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Terrorist attack in Mumbai
November 26, 2008 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Massive coordinated terrorist attack in Mumbai. The news is pouring in, but not from traditional sources. The latest breaking news seems to be coming from Twitter, many from people on the scene. One local has been snapping photos, and Flickr just gave him a free three-month account to upload the images. Metroblogging in Mumbai has been updating the news as it comes in as well.
posted by Astro Zombie (571 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mahalo has been tracking the details: Multiple sites in the Indian city of Mumbai have been attacked with bombs and gunfire in a coordinated terror attack. The Times of India has reported at least 80 people dead and 250 injured in at least seven separate attacks.1 Gunmen reportedly opened fire at several sites throughout the city, including a crowded train station, a popular restaurant and several luxury hotels. The terrorists apparently sought victims with British or American passports.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:22 PM on November 26, 2008


"We are under fire, there is shooting at the gate".

Recent Bombings in India:
May 13: Jaipur (63 killed, over 216 wounded)
July 25: Bangalore (2 killed, more 20 wounded)
Sept 13: Delhi (30 killed, over 100 wounded)
Sept 27: Delhi (3 killed, 23 more wounded)
Oct 21: Imphal (17 killed, 30 wounded)
Sept 29: Gujarat and Maharastra (8 dead)
Nov 26: Mumbai (At least 80 dead, 250 wounded, hostages currently being held)

Yesterday, India and Pakistan held anti-terrorism talks.
posted by ageispolis at 1:22 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


This Boing Boing post also gives a number of other sources.
posted by peacheater at 1:23 PM on November 26, 2008


There is already a Google map showing the locations of the attacks.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:23 PM on November 26, 2008


Hemant Karkare, Chief of India's Anti-Terrorist Squad is also said said to have been killed.
posted by ageispolis at 1:27 PM on November 26, 2008


India and Pakistan held anti-terrorism talks.
Considering the shady role of the Pakistani ISI in funding and supporting terrorist groups that's a bit like the US and Al Qaeda getting together for an anti-terrorism pow-wow.
posted by PenDevil at 1:27 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


There is a quote on Sky News that I presume is an eyewitness report stating that they were looking for anyone with a 'US or British Passport.'
posted by numberstation at 1:27 PM on November 26, 2008


Oh god.
posted by The Whelk at 1:28 PM on November 26, 2008


Jesus, the shooter in this photo looks like he's about fifteen.
posted by dersins at 1:28 PM on November 26, 2008


CNN and the Huffington post are both looking to Twitter for updates.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:29 PM on November 26, 2008


They seem to be targeting police and anti-terror specialists:

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. [Times of India]
posted by Iridic at 1:29 PM on November 26, 2008


Oh, shit.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:32 PM on November 26, 2008


And a wikipedia page is now up.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:33 PM on November 26, 2008


'Dozens of hostages' are reported to have been taken - presumably American and British ones. The demands they make shall no doubt make this a lot clearer as to who they are. Dersins - that photo of the shooter is unbelievable. What is the source?
posted by numberstation at 1:33 PM on November 26, 2008


Ah shit. this is terrible.
posted by dhruva at 1:34 PM on November 26, 2008


'Dozens of hostages' are reported to have been taken - presumably American and British ones.
The Times of India reported that at the Taj 15 people were taken hostage, of which 7 are foreigners.
posted by peacheater at 1:36 PM on November 26, 2008


Iridic, those police officers weren't targets of the attacks. They were apparently killed when engaging the terrorists.
posted by Gyan at 1:37 PM on November 26, 2008


There is a quote on Sky News that I presume is an eyewitness report stating that they were looking for anyone with a 'US or British Passport.'

A NBC correspondant on-site in Mumbai said that an eyewitness account which was broadcast locally, but has not yet been idependently verified by NBC, did indicate that guests in the lobbies of the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi hotels were interrogated at gunpoint as to their nationality -- and that those with US or British passports were taken away and held as hostages.
posted by ericb at 1:38 PM on November 26, 2008


Dersins - that photo of the shooter is unbelievable. What is the source?

This flickr link credits NDTV.
posted by dersins at 1:41 PM on November 26, 2008


Ugh. Please stay safe, Mefites of India.

This photo appears to show citizens linking hands to restrain the crowd from spilling over into the disaster area. If so, that's a damn fine example of group co-operation in a crisis.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:42 PM on November 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


that photo of the shooter is unbelievable. What is the source?

http://maharashtratimes.indiatimes.com/articleshowpics/3761459.cms

posted by chlorus at 1:42 PM on November 26, 2008


"Deccan Mujahideen" is a group we will all hear a lot about in the forthcoming days and weeks. They have sent mass email communications to media organizations around the world claiming responsibility.

I have to link once again to dersins claimed photo of one of the shooters. Speechless.
posted by numberstation at 1:42 PM on November 26, 2008


Eyewitness report from someone who escaped a hostage stituation: Jacob said that gunmen were just going around shooting and had granades "as you see in video games".

"It went on for 15 to 20 minutes. After they caused an impact, the gunmen moved away and that is when managed to escape with some others. The roads outside wore a deserted look and the first thing that crossed my mind was to get to the Four Seasons in Worli where I was staying," said Jacob.

posted by Astro Zombie at 1:43 PM on November 26, 2008


> Ugh. Please stay safe, Mefites of India.

...and guests.
posted by ardgedee at 1:43 PM on November 26, 2008


Considering the shady role of the Pakistani ISI in funding and supporting terrorist groups that's a bit like the US and Al Qaeda getting together for an anti-terrorism pow-wow.

You could say the same of Hindu Nationalist groups that may at the very least, be indirectly funding Hindi extremists. There are elements of both sides guilty of fueling the fire, as well as efforts from both to cease this chaos. And let's not forget Kashmir or the Maoists in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
posted by ageispolis at 1:44 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Twitter seems to be the Web 2 version of old BBS chats, watching one during the election was one of the first times that the application of this technology actually seemed to make sense to me as being useful.

Here I can see that usefulness again, albeit under horrible circumstances.
posted by quin at 1:45 PM on November 26, 2008


NDTV has live coverage and constant updates.

Days like this I wonder if people were a mistake, as a species.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:46 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's a terrible event, but it is fascinating to watch it play out on Twitter, especially as people start attempting to wrestle down the number of Tweets that are speculative to try and reduce the noise.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:47 PM on November 26, 2008


Streaming footage of CNN International is available, complete with unbelievably insensitive blood-spattered white update bar at the top of the screen. Good grief, WTF CNN?
posted by porn in the woods at 1:47 PM on November 26, 2008


One local has been snapping photos, and Flickr just gave him a free three-month account to upload the images.

CNN reported that he -- Vinu -- heard two loud explosions and looked out his window. He's apparently in the vicinity of the Taj hotel, but then heard about the attack on the train/metro station on the television news. As he left his building to head there he discovered that the petrol station in his neighborhood had been destroyed and there was debris in his street. He is busy uploading the photos to his Flickr account. He also maintains a blog -- on which I assume he'll soon be updating info.
posted by ericb at 1:48 PM on November 26, 2008


Good flickr photos here
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:49 PM on November 26, 2008


God damnit.
posted by booknerd at 1:49 PM on November 26, 2008


How much of the twitter feed is true and how much is rumor-mongering? For example: Terrorist organization now has access to all police and rescue attempt information via hijacked police vehicle seems extremely unlikely to me.

Maybe some (most?) of these reports are being garbled. It reminds me of the panic of 9/11 when "one of the hijacked planes was heading towards Los Angeles" turned into "There's a hijacked plane heading for Los Angeles" on ABC News.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:50 PM on November 26, 2008


"Deccan Mujahideen" is a group we will all hear a lot about in the forthcoming days and weeks. They have sent mass email communications to media organizations around the world claiming responsibility.

Is this from the same group?
posted by shadow vector at 1:50 PM on November 26, 2008


It's strange to watch it play out in real time like this as well. Reports are now coming in about explosions and smoke pouring out of the Taj Hotel.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:51 PM on November 26, 2008


This photo appears to show citizens linking hands to restrain the crowd from spilling over into the disaster area. If so, that's a damn fine example of group co-operation in a crisis.

The people of Mumbai are known to display courage and humanity through crisis.
posted by ageispolis at 1:52 PM on November 26, 2008


This is horrible.

I wonder if there's a connection between these attacks and the arrest yesterday of the alleged ringleader of the 2006 Mumbai train bombings, Raheel Sheikh.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:52 PM on November 26, 2008


From television pictures, it looks like the iconic Taj Mahal hotel will lose its facade.
posted by Gyan at 1:53 PM on November 26, 2008


From the article I linked:

The Mumbai ATS had supplied relevant details to Interpol after which a Red Corner notice was issued against Sheikh.

Sheikh is supposed to have links with Pakistan based terror organistation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), where he is involved in training of new recruits.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad of Mumbai Police, which probed the blasts, has so far chargsheeted 28 accused in the case.

posted by oneirodynia at 1:53 PM on November 26, 2008


Multiple reports coming from the Twitter feed that the Taj Hotel is on fire.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:54 PM on November 26, 2008


Maybe some (most?) of these reports are being garbled. It reminds me of the panic of 9/11 when "one of the hijacked planes was heading towards Los Angeles" turned into "There's a hijacked plane heading for Los Angeles" on ABC News.

