that wounds hundreds of people all at once? And again, just how many attackers are we talking about here? Is there an army parading through the streets of Mumbai?

They got a bunch of top cops, too. How?

The attacks have taken a tragic toll on the city’s top police brass: The high-profile chief of the anti-terror squad Hemant Karkare was killed; Mumbai’s additional commissioner of police (east) Ashok Kamte was gunned down outside the Metro; and celebrated encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar was also killed.

More:

Some media reports attributed the attack to Lashkar-e-Taiba. There were also unconfirmed reports that some of the terrorists came in by sea. A boat laden with explosives was recovered later at night off the Gateway of India.

Update: Supposedly, western intel picked up “chatter” in the last few weeks suggesting a terror spectacular in the works to welcome Obama to the global fray. They’re assuming it’s AQ, but this doesn’t look like any other AQ attack I’ve ever heard of and India’s never been a big preoccupation of the leadership. Even so, here you go:

The multiple attacks on Westerners in Bombay tonight showed all the signs of an al-Qaeda strategy — picking on vulnerable Western “soft targets” but not in a country where there would be maximum security. The bombing of Western targets in Bali in 2002 when al-Qaeda-linked terrorists planted bombs in touristfavoured restaurants and nightclubs was another example where the terror group switched its resources to achieve maximum impact.

Counter-terrorist experts said that India would have been selected for the latest spectacular “probably because that’s where al-Qaeda have sufficient resources to carry out an attack on this scale”. One counter-terrorist expert told The Times: “They don’t choose for the sake of it, they look to see where they have the greatest capability and then order an attack,”

The key to this attack was the search by the armed terrorists for American and British passport holders. With a reported 40 Westerners being held hostage, the terrorists currently have the upper hand. The counter-terrorist sources said targeting Bombay’s most luxurious hotels and a crowded railway station had all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda operation.

If this is an international group like AQ, I wonder if their next try in America won’t involve more mundane weapons like guns and grenades instead of something grand scale to try to duplicate their success here.

Update: Via Danger Room, there’s already a Google Map available to show you how spread out the attacks are. And here’s a Flickr page of photos from the rubble.

Update: The Indian army’s reportedly moving in on the hotels where hostages are being held. We’re in for either one of the great rescue operations in history or another Beslan.

Update: Roggio suspects the Deccan Mujahedeen are a front group for the usual suspects.

Indian intelligence believes the Indian Mujahideen is a front group created by Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Harkat ul Jihad al Islami to confuse investigators and cover the tracks of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, a radical Islamist movement. The groups receive support from Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence and are al Qaeda affiliates.

Update: No details yet but IBN says 50 people have been rescued from the Hotel Taj.

Update: MSNBC was streaming IBN just now and a correspondent speculated that we’re looking at maybe 100 suspects here, maybe more. How was a group that large trained and equipped well enough to carry out coordinated attacks without anyone leaking or Indian counterterror knowing about it? See now why Roggio thinks ISI might be at work here?

Update: There have been six separate explosions at the Hotel Taj, apparently, and 10 separate attacks across the city in all, according to IBN. I would never have guessed that any terror group was capable of pulling this off, be it AQ, Hezbollah, or whoever.


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I’m sure there will be armed security at that structure now. Of course it’s always done too late since guns are evil.

tx2654 on November 27, 2008 at 10:32 AM

It’s too bad Obama isn’t POTUS. A few smooth words from “The Magic Negro” and all would be well with the world!

sabbott on November 27, 2008 at 10:34 AM

I fear no matter who the POTUS is that the Muslims are on the march and they feel confident they can destroy Israel and the west. Even with this they will still be angry and joyless because they have divisions in their own ranks. Like the other side isn’t muslim enough. Have not seen the news yet on which Arab nation has condemned this act yet but won’t be surprized if there isn’t any as of yet.

garydt on November 27, 2008 at 10:57 AM

It’s a little creepy that people are blaiming the President Elect for this attack. It never occurs to conservatives that these acts of violence really aren’t about us. They are about a conflict between India and it’s Muslim population and the Kashmiri dispute. None of our business.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 27, 2008 at 11:03 AM

It is our business if they are targeting US citizens.

Vince on November 27, 2008 at 11:12 AM

DeathToMediaHacks on November 27, 2008 at 11:03 AM

It seems to me that it is our business when Americans are targeted anywhere in the world. I hope the Indians kill each and every one of the terrorists after appropriate torture as their laws allow. In the meantime I pray the USA is prepared to assist in any manner needed both diplomatically and militarily.

kanda on November 27, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Mr Death/Mr Hack:
I held back before on my reply to your stupid post but you really need an enlightenment of some kind. I can’t believe that you are such a passivist/ isolationist that you would not want US citizens and our allies protected no matter where they are.

