Caught on tape: Stick time for captured Mumbai jihadist

The moment of arrest. Accounts vary on how it went down: Sky says he and another jihadi were trying to escape in a stolen car when the tires were blown out while the Journal claims they stopped voluntarily when they encountered a police roadblock. The turd seen being stomped here jumped out, shot at least one cop dead, and was set upon either by the remaining police, the crowd, or some combo thereof. Watch, then read on.

Why didn’t that happen elsewhere? The only detail more amazing than how few gunmen there were — 10 by most accounts, although Indian security thinks there could be five more on the lam or as many as 13 if you count logistical support — is how they managed to move through the streets of a city of 18 million people without stumbling around a corner or into some other area where they might be surprised from behind. Read WaPo’s account of jihadis firing inside the railway station and from the sidewalk outside an outdoor cafe for minutes on end and then leaving unobstructed. Here in NYC, with the NYPD never more than a few blocks away, that’s unimaginable. The Journal explains the difference:

B.S. Sidhu, head of the Railway Protection Force for the Mumbai region, says that while some officers tried to fight back, there was little his force could do. Most police officers at the station — as they are throughout India — were unarmed or carried only bamboo sticks known as lathis. More than 40 people, including three police officers, were killed in just a few minutes, authorities said. The wounded survivors screamed for help amid acrid smoke, piles of slumped, bloodied bodies and spilling suitcases…

At about 9:45 p.m., two gunmen, slender and in their mid-20s, ran up the circular driveway at the entrance to the Trident. They shot the security guard and two bellhops. The hotel had metal detectors, but none of its security personnel carried weapons because of the difficulties in obtaining gun permits from the Indian government, according to the hotel company’s chairman, P.R.S. Oberoi.

Some cops who did have guns didn’t fire back. “We’re talking about an early 20th century police system trying to deal with a 21st century threat,” one Indian analyst told the LA Times in a piece brimming with painful details to support his thesis. They had intel suggesting that something was up too, including info that the attack would come by sea and that the Taj hotel could be targeted, but it was “lost in the system.” India’s head of national security is already out, but needless to say, the reforms that are coming will go a lot further than just personnel changes. Modernizing weaponry, intel, training, and command and control is the beginning; expect U.S. and Israeli security coordination with India to become much closer, also needless to say. Exit invitation: Look at this face.