Yeah. As with any news that is reported and then rereported as it happens, there is a lot that is being misstated or garbled. We probably won't get a clearer picture for a few days, so it is best to take a lot of what is coming out with a grain of salt.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:54 PM on November 26, 2008


The Flickr stream currently has 666 photos. I am really not normally one to point that out, but...

shit.
posted by nosila at 1:56 PM on November 26, 2008


Pictures of the Taj Hotel
posted by Keith Talent at 1:56 PM on November 26, 2008


Ah crap.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:57 PM on November 26, 2008


A screenshot of the Taj Hotel burning.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:57 PM on November 26, 2008


The Taj Mahal hotel is aflame! It looks very bad from the CNN-IBN coverage.
posted by peacheater at 1:57 PM on November 26, 2008


Another.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:58 PM on November 26, 2008


"Deccan Mujahideen" is a group we will all hear a lot about in the forthcoming days and weeks. They have sent mass email communications to media organizations around the world claiming responsibility.

A September 15th article has them "threatening to carry out attacks in Mumbai" in retaliation for police "raids at Ansarnagar, Mograpada in Andheri and the harassment and trouble you created there for the Muslims."

The D.M. seem to be a cell or offshoot of the Indian Mujahideen, a "shadow amalgam of the SIMI [Students Islamic Movement of India] and Lashkar-e-Toiba [an Afghan-born, Pakistan based militant organization]."
posted by Iridic at 1:58 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


BBC news 25 (live streaming here) have reported 'at least 40 hostages have been taken'.
posted by numberstation at 2:00 PM on November 26, 2008


The Taj Mahal hotel is aflame! It looks very bad from the CNN-IBN coverage.

Christ, it looks very bad. Did they manage to evacuate?
posted by Iridic at 2:00 PM on November 26, 2008



Iridic, those police officers weren't targets of the attacks. They were apparently killed when engaging the terrorists.

(speculation) The ATS was clearly working with Interpol to have Raheel Sheikh arrested and extradited. I have to wonder if this was part of the intent of these attacks: to kill as many members of the ATS as possible.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:01 PM on November 26, 2008


Live streaming. Currently showing the Taj on fire.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:01 PM on November 26, 2008


Christ, it looks very bad. Did they manage to evacuate?

The Twitter feed has reports of gunfire and explosions going on in the hotel, and no one seems to know if the hostages inside were released.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:02 PM on November 26, 2008


Christ, or whomever, I hope they get out safe
posted by woodway at 2:03 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


BBC pictures.
posted by ericb at 2:03 PM on November 26, 2008


ANy speculation of Al Queda involvement? Or is this strictly local?
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on November 26, 2008


Fuck. This is terrible.
posted by homunculus at 2:05 PM on November 26, 2008


Sounds like people are still stuck in the Taj. Reports of screams from inside the building.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:06 PM on November 26, 2008


ANy speculation of Al Queda involvement? Or is this strictly local?

Not that I've heard.

As above, "Deccan Mujahideen' is a group we will all hear a lot about in the forthcoming days and weeks."
posted by ericb at 2:06 PM on November 26, 2008


Live streaming via IBN
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:07 PM on November 26, 2008


As Frank Gardner has just stated on bbc news - this is a well organized, synchronized attack across multiple locations. This pushes it up from being something 'strictly local' to something that is reverberating around the halls of the Whitehall and Washington DC right now.
posted by numberstation at 2:08 PM on November 26, 2008


It's amazing to me how information is managing to flow out of the region. NDTV's servers have been crashing from traffic. How are people there able to even connect to the servers for Flickr and Twitter?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:08 PM on November 26, 2008


Just saw someone climbing a really long ladder up into the Taj hotel on the Star News coverage being shown on CNN.
posted by peacheater at 2:09 PM on November 26, 2008


Also, although the news is focused on the Raj right now, terrorists have also taken hostages at the Cama Hospital, which is, to a large extent, a children's hospital.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:09 PM on November 26, 2008


Iridic, possible, but not IMHO, plausible. These particular officers, except one, need not have engaged the terrorists at all.

Astro Zombie, there's regular shots of gunfire heard from inside the Taj i.e. the standoff between the 4-5 terrorists and the Indian army. Apparently, there are at least 7 hostages.
posted by Gyan at 2:10 PM on November 26, 2008


He also advised that his understanding is that there are presently 3 seperate hostage situations occurring. According to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office they have no confirmation that any British targerts have been held but surely this is just a matter of time.
posted by numberstation at 2:10 PM on November 26, 2008


This is very bad.
posted by WPW at 2:10 PM on November 26, 2008


mixdev: RT @dkris: Pyramid statergy (sic?) being used in Cama Hospital & Oberoi hotel by Army

What's a Pyramid strategy? I presume he meant strategy, but who knows.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:12 PM on November 26, 2008


This pushes it up from being something 'strictly local' to something that is reverberating around the halls of the Whitehall and Washington DC right now.

You betcha. With Americans, British and other nationalities allegedly being held hostage the Presidential Situation Room, the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, Special Forces, etc. are buzzing right now.
posted by ericb at 2:13 PM on November 26, 2008


Just heard on TV: an apparent escapee reported Taj stairwells full of dead bodies.
posted by Gyan at 2:14 PM on November 26, 2008


I pray this reaches a swift conclusion without more lives lost.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:14 PM on November 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


#mumbai people still trapped at the burning 5th floor :(

#mumbai Taj stairwell is full of dead bodies

6 blasts in TAJ, 1 in Oberoi #mumbai


Watching the horrors people are experiencing as a placid metronome like ticking update on my screen might well become my nightmare material for the foreseeable future.
posted by quin at 2:15 PM on November 26, 2008


What's a Pyramid strategy?

Triage?
posted by WPW at 2:15 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I should caution that Indian TV news is very sensationalistic; moreso than 24/7 news in the US. Even in this situation, I wouldn't put it past them to relay rumors even if aware or having an inkling of their falsity.
posted by Gyan at 2:18 PM on November 26, 2008


I don't know what else to say, except this is terrible.
posted by rtha at 2:19 PM on November 26, 2008


The fire at the Taj seems to under control now, and evacuation is under way. No word on additional casualities from there yet.
posted by stumbling at 2:21 PM on November 26, 2008


My family was supposed to fly into India today from Thailand, but the Chiang Mai airport has been taken over by protesters.
posted by sciurus at 2:21 PM on November 26, 2008


#Mumbai Help blog here if you're trying to reach someone in #Mumbai:

Can We Help?
posted by The Whelk at 2:21 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


2 terrorists in the Taj killed; 2 left.
posted by Gyan at 2:22 PM on November 26, 2008


Twitter is coming of age here.
posted by bonaldi at 2:22 PM on November 26, 2008


This is inhumane. Rebellion through terrorism just feeds back into further repression and their violence only propagates more violence. Do they even seek peace at the end of their efforts? Or for them is life nothing but a war? If they see this as a 'last resort' towards change, then there's more reasonable ways of achieving their ends. These are brainwashed beasts with bombs, shooting and blowing up whoever they damn well please (the Western media stresses they wanted American/British passports, but let's not forget they also targeted the main CST). An ideal will never be more valuable than innocent human life.

R.I.P. to the Indian police, citizens of Mumbai, foreign tourists, and my prayers to those that are wounded or still in danger. Fuck terrorism.
posted by ageispolis at 2:27 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's a lot of bad data being tossed around. I had to check three times to make sure this was the Taj Mahal hotel we were talking about and not the actual Taj Mahal.

"Wrong city!" I kept muttering... but many news stories had it wrong.
posted by rokusan at 2:27 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


2 terrorists in the Taj killed
Good.
posted by stargell at 2:27 PM on November 26, 2008


It is so crazy to think that all these places I've been to are under attack like this. I've eaten in the Leopold Cafe and lived in Colaba (where the first attacks took place) for three months. One of the major scientific institutions of India -- the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research -- is located there and I did a summer internship there. I can hardly imagine what it must be like for those in Mumbai or those who lived there for years.
posted by peacheater at 2:28 PM on November 26, 2008


50 people rescued via the emergency exit of the Taj.
posted by peacheater at 2:29 PM on November 26, 2008


Rebellion through terrorism just feeds back into further repression and their violence only propagates more violence.

Not that it will apply here, but note that any rebellion that is successful is never called terrorism after the fact. If the Boston Tea Party had been the end of that little affair...

(History is written by the winners, and all that.)
posted by rokusan at 2:30 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sorry to link again to this photo but for newcomers to this post who have just come on this is being reported as a photo of one of the shooters at the train station. Cannot be more than 15 years old in my opinion! Cradling what looks to be an AK47 with great ease.
posted by numberstation at 2:31 PM on November 26, 2008


the comments in the blog that The Whelk linked are simultaneously horrifying and compassionate - people abroad desperately trying to find relatives, and others desperately trying to help them.
posted by desjardins at 2:35 PM on November 26, 2008


Not that it will apply here, but note that any rebellion that is successful is never called terrorism after the fact. If the Boston Tea Party had been the end of that little affair...

(History is written by the winners, and all that.)


I find it hard to believe that the people involved in the Boston Tea Party could be called terrorists, or could even be compared to the animals who are carrying out this attack.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:36 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not that it will apply here, but note that any rebellion that is successful is never called terrorism after the fact. If the Boston Tea Party had been the end of that little affair...

(History is written by the winners, and all that.)


History is written by the winners, yes, but the Boston Tea Party isn't a random slaughter of innocent individuals with grenades and assault rifles. Perhaps that why it was successful. It was creative. It inspired Gandhi. There's irrational, horrific terrorism, the kind we're seeing manifesting in the world today, and there's coordinated, rational, just cause for rebellion. These extremists are not of the latter.
posted by ageispolis at 2:40 PM on November 26, 2008 [5 favorites]


tweetgrid is an easy way to follow the twitter (thread? chatter?) on mumbai
posted by desjardins at 2:40 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


CNN headline streaming across the top of my television, "Terrorists Take Over Mumbai"

jesus, this is bad.
posted by Glibpaxman at 2:40 PM on November 26, 2008


If the Boston Tea Party had been the end of that little affair...