How can you be so remarkably ignorant?!

Vince on November 27, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Nothing will be done of substance to address this act. It has been decided some time ago to treat Islam like a rash rather than a cancer. Do I have to remind everyone what our leaders say about Islam the wonderful?

Shouldn’t you all be shopping?

BL@KBIRD on November 27, 2008 at 11:25 AM

DeathToMediaHacks on November 27, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Tunnel vision at it’s best…

Neo-con Artist on November 27, 2008 at 11:30 AM

It’s a little creepy that people are blaiming the President Elect for this attack. It never occurs to conservatives that these acts of violence really aren’t about us. They are about a conflict between India and it’s Muslim population and the Kashmiri dispute. None of our business.

DeathToMediaHacks on November 27, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Well the terrorists started hunting Americans, and Brit’s as soon as they got there so how do you come to the amazing conclusion that it doesn’t involve the US? It does for the terrorists!

sharrukin on November 27, 2008 at 11:55 AM

/sarc on
Way to go, Jihadis!

Let’s see who you can get pissed off:
India – the best military and intel east of the Gulf
Israel – the best military and intel in the Middle East
England – the best military and intel in Europe
USA – the best military in the world.

That sounds like a friendly group to have mad at you.
/sarc off

Somehow, i think that’s exactly what they want…

Ace ODale on November 27, 2008 at 12:01 PM

How can you be so remarkably ignorant?!

Vince on November 27, 2008 at 11:21 AM

You obviously haven’t seen much of his writings.

thomasaur on November 27, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Fake Penn Station and go for Mumbai? Whatever the case, its bad news. Prayers be with the victims.

johnnyU on November 27, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Anything on how they got to shore on those little rubber boats? they would have had to be launched from a larger ship. Points to resources and a level of sophistication of a military/intel operation…

BadBrad on November 27, 2008 at 1:36 PM

I’m not sure why it has to be ISI or any kind of Pakistani official government involvement in this. After all, Osama and Zawahiri are both thought to be hiding in Pakistan. Karachi has long had problems with bombings by Jihadis in their own town. Osama quit using satellite phones because we nearly caught him after using one, but that certainly doesn’t keep his lieutenants from using them to direct the operations. Zawahiri just made a public call for attacks and it would only make sense that this might be the most spectacular they could pull off right now. I only worry that it’s an attention diversion for similar/bigger attacks against western targets.

Webrider on November 27, 2008 at 3:04 PM

Apparently the terrorists used a merchant vessel and then disembarked onto smallish “motorboat”-style boats to actually hit the beaches.

Pakistani PM has denied any Paki involvement at this time. 2 Army commandos have been killed.

SgtSVJones on November 27, 2008 at 3:26 PM

NSG (National Security Guard)and Marine Commandos are in final stages of assault at Taj Mahal

Coast Guard found an abandoned trawler just 5km off the Mumbai coast in Indian waters with Sat phones and large cache of ammo and explosives. Also found a body aboard that could possibly be the owner’s.

There is an FBI team en route from LA at this time to assist the Indian investigation

127 killed, 327 injured

3 including a Pakistani national arrested from the Taj Mahal.

3 NSG commandos injured

SgtSVJones on November 27, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Oberoi has terrorists still inside it but 17 floors have been cleared so far

SgtSVJones on November 27, 2008 at 3:43 PM

2-3 terrorists still at Nariman House

SgtSVJones on November 27, 2008 at 3:43 PM

8 terrorists killed at Hotel Oberoi so far

2 foreigners among the 7 people rescued from the Nariman House

NSG reinforcements have headed to Nariman House and are currently reassaulting it now

SgtSVJones on November 27, 2008 at 3:46 PM

The religion of peace.

Johan Klaus on November 27, 2008 at 8:40 PM

I meant to say this earlier today, great coverage Allah.

Zorro on November 27, 2008 at 10:15 PM

This world disgusts me. I look forward to the next one. Which is coming soon. God be with the families of the victims.

YoungAmerican on November 27, 2008 at 6:14 AM

There is no other world ‘coming soon’, nor will there be some magical savior riding in on the clouds to bring paradise on earth and smite our foes, that’s just mythology and wishful thinking.

This is the only world we have, it is beautiful and fragile and it is up to us to make it a better place for ourselves our children, our fellow citizens or else let evil people take over and destroy it.

Don’t let yourself be demoralized by these events. Apathy only plays into the hands of our enemies. The only thing these murderous barbarians fear is that we’ll actually fight back, they’re hoping we’ll surrender/die without anyone raising a finger to oppose them.

It is why we all must contribute any way we can to defeat Islam, not just here but globally or this scourge will always remain a threat to every freedom-loving country.

thinkagain on November 28, 2008 at 7:46 AM

I meant to say this earlier today, great coverage Allah.

