Friday, December 5, 2008

More on Mumbai

An article in the Christian Science Monitor analyzes the Mumbai attack as a template for possible future terrorist operations.  The experts quoted in the article emphasize the skillful coordination, and what one calls a "tremendous amount of strategic thinking" on the part of the terrorists.  They point out that no police force is prepared for that type of attack.

Despite the apparent sophistication of the Mumbai operation, I remain unconvinced that a great deal of skill, training, and coordination is necessary to pull off a major terrorist attack.  Imagine ten terrorists with civilian weapons and homemade bombs.  They split into three groups with their weapons concealed under heavy coats or whatever.  Each group enters a crowded shopping mall during the Christmas season,  and they all attack at a prearranged time.  How many people would be killed, wounded, or trampled in the panic, before an effective police response took place? Give them grenades & selective fire military small arms  and the number of casualties would be even greater.

1 comment:

  1. Imagine ten terrorists with civilian weapons and homemade bombs.

    It takes a good deal of preparation to even use these well. I'm not sure why, but consider the following cases:

    1. Palestinian terrorism has always come from organized groups, even though there are plenty of independent Palestinians who are pissed off and armed. The average Palestinian who's willing to take up arms against Israel cares little for Hamas's politics; if he could, he'd mount an attack without the backing of Hamas.

    2. Communist terrorism in Europe ended the minute the Soviet Union collapsed and could no longer fund it. The communists didn't suddenly have a change of heart in 1990.

    3. Similarly, Maoist guerrillas have never sprung up without being propped up first, and most disappeared after China stopped funding them.

    4. The US has millions of unreconstructed racists, most of whom are armed because of lax gun control. And yet the FBI has been able to keep hate groups from mounting many attacks. Similarly, if the racists could mount effective terrorist attacks, so could the anarchists.