Yes, because destroying a bunch of tea is equivalent to killing eighty people.
posted by oaf at 2:41 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sons of Liberty: Patriots or Terrorists?
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on November 26, 2008


Curiously, this CNN article simply refer to them as "gunmen", refusing to commit itself in anyway to any other description. I am firmly of the belief that the word "terrorist" has been horribly over used, but does CNN serious think that this could be [purely] criminal organization activity or the like? Very weird. And the usage of the word rampage.... more like college kids on spring break or something.
posted by Bovine Love at 2:43 PM on November 26, 2008


desjardins, the mumbaihelp blog was something of a central switchboard for people trying to reach their friends and relatives in past attacks and crises in the area. I remember calling up people from Bangalore in July 06.
posted by stumbling at 2:43 PM on November 26, 2008


Kind of wonder why the future is turning into a Terry Gilliam movie.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:45 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not that it will apply here, but note that any rebellion that is successful is never called terrorism after the fact.

While the American Revolution succeeded as a result of "guerilla ('small war') tactics," there is a significant difference between "guerilla warfare" and "terrorism." Most significant difference is the fact that civilians are not targeted in "guerilla offenses," but most significantly are in "terrorist offenses."
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on November 26, 2008


If the Boston Tea Party had been the end of that little affair...

Dressing up as Indians and throwing crates into the water ≠ indiscriminate slaughter of civilians.
posted by EarBucket at 2:48 PM on November 26, 2008


(Not that there isn't a fair history of US involvement in that sort of thing)
posted by Artw at 2:49 PM on November 26, 2008


(Not that there isn't a fair history of US involvement in that sort of thing)

Certainly, and I'd be the first to call the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (for instance) a terrorist act. But the Mumbai attacks aren't in any way comparable to peaceful (if rowdy and destructive) political demonstration.
posted by EarBucket at 2:55 PM on November 26, 2008


Guess what, this isn't about the US.
posted by proj at 3:01 PM on November 26, 2008 [34 favorites]


Updated map showing the locations of attacks.
posted by stumbling at 3:01 PM on November 26, 2008


Are we really going to have a "who's the bigger terrorist?" pissing contest?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:02 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


They certainly seem to be about maximising international attention.

Also, well, you did kind of invent modern muslim international terrorism.
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on November 26, 2008


This time last year I was drinking in the lobby bar of the Taj Mahal hotel there on the waterfront.

Mumbai does not deserve this.
posted by nudar at 3:12 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, well, you did kind of invent modern muslim international terrorism.

Even if that were true, can we PLEASE not make this news into a screed against US foreign policy?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:12 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


The terrorists apparently sought victims with British or American passports.

Guess what, this isn't about the US.

proj: please explain.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:22 PM on November 26, 2008


I have a very bad feeling about this.

A very bad feeling.
posted by tkchrist at 3:25 PM on November 26, 2008


I should caution that Indian TV news is very sensationalistic

The Indian anchorwoman just claimed something along the lines of, "never before has such random violence happened on such a scale," and that there's "indiscriminate terrorism on the streets of Mumbai."

I still think we have the market on sensationalistic journalism cornered here in the USA, though.
posted by Rykey at 3:25 PM on November 26, 2008


MeTa for people who want to discuss US policy.
posted by desjardins at 3:32 PM on November 26, 2008


NDTV reporting that the Army has gotten the Taj and the Trident situations under control now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:32 PM on November 26, 2008


This will have effects on India's economy in the future if Western firms start thinking twice about doing business there. Which I'm sure was on the minds of the terrorists when they planned this.
posted by tommasz at 3:34 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Hindi news channels are the worst culprits, the English ones only occasionally.
posted by Gyan at 3:34 PM on November 26, 2008


Another apparent photo of two of the terrorists, one of whom appears to be the same (child!) I posted a link to earlier in the thread.
posted by dersins at 3:36 PM on November 26, 2008


I have a very bad feeling about this.

A very bad feeling.


Yeah, this seems like it could have some lasting and bad effects.
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on November 26, 2008


I've started this post 3 times and I'm still not sure where to go with it. There have been a couple of comments here referring to the people who carried out these attacks as brainwashed beasts. I think this is wrong. They performed an extreme and deadly attack in a short amount of time on a number of targets killing 70-80 people that we know of at the moment. This indicates a highly motivated and clever cell capable of advanced planning, targeting Americans and British citizens in particular.

Dehumanise them seems to the rule of law in battle. They are beasts, they are not human, they are not like us.

But it's a vicious circle. We think they're beasts because they kill without conscience. They think we're beasts because we kill without conscience, because our foreign policies command it. They're the beasts because it's convenient and they're in our way and we torture them and kill them because it's easier to think they're not human while we do so. And in retaliation they target more of us because we're the beasts. More death. Both sides treating each other as something less than human.

I despair. And I don't see and end to it.

However, those pictures of civilians holding back the crowds from flying into the disaster area does help me realise that there are humans out there looking out for their fellow man and woman and that does recoup some of the loss I've felt for our species tonight.

.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:50 PM on November 26, 2008 [10 favorites]


The way these things play out, I'd be very surprised if this didn't escalate into a wave of "let's go out & kill a bunch of completely random & unrelated Muslims" - followed, naturally, by equally bloody reprisals.

A workmate of mine - a Hindu - was telling me once how after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, he saw one of his colleagues, a Sikh engineer working on a dam construction program in the middle of the country, hacked to death by a mob of self-appointed Hindu vigilantes.

That sort of thing seems to happen all too often in India.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:58 PM on November 26, 2008 [5 favorites]


This will have effects on India's economy in the future if Western firms start thinking twice about doing business there. Which I'm sure was on the minds of the terrorists when they planned this.

If you've been to Bali any time in the past few years, you'll have seen the various anti-terrorism t-shirts and similar items for sale. Ask anyone about them and you will get the palpable loathing the locals feel toward the perpetrators of these crimes and how it has directly affected their livelihood.

On the positive side, this means few people these operatives can trust. On the downside, expect hunch-based violence perpetrated by the police in coming months. This is not going to be a good time in India for anyone.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:01 PM on November 26, 2008


The Indian anchorwoman just claimed something along the lines of, "never before has such random violence happened on such a scale," and that there's "indiscriminate terrorism on the streets of Mumbai."

I still think we have the market on sensationalistic journalism cornered here in the USA, though.


Er, no. There was this thing called The Partition, which she probably knows about.

This woman definitely takes the gulab jamun for sensationalism.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:02 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck.

I don't know what else to say. I have a friend who may be in Mumbai (she was supposed to leave for Andhra Pradesh soon), I have no way to check. I'm guessing that she's not going to log onto facebook anytime soon. So worried.

Please let this end...well...less bad than I fear.
posted by LMGM at 4:08 PM on November 26, 2008


the Boston Tea Party isn't a random slaughter of innocent individuals...

You know, pilers-on, I started my comment with "Not that it applies here, but..." and then everyone responded as if I had said the opposite.

I was saying that terrorists will never win. If they do, they're won't be "terrorists" anymore, they'll be some kind of liberator or freedom fighter or revolutionary hero.

The Tea Party line was about winners defining the language, that's all, in that we would look at history and define roles differently later.

I didn't mean to call the American Revolutionists terrorists, as y'all could notice if you check the posting history on how I dislike when that word is used so broadly. But nobody's going to know that, so I should not have placed those two thoughts so close together, thus sowing confusion. My bad.

Yes, obviously THESE clowns are in a different category. But they probably think they're heroes, and if in some impossible future world they "won" whatever the hell they think they're fighting for, the historical record would end up bending to accommodate that.
posted by rokusan at 4:08 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hold the presses! Shane Warne is stranded in Singapore!
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:11 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


There have been a couple of comments here referring to the people who carried out these attacks as brainwashed beasts. I think this is wrong.

It's not dehumanising terrorists who kill innocent individuals by calling them 'brainwashed beasts'. An American soldier who willingly kills an unarmed civilian in Iraq? A brainwashed beast. Of course those who act beastly are still human beings, I'm not denying their status as a homo sapien nor am I dehumanizing them below the status of a person or an individual. Rather, they are acting as brainwashed beasts by being blinded by an ideal that justifies the killing of innocent individuals.

This indicates a highly motivated and clever cell capable of advanced planning, targeting Americans and British citizens in particular.

In particular to garner the international media attention they wanted. They also hijacked a police van and shot innocent Indian citizens on the street, bombed a crowded railway station (with little to no tourists at all, etc). It may have been clever, with advanced planning, but its monstrous. (And yes, so is unjustified war/genocide/irrational inhuman action).

I mean beast in the sense that violence like this is irrational, counterproductive, and inhumane. I don't they're killing without conscience, just a twisted conscience. It's not a viscous circle if we give these terrorists a fair trial, but it is if we execute them with the same irrational passion. So maybe to qualify, they're not beasts, but acting as such.

It's the same reasoning I see the execution of Hussein as part of this 'vicious circle'. You're misconstruing my statements if you see my comments as black/white battle. I know full well it's a very gray issue, but the willful killing of innocent, unarmed individuals for the purposes of an ideal, for garnering media attention, as a means to an end, by any agent be it a terrorist or government, is to me clearly black and white, wrong.
posted by ageispolis at 4:12 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


The way these things play out, I'd be very surprised if this didn't escalate into a wave of "let's go out & kill a bunch of completely random & unrelated Muslims" - followed, naturally, by equally bloody reprisals.

