If not, the diligence of India’s security professionals may be the only thing that stopped it. India declared a state of alert and named four members of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba that reportedly infiltrated into Mumbai to stage a repeat of the murderous spree from just over two years ago:
Police issued an alert Thursday in Mumbai, saying four members of a militant group had entered the Indian city and were suspected of plotting violence on the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Himanshu Roy, Mumbai’s joint commissioner of police, said the suspected terrorists belong to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, the Pakistan-based group that was blamed for a violent siege on Mumbai in November 2008.
The four men were identified as Abdul Kareem Moosa, Noor Abu Ilahi, Walid Jinnah and Mahfooz Alam, each between 20 and 30 years old. At a news conference, Roy released a sketch of Jinnah.
Roy said the four recently “sneaked into the city to carry out extremely dangerous activity.”
India began closing tourist spots yesterday and warning citizens about potential carjackings and car bombs. Traffic will be “restricted,” and more security will also be present in Ahmadabad, north of Mumbai. The precautions will stay in place for 15 days. Foreign consulates have been warned to enhance security during this period, “especially those of the United States and European nations,” according to CNN’s source.
There is some good news here, though, which is that LeT’s internal security appears to be compromised. Not only did India know about the pending attack, they even had the names and the approximate time and point of entry. Mumbai would not have been an intuitive guess; LeT had already terrorized that city, and one might have expected a strike elsewhere in India, perhaps New Delhi, instead. That kind of detailed intelligence has to have come from inside LeT, perhaps from more than just one source. It appears, at least for the moment, that India used the two years since the Mumbai siege well.