Zorro on November 27, 2008 at 10:15 PM

I second that.

This is an excellent site.

thinkagain on November 28, 2008 at 7:55 AM

Make the families of these terrorist pigs clean up the mess. Literally, drag their families into these hotels and let them mop up the blood. Every time I see a picture of some fugly old muslim woman (aka: terrorist factory) clutching a picture of her “martyred” little pig, I want to see her face pushed into a puddle of innocent blood spilled by her offspring. The families that encourage these insane murderous pigs have gotten away with it for too long.

Sorry for the rant but I’m just so fed up with the islamo-cancer in our world.

Wine_N_Dine on November 28, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Wine_N_Dine on November 28, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Isn’t that what Ike did with German civilians after discovery of the camps? No Godwin’s here, just sayin’.

artlover on November 28, 2008 at 10:37 AM

This world disgusts me. I look forward to the next one. Which is coming soon. God be with the families of the victims.

YoungAmerican on November 27, 2008 at 6:14 AM

You better rethink your statement. Soon, this world our Country will not be the same. You better keep your eyes out for the same thing that happened in India. The Creature will not keep us safe. No matter what you think. If you don’t think that Jihad cannot happen here. You are not in a mental state of reality. If you have small kids, I hope to god you start thinking. But, Liberal’s don’t know how to think, see the truth or even tell the truth. For god sakes, wake up and start being rational!

sheebe on November 28, 2008 at 10:46 AM

I want to see her face pushed into a puddle of innocent blood spilled by her offspring. The families that encourage these insane murderous pigs have gotten away with it for too long.

Sorry for the rant but I’m just so fed up with the islamo-cancer in our world.

Wine_N_Dine on November 28, 2008 at 10:04 AM

No apologies needed. I feel the same way. Have not noticed your nick. Welcome to Hot Air.

sheebe on November 28, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Islam the religion of peace………..no.

Bob Gates will be retained as Secretary of Defense. Since Obama will be president the left wing crazies will be just fine with the same policies. All that matters to them is that it is a Democratic administration.

SC.Charlie on November 28, 2008 at 11:54 AM

Gee, I woulda never guessed this would turn into a religion debate thread.

corona on November 28, 2008 at 12:24 PM

Isn’t that what Ike did with German civilians after discovery of the camps? No Godwin’s here, just sayin’.

artlover on November 28, 2008 at 10:37 AM

We were at war with Nazi Germany and we didn’t have our fancy ‘evildoer differentiator device’ to separate the good and bad guys back then-come to think of it we still don’t. In war innocent people die, but what matters is that evil in whatever form it comes in, is defeated.

It is thanks to America, Britain and other democracies we’re not presently living in a fascist totalitarian or communist state. We should never take our freedom for granted or the wars our ancestors fought and died in to give us our way of life. Today’s Nazism is Islam. Communism also remains a looming background threat.

Also why is it ok for our enemies to cry for our death and destruction but when we rightful expect theirs in return, we’re compared to Nazis? Really chill the fcuk out. We’re dealing with 7th century religious nutjobs that stone, flog and hang women for ‘adultery’ or ‘allowing themselves to be raped’ or throw acid in women’s faces to disfigure because of rejection.

They kill people who leave Islam or refuse to convert to it, they idolize a man (Mohammad) who was a pedophile and mass murderer, they riot over cartoons and threaten us with more 9/11s and beheadings, they danced in the streets when our towers fell, they’re sick, demented, psychotic, bloodthirsty savages. They don’t need our sympathy, need need our bullets to the temple.

There is no moral equivalence here and no question that our culture is superior, more civilized, tolerant and free than their backwards retarded death cult. We should never apologize or feel ashamed for who we are. They’re evil, not us and we’re justified in eliminating them as we did the Nazis because they are a real and serious danger to our civilization.

thinkagain on November 28, 2008 at 4:17 PM

Imagine if this happened in NYC or DC (where I live). I find this concerning, as the thank-God soon-to-be ex-president would say. What the hell were their intelligence agencies doing??

jim_collins on November 29, 2008 at 12:57 AM

thinkagain on November 28, 2008 at 4:17 PM

Let me add any ‘civilian’ Germans who might not have been affiliated with the Nazis but voted for them did deserve being firebombed.

Just as those who voted for Obama and if he turns into another Hitler, would deserve any resulting backlash that results. You can’t cry innocence if your helped elect a mass murderer.

thinkagain on November 29, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Sadly I don’t think this event will wake up the Indians. Their corrupt politicians will say it’s “over” now but IT hasn’t even begun yet. Islam is hungry for land and its fighters will do any atrocity at all to take it. They think they’re doing their god allah a favor. It’s like Norsemen fighting for Odin.

Mojave Mark on November 30, 2008 at 10:04 AM

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