It certainly will happen, and it's equally as horrific to think of the innocent muslims that will die or be dragged out onto the streets through the retaliation of this as well.
posted by ageispolis at 4:14 PM on November 26, 2008


What time EST were the attacks? I have a friend who may be in Mumbai right now, and we last heard from her at 1:30 today.
posted by footnote at 4:20 PM on November 26, 2008


If they are acting like beasts, which beasts are we talking about, specifically? Orangutans with sticks? Octopi with semi-automatic weapons? Polar bears with lasers strapped to their heads?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:21 PM on November 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


'They were very young, like boys really'
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM on November 26, 2008


If they are acting like beasts, which beasts are we talking about, specifically? Orangutans with sticks? Octopi with semi-automatic weapons? Polar bears with lasers strapped to their heads?

Good point. Somewhat pedantic though.

The folks who carried out indiscriminate attacks against anyone and everyone in Mumbai today are actually monsters, not beasts.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:27 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


For the record, I am favoriting this, but I like nothing about it.

(good post, tho)
posted by LMGM at 4:28 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


footnote: "Gunmen opened fire at about 2300 local time (1730 GMT) at the sites in southern Mumbai." (BBC). 1730 GMT is 1230 US/Eastern.
posted by edd at 4:28 PM on November 26, 2008


I know full well it's a very gray issue

Good - can you go into it more? Because the media, or rather CNN specifically, is pissing me off. I know much better than to turn to Fox or something because it'll be even worse. Here's the issue I always have with this shitty loop-the-same-footage-4,000 times crap journalism.

Why?

I read the Deccan Herald article and sure it's easy to launch into "beast" mode, but you know what? I can't figure out how we should (as humans) stop this sort of thing if we don't get the chain of information that explains everything. The group talks about women and children being violated, and all sorts of things.

Sure their thinking is jacked up if it ends in something like this, but I want to know where it goes off track. The people, including the kid with the crazy look in the picture holding a gun, are not martians. They have brains. They are trying to use violence to achieve their means.

"Strange Ways" - Some will go of they own free will to die, others take them with you when they blow sky high - what's the difference, all you get is lost children.

2 weeks from now we'll still be here, the vast majority of us chalking it up to beast mode, instead of understanding exactly what happened, where things went wrong, what was misconstrued or improperly taken, and how events combined to lead to this.

I know a slight bit about the region, but I don't know the history of this group and anything they claim to be doing. With this shitty shallow journalism, if anybody with a good grip on this group and the history behind these events, I'd love to see a mefi-sidebar type post about it. Because I damn sure aint gettin it from CNN or any place on television.
posted by cashman at 4:29 PM on November 26, 2008 [15 favorites]


i hurt.

i was 18 years old, barely in India for a month, in a three wheeler taxi, quite close to the hospital area, when news came over the driver's radio that Indira Gandhi had died. He turned to me and said, Listen, I'm taking you back home. there's going to be "danga pharsad" (chaos and terror)

fuck, woke up this morning and the first thing my mother says to me is "mumbai"

they've lived through independence and partition and all. can you imagine what the images that the news media feeds into our living rooms is doing to the older generation who SAW and lived through the tearing apart of this country before?

fuck
posted by infini at 4:30 PM on November 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


thank you, edd. I'll assume she's fine then.
posted by footnote at 4:32 PM on November 26, 2008


I'm seeing reports on Twitter of another blast ten minutes ago.
posted by oaf at 4:32 PM on November 26, 2008


.
posted by dhartung at 4:33 PM on November 26, 2008


I hear you, infini. India seems determined to keep breaking my heart, even when I'm thousands of miles away.

.
posted by bookish at 4:35 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


'They were very young, like boys really'

This is all horribly reminiscent of the whole 9/11 planes in the air thing.
posted by Artw at 4:36 PM on November 26, 2008


Er... cut and pasted the wrong text some how, that was supposed to be in response to oaf.
posted by Artw at 4:37 PM on November 26, 2008


Anyone know why this is happening? What does the terrorist group want?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:38 PM on November 26, 2008


some thoughts here on observations made on the "young gunman" and the indiscriminate killing and all, Ubu Roivas touches upon some of it...

Some of this is of course strategically planned

but the energy behind the "beasts" that is being questioned in the thread?

how about some of these stresses and pressures building up and then given a gun and grenades to go play? (how much fun and stress release do you have with Doom or Grand Theft Auto?)

poverty, joblessness, hopelessness, lack of a future, nothing to lose, hunger, disease, death?
posted by infini at 4:38 PM on November 26, 2008


Sometimes, but some terrorists are very middleclass, like the doctors in the UK airport attack.
posted by Artw at 4:40 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is all horribly reminiscent of the whole 9/11 planes in the air thing.

It could be, but one of the messages I saw mentioned being awakened by the noise. It's about 6:10 in the morning in Mumbai.

I also am still seeing reports on major news outlets of hostages held in one or two hotels. If the attackers thought this through, they're going to draw this out as long as possible.

99.9% of the world can't do anything but watch and wait, anyway.
posted by oaf at 4:41 PM on November 26, 2008


Indian news channel IBN's live streaming is providing far better coverage than even CNN or the BBC.
posted by tapeguy at 4:46 PM on November 26, 2008


With this shitty shallow journalism, if anybody with a good grip on this group and the history behind these events, I'd love to see a mefi-sidebar type post about it.

I can't claim a good knowledge of what this is about, but this was in the news very recently (like about a week ago):

Police in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh must be prosecuted for torturing Muslims detained after bomb blasts last year, a rights group says.

Human Rights Watch warned of the risks of stigmatising and alienating "an entire community".

The state government admitted last week that 21 men had been tortured and would each receive $600 in compensation [...]

In a press release, Human Rights Watch said the detainees were stripped, hung upside down, severely beaten, subjected to electric shocks and otherwise ill-treated.

"They were also threatened with the torture of their relatives, particularly female relatives," the statement said.

"The police response to terrible bombings has been to round up people, simply because they happen to be Muslim, and to torture them in the hope of securing information or confessions," Ms Ganguly said.

"This stigmatises and alienates an entire community and makes counter-terrorism efforts even more difficult."


And this: Anger as Indian police who tortured terror suspects escape action:

Human rights activists today expressed outrage that Indian police officers responsible for torturing Muslims, using methods including severe beatings and electric shocks, will not be prosecuted.

The failure to act against the officers comes despite the Andhra Pradesh state government's admission that the 21 men, who were detained in the wake of a series of terror attacks in Hyderabad in May and August last year, had been tortured. The state later offered them about $600 each in compensation.

Meenakshi Ganguly, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: "The government has to prosecute those responsible so that those who use torture will not get away with it."

He added: "For a period of time, these detainees were effectively 'disappeared' persons. No one knew if they were dead or alive."

posted by UbuRoivas at 4:46 PM on November 26, 2008 [10 favorites]


CNN headline streaming across the top of my television, "Terrorists Take Over Mumbai"

jesus, this is bad.


Yeah, it's utter, unmitigated, sensationalist bullshit.

The attack is bad too.
posted by chlorus at 4:47 PM on November 26, 2008


Not that it will apply here, but note that any rebellion that is successful is never called terrorism after the fact.
The Algerian Revolution was successful, and the word "terrorism" is definitely used in regards to many of the tactics used by the rebels.
If the Boston Tea Party had been the end of that little affair...
Tea is not people.
posted by Flunkie at 4:52 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Infini: I was in almost the same situation. Was in Delhi during the assassination, and the auto driver insisted on driving us home as soon as possible.
posted by dhruva at 4:53 PM on November 26, 2008


Anyone know why this is happening? What does the terrorist group want?

Reports say they're targeting Americans and British for hostages. If true, it implies someone with a major grudge against Western powers and that sounds like al-Qaeda.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:54 PM on November 26, 2008


terrorist = evil!!! just doesn't cut it for me anymore. the flashy images on CNN got boring and then annoying quickly.

i agree with cashman. its not my area of expertise but if anyone who does know about the region and its history could put something together i would eagerly parse through it and try to figure it out.
posted by Glibpaxman at 4:55 PM on November 26, 2008


The synbcronised attack thing sounds a lot like them as well of course. The "Deccan Mujahideen' " (mentioned above) is claiming responsibility though.
posted by Artw at 4:56 PM on November 26, 2008


(probably worth noting that the state of Andhra Pradesh is properly Deccan, as opposed to Maharashtra (where Mumbai is located), so that could very well be the "Deccan Mujahaddin" link here. I'd be very surprised if this wasn't an expression of outrage or reprisal over the police torturing Muslim 'suspects' there)
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:57 PM on November 26, 2008


that sounds like al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda has practically become an ideology now, instead of merely a single identifiable group of terrorists. And yes, that makes the good guys' job that much harder.
posted by oaf at 4:57 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


They are "linked to" Al Queda, but that could mean anything.
posted by Artw at 4:57 PM on November 26, 2008


Maharashtra borders on the Deccan, to the south, at a minimum. I think parts of southern Maharashtra could be considered Deccan.
posted by QIbHom at 5:00 PM on November 26, 2008


Heartbreaking photo [graphic].
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:02 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Infini: I was in almost the same situation. Was in Delhi during the assassination, and the auto driver insisted on driving us home as soon as possible.
posted by dhruva at 4:53 PM on November 26


funny what kind of training/conditioning you pick up just living a daily life in India, no? When I was in London during hte 7/7 blasts, just 30 metres around the corner from Woburn Place when the #30 exploded, one of my first thoughts was "find shelter, you're a woman alone on the street"

artw: middle class in India and middle class in an OECD country are vastly different things
posted by infini at 5:02 PM on November 26, 2008


The history of Hindu - Muslim problems in India go back to the days of the British Raj, and in one sense are best exemplified by The Partition. If that's not an FPP yet, I think I'll find some karmic peace by pulling one together this morning.
posted by infini at 5:05 PM on November 26, 2008


Reports say they're targeting Americans and British for hostages. If true, it implies someone with a major grudge against Western powers and that sounds like al-Qaeda.

More likely that foreign hostages have a better exchange rate when trying to negotiate demands.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:08 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


If they are acting like beasts, which beasts are we talking about, specifically?
Main Entry: beast
Pronunciation: \ˈbēst\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English beste, from Anglo-French, from Latin bestia
Date: 13th century

1 a: a four-footed mammal as distinguished from a human being, a lower vertebrate, and an invertebrate

b: a lower animal as distinguished from a human being

c: an animal as distinguished from a plant

d: an animal under human control

2: a contemptible person

3: something formidably difficult to control or deal with
We're talking about definition 2 beasts, specifically.
posted by Flunkie at 5:08 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


India has been wracked by bomb attacks the past three years, which police blame on Muslim militants intent on destabilizing this largely Hindu country. Nearly 700 people have died.

Since May a militant group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen has taken credit for a string of blasts that killed more than 130 people. The most recent was in September, when a series of explosions struck a park and crowded shopping areas in the capital, New Delhi, killing 21 people and wounding about 100.

Mumbai has been hit repeatedly by terror attacks since March 1993, when Muslim underworld figures tied to Pakistani militants allegedly carried out a series of bombings on Mumbai's stock exchange, trains, hotels and gas stations. Authorities say those attacks, which killed 257 people and wounded more than 1,100, were carried out to avenge the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in religious riots that had swept India.

Ten years later, in 2003, 52 people were killed in Mumbai bombings blamed on Muslim militants and in 2006 a series of seven blasts on railway trains and at commuter rail stations killed at least 187.


Not at all diminishing the terrible actions of today, but clearly there is a long backstory of recent violence, especially in Mumbai, more generally in India, and these attacks probably need to be cast into this context and not as some isolated terrible, random, inexplicable event perpetrated by beasts, monsters, or any other convenient construction that denies understanding of what their motivations were.

And certainly, in the context of the last 10 to 15 years, this is one of a series of events that have indigenous Indian causes and so it is possible or even likely that this has nothing to do with the US, Al-Qaeda (whatever that is), American Foreign Policy, etc.

But in common with the US experience, the labelling of the 9-11 perpetrators as "cowards who hate out our freedom" has done as much as anything to lead the US into a series of brutal wars they cannot and will not win and which have cost hundreds of thousands of people - mainly Muslim - their lives.
posted by Rumple at 5:08 PM on November 26, 2008 [5 favorites]


Previous MeFi references to The Partition

http://www.metafilter.com/64609/Its-Tuesday

http://www.metafilter.com/44327/Toba-Tek-Singh

http://www.metafilter.com/24918/The-Atrocity-Museum
posted by infini at 5:13 PM on November 26, 2008


A good chunk of Maharashtra is part of the Deccan plateau-- although the Bombay area is not. Also, the "Deccan" part of the name could be a reference to the Deccan sultantates, which were significant in the history of Muslim south and central India... But I do see the torture case as being a possible contributing factor.
posted by bookish at 5:15 PM on November 26, 2008


If true, it implies someone with a major grudge against Western powers and that sounds like al-Qaeda.

Please just stop. Not all Muslim groups see themselves as part of al Qaeda, and we've had very little info about this group, which NPR was telling me an hour ago was new. Unless you're on the scene or know someone who is, there's absolutely no reason to be frantic about any analysis here. We'll find out more in coming days.
posted by mediareport at 5:19 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Heartbreaking photo

oh, god, that's horrible.

anybody with any experience of a big Indian station (assuming this was Victoria Terminus) would know the scene before the carnage: families sitting around on the floor in groups with their baggage, patiently waiting for their (14 hours delayed) intercity train, passing the time munching on home-cooked curries from little towers of stacked aluminium tiffin containers, or else snoozing a while.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:19 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Heartbreaking photo.

Jesus, a little warning about the shining pools of blood and flesh would've been nice. Not everyone needs to actually see the flesh on the floor to have their heart broken by the horror off this event.
posted by mediareport at 5:21 PM on November 26, 2008


With all due respect, mediareport, this is a thread about a current terrorist attack. "Heartbreaking" isn't going to mean homeless kittens and puppies.
posted by QIbHom at 5:24 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Apologies for the lack of warning, I've asked the mods to put a note.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:27 PM on November 26, 2008


there's absolutely no reason to be frantic about any analysis here.

Well, linking any muslims who kill people to the mythical "Al Queda" isn't just being "frantic", it's being completely ignorant, as well.
posted by Jimbob at 5:30 PM on November 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


Here's a little more info about who the Deccan Mujahideen group might be.
posted by vytae at 5:31 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, linking any muslims who kill people to the mythical "Al Queda" isn't just being "frantic", it's being completely ignorant, as well.

Could you give a bit more explanation as to why it's ignorant?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 PM on November 26, 2008


All speculation is equally idle at the moment, including speculation as to the complete non-involvement of Al Queda and complete lack of grudges against the west.
posted by Artw at 5:38 PM on November 26, 2008


"this is war"
posted by infini at 5:39 PM on November 26, 2008


not everybody with a grudge against the west is a terrorist per se

then again, a grudge against the west might filter back to colonial days, who knows
posted by infini at 5:40 PM on November 26, 2008


Jesus. This is bad, and I can't even imagine what it must've been like to live through it.

I'm still trying to reach a friend of mine there who was likely in in the general area of the Oberoi when this went down. Fuck.
posted by rollbiz at 5:43 PM on November 26, 2008


The Times on the symbolism of the the Taj Mahal Palace.
posted by Artw at 5:45 PM on November 26, 2008


Rediff.com is reporting that the terrorists came by boat" The terrorists came by boats and struck at 10 places but their number is not known immediately, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said."
posted by dhruva at 5:47 PM on November 26, 2008


the twitter stream is giving no new information, just worry and speculation. Oh God, this is so horrible.

I'm sure you know it already, but all schools are colleges are closed for Thursday. Govt. asks people stay at home.

Stock Market will stay open.

More Army units brought in.

Mumbai Emergency Numbers
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 PM on November 26, 2008


Apologies for the lack of warning, I've asked the mods to put a note.

Thanks, Brandon. And QIbHom, no one's expecting kittens and puppies, don't act like an idiot. But it should be very clear to anyone who likes this site that some folks here prefer not to wallow in gore, and the rest of us should respect that when we link to gore simply by specifically noting what we're linking.

Even in threads about terrorism.
posted by mediareport at 5:51 PM on November 26, 2008


CNN IBN says blood is needed at JJ Hospital +91 22 23739031 - and St George's Hospital - +91 22 22620240.
posted by The Whelk at 5:52 PM on November 26, 2008


"It's a terrible event, but it is fascinating to watch it play out..."

That's one perspective, true. Most people get angry. Some people are sorrowful. And a few of us, well... we just want to watch the world burn.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 5:54 PM on November 26, 2008


#army have entered Oberoi Hotel
posted by The Whelk at 5:56 PM on November 26, 2008


To check on friends on relatives:

US State Dept hot line - 001-888-407-4747
posted by The Whelk at 5:59 PM on November 26, 2008


Does anyone know whether the State Dept. hotline is useful to obtain information regarding anyone's safety, or just that of Americans who are there? I suspect the latter, which won't help because my friend is a resident of Mumbai.

Any info would be much appreciated.
posted by rollbiz at 6:02 PM on November 26, 2008


Rollbiz:

Posting on the Can I Help? Line may help, lots of people willing to make calls, and posting to twitter under #mumbai. Also the list of emergency numbers Here

That's all I know for now. Best of luck. I hope everything is okay.
posted by The Whelk at 6:05 PM on November 26, 2008


To clarify, my friend is a resident of Mumbai and an Indian citizen.
posted by rollbiz at 6:05 PM on November 26, 2008


Can I help? may be your best bet, and twitter itself and other sites. I really don't know of other Indian-specific sites to check up on people. Anyone have any ideas?
posted by The Whelk at 6:07 PM on November 26, 2008


Thanks, The Whelk. I've been calling him but it's engaged and has been for hours. I know there's really not much else that can be done from my end, but it makes me feel better trying rather than sitting and worrying...
posted by rollbiz at 6:08 PM on November 26, 2008


A deputy chief minister says that the gunmen came from the sea. Gunmen in Nariman House appear to be prepared for a multi-day siege, armed with rocket launchers. Top police were killed very early on, and that could be due to luck... or very good intelligence.

Nationwide, there's still no resolution to the crisis. Indian Army forces have moved from other areas to backstop local forces. Indian commandos have been injured. Foreign development diplomats and government officers have been taken hostage and are surely now reevaluating their home nations' investments on the subcontinent.

The money capital of India is shut down during a global financial crisis, strategic military assets have been damaged, and confidence in the Singh government has been badly harmed.

This operation must have had the support of a government.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:08 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


er, sorry Can I help? once again, linked.


Sigh.
posted by The Whelk at 6:09 PM on November 26, 2008


Could you give a bit more explanation as to why it's ignorant?

Could you please explain who, exactly, Al Queda are, how one joins Al Queda? Does one have to pay annual dues? Recite a pledge? Go to meetings?

It's pretty much been concluded that Al Queda is a concept, not an organization. Anyone, anywhere can basically claim to be working on behalf of Al Queda in order to strike fear into the hearts of some people who are obsessed with Al Queda as the big boogy man.

They're obsessed because it's easy to focus on an enemy with a name. It was easy to focus on the Nazis, or the Soviets. But when you're dealing with a loose collection of young, angry, violent men, in all parts of the world, who usually act independently of any central authority, and without any actual, clear ideology apart from to cause destruction, it makes analysis very difficult. So people take comfort in the idea that somewhere this is some secretive organization called Al Queda in a secret lair, and if we can only shut them down, everything will be all right again.
posted by Jimbob at 6:09 PM on November 26, 2008 [8 favorites]


Hopefully someone else can try or point to another sire, there has to be something.
posted by The Whelk at 6:09 PM on November 26, 2008


All speculation is equally idle at the moment, including speculation as to the complete non-involvement of Al Queda and complete lack of grudges against the west.

I see no reason NOT to assume AQ has some involvement. They are an anti-globalization movement. Not simply an anti-American/Pro-Islamic movement. It would be a logical move for them to help foster schisms in developing nations. Plus the style of attack —it's text book AQ in coordinated planning.

Anyway. I've been afraid something like this was gonna happen. I thought it would happen in Pakistan before the US election. But India is also very vulnerable. Maybe more so because of how the credit meltdown effects the Indian economy.

This is really bad. Shit like this at a time like this, if not handled perfectly, can bring a country to it's knees. If not destroy it out right.

I hope and pray this not the precursor and opening salvo to even wider attacks (like in the past). That will cause every nation to circle their wagons even more and become extremely reactionary. As it is, even if this is isolated to India, you are still gonna see shock-waves go everywhere because of the world financial crisis.

India. This sucks. I hope you can get these assholes under control QUICK.
posted by tkchrist at 6:15 PM on November 26, 2008


Hospital numbers, Mumbai

Mumbai Hospital Numbers
posted by The Whelk at 6:22 PM on November 26, 2008


Australians requiring consular assistance should contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135
posted by The Whelk at 6:23 PM on November 26, 2008


That same young terrorist whose photo appeared earlier is also in a CCTV snapshot which scrolled by in #mumbai on Twitter.
posted by lostburner at 6:23 PM on November 26, 2008


Eyewitness accounts from CNN including a report of at least one fresh blast...? (take this for what you will)...
posted by rollbiz at 6:27 PM on November 26, 2008


They're obsessed because it's easy to focus on an enemy with a name. It was easy to focus on the Nazis, or the Soviets. But when you're dealing with a loose collection of young, angry, violent men, in all parts of the world, who usually act independently of any central authority, and without any actual, clear ideology apart from to cause destruction, it makes analysis very difficult. So people take comfort in the idea that somewhere this is some secretive organization called Al Queda in a secret lair, and if we can only shut them down, everything will be all right again.

I take no comfort in that at all. And by the way the supposed "conceptual foe" you describe is exactly what the neoconservatives think. the War on Terror. And we now know it would have served us much better to focus even more on AQ, single entity or not, when we had the chance, rather than the absurd idea of a war on "terror" in it's entirety.

Yes, AQ is a disparate concept. It's also a anti-globalization movement. Among these divergent groups is the sharing of techniques, monies, planning, and intelligence. And sometimes personnel. Because of that there are as many reason to attempt to connect the dots to Al Quaeda as there are reasons to be suspicious/skeptical of doing so. It's complicated.

In the 1970's analysts were astounded to find so many groups with such diverse ideologies sharing monies and personnel. And once they got over their own assumptions and ideological hang-ups they found they could find these key people, like money launders and bomb technicians, and they could unravel entire clusters of groups they previously assumed were unrelated. Think of the scene in Munich at the safe house.
posted by tkchrist at 6:29 PM on November 26, 2008


The #mumbai Twitter Grid is an amazing update tool for this nightmare.

"The attackers specifically targeted Britons and Americans, witnesses said. Officials said at least 200 people were wounded.

The motive for the onslaught was not immediately clear, but Mumbai has frequently been targeted in terrorist attacks blamed on Islamic extremists, including a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people."
posted by nickyskye at 6:43 PM on November 26, 2008


In the 1970's analysts were astounded to find so many groups with such diverse ideologies sharing monies and personnel. And once they got over their own assumptions and ideological hang-ups they found they could find these key people, like money launders and bomb technicians, and they could unravel entire clusters of groups they previously assumed were unrelated. Think of the scene in Munich at the safe house.

We're not in a movie, and we're not in the '70s. If you want to talk about geopolitical implications, take it to the MeTa thread.
posted by dogrose at 6:44 PM on November 26, 2008


Could you please explain who, exactly, Al Queda are, how one joins Al Queda? Does one have to pay annual dues? Recite a pledge? Go to meetings?

No, but that doesn't mean there is no Al Queda. The strength of the group is that that it's more of an idea then a set physical group. Ideas are hard to kill or destroy.

It's pretty much been concluded that t is a concept, not an organization.

Maybe, maybe not.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:48 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone have any ideas why Tweet Grid always gives me Dear Webmaster, Please use http://twitterwidget.jazzychad.com/ for your twitter search widget instead.
Or, use TweetGrid to search for #mumbai in real-time.
when I try to load it?
posted by lostburner at 6:49 PM on November 26, 2008


The history of Hindu - Muslim problems in India go back to the days of the British Raj

Fashionable though it may be to illuminate all problems as part and parcel of Western colonialism, I rather think that the Mughal Empire and the Islamic Sultanates would be better starting points. Moslems and what we now think of as Hindus have had a long and contentious history in India.
posted by rodgerd at 6:50 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Even when I click on the Example Grid from the site's homepage.
posted by lostburner at 6:52 PM on November 26, 2008


India's day of infamy
posted by Xurando at 6:54 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


wow the cops sent an SMS to everyone in Mumbai asking for info on the fleeing terrorists. imagine! cops using sms in India. unbelievable
posted by dhruva at 6:54 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


The fact that Al Qaeda serves as inspiration or umbrella to disparate ideas (that could be sloppily conflated with anti-globalization) does not, in fact, preclude there being actual terror networks made up of fallible human beings in limited numbers who can be rolled up using tried and true counter-terrorism methods. The power of terrorism lies in its ability to incite and rouse entire communities of people, at times even whole nations. But the numbers of actual terrorists are generally tiny by comparison with the havoc they cause.
posted by dhartung at 6:55 PM on November 26, 2008


Bill Roggio thinks that the Pakistani ISI is behind it. For whatever that's worth.

I wouldn't be at all surprised; they've been heavily involved in the Kashmir terrorism. They're something of a loose cannon in Pakistan, not really fully under control of the government that they are nominally part of. They're pretty much dominated by Muslim extremists, and this may have been intended to undermine the efforts of the current Pakistani government to improve relations with India.
posted by Class Goat at 6:56 PM on November 26, 2008


I wonder if the Israelis will get involved.
posted by dhruva at 6:56 PM on November 26, 2008


We're not in a movie, and we're not in the '70s. If you want to talk about geopolitical implications, take it to the MeTa thread.

You know I don't appreciate your entirely rude and discourteous tone. Nor do I appreciate that you single my comment out of the dozens here talking (and on preview STILL talking) about the Geopolitics and AQ connection.

Perhaps you should try a much less rude way of addressing other people in the future. Or flag it and move on.
posted by tkchrist at 6:56 PM on November 26, 2008


What tkchrist said.
posted by Artw at 7:04 PM on November 26, 2008


The fact that Al Qaeda serves as inspiration or umbrella to disparate ideas (that could be sloppily conflated with anti-globalization) does not, in fact, preclude there being actual terror networks made up of fallible human beings in limited numbers who can be rolled up using tried and true counter-terrorism methods. The power of terrorism lies in its ability to incite and rouse entire communities of people, at times even whole nations. But the numbers of actual terrorists are generally tiny by comparison with the havoc they cause.

Certainly. You can see the problems small numbers of people cause through out history. The actual numbers of active combatants in the Balkans War for instance. But you have to admit the specter of AQ involvement, even tangentially, at a time of such precarious world circumstances could seriously complicate things and will have to be considered by the same "tried and true" counter-terrorism methods. Not sure how effective these methods really are since. Well. You know.
posted by tkchrist at 7:04 PM on November 26, 2008


This "Al-Queda is a concept" argument comes up like clockwork in these sort of threads, and it has always seemed to me to be a false dichotomy. There's no reason why it can't be both an organization (with a hierarchy, training facilities, etc.) and a concept, in the same way that Christianity or Islam can be said to be both organizations (a whole slew of different ones, in fact, often mutually hostile) and concepts (in so far as they have ideologies that anyone can interpret or lay claim to, even individuals who are not part of the organization).
Al-Queda is the name that has become attached to a wide range of anti-Western, anti-globalization, and anti-Israeli doctrines which can be traced back to Qutb and all kinds of other folk, and which forms a more or less coherent ideological structure. It is also, at the same time, one organization out of many which espouse this ideology, although more and more of its fellows are tacking on the name for reasons of their own.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:04 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Gah. Ground already covered by tkchrist and dhartung, I see.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:06 PM on November 26, 2008


I wonder if the Israelis will get involved.

If not now, they certainly will when an autorickshaw-bomb goes off in the alleyways of Paharganj outside the guesthouses frequented by young Israeli backpackers (say, the Ajay & the Hare Rama). Those things will collapse like houses of cards, wiping out - in one fell blow - half the world's entire stock of didjeridoos, tablas, and bad Goa trance CDs.

Indian police will be quick to swoop, shutting down hundreds of impromptu parties set up by backpackers from every other nation on Earth.

(sorry, but Israelis in India are assholes)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:12 PM on November 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


Latest YouTube video re Mumbai attack.
posted by nickyskye at 7:18 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


UbuRoivas: Offensive, inappropriate, and flagged as such. Are you unaware that there are a number of Israeli families being held hostage at this very moment?
posted by rollbiz at 7:20 PM on November 26, 2008


vid: India's Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, denounces 'conspiracy'.
posted by nickyskye at 7:22 PM on November 26, 2008


ubu: dude. wtf.
posted by dhruva at 7:23 PM on November 26, 2008


vid: Ex-head of police on Mumbai attack
posted by nickyskye at 7:25 PM on November 26, 2008


vid: India's Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, denounces 'conspiracy'.

Damn. It's amazing how FAST the stuff moves now with the internet.
posted by tkchrist at 7:25 PM on November 26, 2008


Tweets: "Terrorists speaking to India TV Reporter on #mumbai blasts , he says he is from deccan Hyderabad, he says he will teach lesson to the police".

"Terrorist "named" Shahtollah talking to India TV. When asked for his demands, he asked his associate about what their demands were"
posted by nickyskye at 7:33 PM on November 26, 2008


Re: the Al-Qaida link -

FWIW, the Twitter feed is blowing up with updates that say the terrorists are talking to Indian television, claiming to be from Hyderabad. They're calling for the release from jail of all mujahideen, and the withdrawal of the army from Jammu and Kashmir.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:33 PM on November 26, 2008


Twitter feed link from OP says explosives boat captured had originated in Karachi. Gunman identified only as Shaitullah demanded that the Indian Army retreat from Jammu-Kashmir. Pakistan's ISI is rumored to be running this operation in open defiance of Pakistan's newly-installed Zardari administration.

This is very, very bad.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:43 PM on November 26, 2008


Map of India, where Hyderabad is.

What the Deccan Plateau is in South India.

Speculating about the Deccan Mujahideen and the agenda of the attacks.

Religious composition of India: 138,188,240 Muslims: 13.4%, map of Muslim India : another map.
posted by nickyskye at 7:46 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh god. if pakistan is involved, its going to be a shitstorm of the highest order
posted by dhruva at 7:49 PM on November 26, 2008


From Intellibrief Link: Yeah. I'd say geopolitics is a worthy discussion point in this thread.
posted by tkchrist at 7:50 PM on November 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


Twitter feed link from OP says explosives boat captured had originated in Karachi. Gunman identified only as Shaitullah demanded that the Indian Army retreat from Jammu-Kashmir. Pakistan's ISI is rumored to be running this operation in open defiance of Pakistan's newly-installed Zardari administration.

This is very, very bad.


The thought of two nuclear weapon equipped nations facing off under these circumstances makes me want to go home and cuddle my daughter. New Zealand feels way to close to the Indian Ocean right now.
posted by rodgerd at 7:50 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is so hard for me to wrap my head around the concept that humans can do this-would even WANT to do this-to other humans. It's sickening.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:53 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow - I guess I don't recall CNN showing something like a person's body, gunshot or other wound to the chest, the man's lifeless face clearly visible close up, being clumsily loaded into an ambulance/van.

And I guess with the fire, a lot of birds got displaced, because they were flying around and around again and again. It's kind of eerie on the shots of the top of the hotel - like shadows just whipping by constantly.
posted by cashman at 7:55 PM on November 26, 2008


This: Top police were killed very early on, and that could be due to luck... or very good intelligence.

No way do you get lucky and pick off multiple higher-ups in the Indian police and domestic security forces as they arrived at one of the attack scenes. They must have been ambushed, indicating not just planning, but a heatlhy dose of insider information as well.

As for Pakistan being involved -- fuck me. I certainly hope not, but this would be huge, especially if some direct government involvement is discovered.

Peace to the victims, and I really hope this isn't the beginning of what could become an even more hideous clusterfuck.
posted by bardic at 7:57 PM on November 26, 2008


Pakistan's ISI is rumored to be running this operation in open defiance of Pakistan's newly-installed Zardari administration.

Okay, it's on the Twitter feed, and it's a rumour, so it's probably not worth responding to...but I really hope that's not the case. India and Pakistan nearly went to war over a Pakistan-backed attack on the Parliament buildings that killed far fewer people than this.
posted by Dasein at 7:59 PM on November 26, 2008


The thought of two nuclear weapon equipped nations facing off under these circumstances makes me want to go home and cuddle my daughter. New Zealand feels way to close to the Indian Ocean right now.

Old, but good nonetheless: "For the governments of India and Pakistan, Kashmir is not a problem, it's their perennial and spectacularly successful solution. Kashmir is the rabbit they pull out of their hats every time they need a rabbit. Unfortunately, it's a radioactive rabbit now, and it's careening out of control."
posted by ageispolis at 8:00 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


ubu: dude. wtf.

oh, hey - i wasn't being entirely serious.

at the time one might wish death upon people who keep you awake all fucking night because they think it's a great idea to drop acid & play their bongos in groups of two dozen or more in a crowded hotel, but in the clear light of day, the punishment might be a little harsh for the crime. immediate repatriation would be more appropriate.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:01 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


A new twist: police have apparently asked that people stop updating events, so as not to reveal army and police locations to terrorists.Tweets on "observing tactical silence" keep coming up.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:01 PM on November 26, 2008


"Is the constantly updated twitter feed compromising police operations?" is a fascinating question with conflicting answers so far. It'll be interesting to return to that after the heat of the moment.
posted by mediareport at 8:03 PM on November 26, 2008


"Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has in recent weeks moved closer to the United States, made some significant gestures toward India, and moved to shut down the political wing of the ISI, Pakisan’s powerful intelligence service (that’s the unit that tries to steal elections). How likely is it that some angry “rogue elements” of the ISI, aligned with Kashmiri jihadists and a team of Indian domestic extremists, sought to head off these moves? I have no idea, but it’s definitely a theory worth exploring."

Sept 15th 2008:

"The Indian Mujahideen, which has claimed responsibility for the Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Jaipur blasts killing at least 130 people in a span of four months, has now threatened to carry out attacks in Mumbai, report Agencies.

Accusing Mumbai Police’s ATS [Anti Terrorist Squad] of harassing Muslims, Indian Mujahideen said in its email that it was closely watching the ATS."

Hemant Karkare
, the head of Mumbai's ATS, killed in action today.

"Mumbai, March 12 2008: Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) Chief ATS chief and Joint Police Commissioner Hemant Karkare disclosed on Wednesday that during the interrogation of arrested terrorists it was found that the nuclear institute and the National Stock Exchange were on the hit list of terrorists. He reiterated his earlier statement and remarked that there were quite a few militants hiding in Mumbai and waiting to strike."
posted by nickyskye at 8:09 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


When considering rumors that Pakistan "may be behind this", please remember to consider that there are elements in India who would very much like that conclusion to be drawn.

I haven't seen any real information on this, and based on such teases as:

A deputy chief minister says that the gunmen came from the sea.

There's just as much circumstantial evidence for (forgive me) pirate revenge for the Indian Navy's hostility.

So let's be careful about conclusion jumping, okay?
posted by rokusan at 8:10 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


the punishment might be a little harsh for the crime. immediate repatriation would be more appropriate.

That shit is not funny. These people are being held hostage right now and could be murdered. Ubu - you should just say "Sorry to have offended" and then huh up.

Christ all-mighty, bro. Seriously.

posted by tkchrist at 8:10 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


New Delhi TV (NDTV) live stream in Mumbai.
posted by nickyskye at 8:14 PM on November 26, 2008


oh, and rollbiz (and, on preview, tkchrist): Israeli families are probably well-behaved. It's the young louts letting off steam right after their military service who suck. It's understandable, why they behave like they do, but that doesn't change the fact that they are (almost all) obnoxious, inconsiderate assholes. Not only to other travellers, but to their Indian hosts as well. i challenge you to find any traveller to India who disagrees.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:15 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


lostburner: Twittergrid: I had that trouble too, discovered it was because I had referers disabled via my web developer tools thingy in firefox. Enable headers, you can see content.
posted by maxwelton at 8:15 PM on November 26, 2008


Sorry, enable referers.

I'm sorry, Mumbai--I wish I had hope that this would be the last time this happened to anyone, any city, but I don't.
posted by maxwelton at 8:17 PM on November 26, 2008


Ubu, a couple and 16 year old kid are being reported killed (UNCONFIRMED) at the Chabad House within the last hour. Does this perhaps help you understand why this is not even remotely humorous right now...?

This isn't even recent tragedy, it's fucking ongoing at this instant. Before your next comment about jackasses dropping acid and rickshaw bombs, think about what it would be like to be one of those Israelis reported to be held hostage, or one of their family members who perhaps wound up here looking for news. I know I'm stressing for a friend there at the moment, but I don't think I'm the only one who thinks this is in incredibly bad taste.

Please, stop with the flippant comments. It's just not the time.
posted by rollbiz at 8:17 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ubu what would you have said if in a thread about the Bali bombings somebody joked about how deserving and loutish Aussie tourists are... becuase you know I've traveled and I have heard exactly the same shit about Aussies. Seriously. Are you drunk or something? Knock it off.
posted by tkchrist at 8:18 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am talking to various friends of mine in Mumbai (I'm in Bangalore) and thankfully, they all seem to be safe. One of my friends was very close to the scene and has written up this blog post.

Apparently, commandos have now been sent in. The Taj and Oberoi are two of the landmark hotels in South Mumbai, which you might call Mumbai's Manhattan-like area. I just hope this all ends soon.
posted by madman at 8:18 PM on November 26, 2008


oh, and rollbiz (and, on preview, tkchrist): Israeli families are probably well-behaved. It's the young louts letting off steam right after their military service who suck. It's understandable, why they behave like they do, but that doesn't change the fact that they are (almost all) obnoxious, inconsiderate assholes. Not only to other travellers, but to their Indian hosts as well. i challenge you to find any traveller to India who disagrees.

NOT THE FUCKING PLACE FOR THIS DISCUSSION. HOW CAN I BE MORE CLEAR?
posted by rollbiz at 8:19 PM on November 26, 2008


UbuRoivas: Your comments are sickening. Shut the fuck up right now and stop derailing this thread.
posted by Dasein at 8:20 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


hm, ok, i retract. inappropriate in this context. carry on.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:21 PM on November 26, 2008


but I don't think I'm the only one who thinks this is in incredibly bad taste.

Worse than bad taste. Spiteful axe-grinding bigotry and borderline racist is what it is.
posted by tkchrist at 8:22 PM on November 26, 2008


"Five to six Israeli hostages now held in Nariman House" on NDTV seconds ago.
posted by nickyskye at 8:24 PM on November 26, 2008


Possibly meta would be a better place for discussing Ubus comments further.
posted by Artw at 8:25 PM on November 26, 2008


"Major military storming of the hotel" expected momentarily.
posted by nickyskye at 8:25 PM on November 26, 2008


Will Twtter be the new East German television?
posted by Artw at 8:26 PM on November 26, 2008


A restaurant next to a Chabad House (local HQ of a mystical orthodox Jewish sect) was attacked. The phone line the Rabbi (Rabbi Gavriel) was on was cut mid-conversation. He has a wife and a daughter. There was some reports of terrorists being in the Chabad House itself, where the Rabbi and his family live.

I've been doing fieldwork with my local Chabad group and you'll never find a group of more compassionate, welcoming people.

These things never seem real until you have names...
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:27 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


But in common with the US experience, the labelling of the 9-11 perpetrators as "cowards who hate out our freedom" has done as much as anything to lead the US into a series of brutal wars they cannot and will not win

I'm not sure if I agree with this statement. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but what you said above seems to be based on the assumption that the terrorists who hijacked the planes on 9/11 actually a) had something meaningful to say, and that b) their only mode of expression was to hijack a number of airliners and murder thousands of innocent civilians.

To be perfectly clear, in the case of 9/11, I don't agree with either assumption. In this case, the "Deccan Mujahideen" may claim their violence is based on legitimate grievances. I don't know the history or the context of today's terrorist attack. However, what I do know is that this sort of violence - killing innocent people in a deliberate, methodical way, in order to terrorize and entire population - is illegitimate, criminal, and, to use a dehumanizing word, monstrous. It really is.

And I also think it's true that these people do hate our freedoms. I myself identify much more with the society that created the Twin Towers or the financial district of Mumbai.

and which have cost hundreds of thousands of people - mainly Muslim - their lives.

There is no doubt that both the invasion and occupation of Iraq were and are illegal and immoral, and that the conduct of the war in Afghanistan is incompetent at best.

In an ideal world, where smart bombs never kill civilians, I would tend to agree with Orwell:

Despotic governments can stand ‘moral force’ till the cows come home; what they fear is physical force.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:28 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Possibly meta would be a better place for discussing Ubus comments further.

I didn't want to MeTa this, because it doesn't warrant further discussion anywhere, in my opinion, at least right now. Ubu has retracted, so lets call it done and move on...
posted by rollbiz at 8:28 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Either is good.
posted by Artw at 8:29 PM on November 26, 2008


This would be a good opportunity for a global anti-terrorist police action. The kind of thing that should have been done about seven years ago.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:30 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bombay Hospital, 22067676 extn216 requires blood donors

Phone number for US citizens to call about family in Mumbai 888-407-4747

-via twitter
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


repeat, JJ Hospital 022-23739400 St George Hospital -022?22620344,Bombay Hospital 22067676 extn216, requires blood donors.
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


RT Canadians looking for info on relatives in #Mumbai: Foreign Affairs 1-613-996-8885 from Canada, 1-800-387-3124 Elsewhere

via twitter
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kind of wonder why the future is turning into a Terry Gilliam movie.

Bad sportsmanship.

They just can't stand seeing the other fellow win.
posted by flabdablet at 8:35 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Israel's Foreign Ministry early Thursday morning said it is attempting to locate approximately 20 Israeli nationals missing in the Indian city of Mumbai. "

"They went after a building called Nariman House, where several Israeli and Jewish families live. It was international, not domestic considerations which seems to be have been driving them. Also they seem very well-resourced. Apparently they came into the city on boats, used hand grenades and automatic weapons. It suggest some sort of Al Qaeda connection. But the Indians have been pretty good at tracking them. So, it is puzzling."
posted by nickyskye at 8:35 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Map of the proximity of Nariman House, where the Israeli hostages are being held, to the Mumbai waterfront.
posted by nickyskye at 8:39 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


repeat due to "?" in listing, read "?" to mean ?=-

022-226-620344

St. George Hospital.
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 PM on November 26, 2008


more seriously, i've long wondered when Paharganj (Delhi backpacker area) would be targeted, because i'm sure it's only a matter of time.

if anybody remembers when a guesthouse simply collapsed there a few years ago (due to shoddy construction - they just keep adding storey after storey), it doesn't take much to realise that even a smallish bomb near a supporting column would wreak terrible havoc - you'd basically have hundreds of people crushed in their rooms.

i'm very surprised that it hasn't happened yet, and would strongly advise travellers to Delhi to stay anywhere but there.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:41 PM on November 26, 2008


> But the Indians have been pretty good at tracking them.

I find that hard to believe, especially given the tkchrist's link above.
posted by dhruva at 8:42 PM on November 26, 2008


Thank you nickyskye, for the update. It isn't looking good...

"Foreign Ministry searching for missing Israelis in Mumbai
By Haaretz Staff and News Agencies
Tags: mumbai, israel news, terror

Israel's Foreign Ministry early Thursday morning said it is attempting to locate approximately 20 Israeli nationals missing in the Indian city of Mumbai.

A report early Thursday morning from CNN's Indian affiliate said that gunfire was heard in Mumbai's Chabad House, and three people were killed there, including a couple and 16-year-old youth.

Indian media is also reporting that there is a possibility hostages are being held in and near the Chabad House, which is located in a building called Nariman House at 5 Hormusji Street. "


The entire thing makes me profoundly sad and puzzled and desperate, but that hits right next to my heart. Imagine that happening in the local Chabad House...
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:44 PM on November 26, 2008


Brazilian help line 9820686143

(C) CNN IBN FA 1-613-996-8885

-via-twitter
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 PM on November 26, 2008


A car bomb has exploded 200-300 yards from the US embassy in Kabul. Police believe it was a suicide attack, one reported dead, six wounded.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:44 PM on November 26, 2008


Contact Embassy of India with condolences: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C.

via-twitter
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 PM on November 26, 2008


This would be a good opportunity for a global anti-terrorist police action. The kind of thing that should have been done about seven years ago.

Sure, a police action is better than a "war against terror," but what do you have in mind, fff?
posted by lukemeister at 8:53 PM on November 26, 2008


mumbaites speculating Dawood Ibrahim is behind it, less "terrorism AQ" per se. more long running mumbai muslim mafia with grudges

on speculation in a comment (now lost in the hundreds) that this kind of thing might bring India to its knees, my two and half rupees worth of blather here since it got me thinking in the shower just now,

so much, over the past 5000 or more years could have brought "india" to her knees and yet the concept of the country survives

what does "bringing to the knees" mean anyway when so many already live on the pavements and the nation as a whole has barely begun to get off her scabbed knees in the first place

i have this visual image of india as this vast resilient sponge, able to withstand serious shocks and calamities and yet continue to carry on carrying on

i remember in the days before instant communications put all the tragedy and horror on our desktops instantly that after Indira Gandhi's murder we were under curfew for two or three weeks and the country had come to a grinding halt as thousands were slaugthered, sometimes in their own beds, in communal riots and violence

i'm not justifying the action or minimizing the horror of what has happened

but I would like to point out that India is not as weak at the seams as it might appear

(still working on the partition post)
posted by infini at 8:53 PM on November 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Initial OSINT reveals that the attackers (unknown number) essentially invaded Mumbai with explosives laden boats, armed to the teeth. This vector allowed them to bypass all hard security obstacles. Upon landing their craft, they spread out with a loose fluid list of targets.

Aside from initial penetration and equipment acquisition, it seems that highly autonomous units were told to simply create chaos while possible. Some went mobile (stealing police vehicles and opening fire on crowds), destroying petrol pumps, random gunfire at key transportation hubs. Others sought to hunt down and target American and British citizens at key economic targets, and are now holed up fighting for their lives."

Update on NDTV: 101 dead, 6 foreigners, 14 police. Stock markets shut today in Mumbai. Fresh grenade explosion in Nariman House (a Jewish residence in Mumbai).

"Deccan Mujahideen has taken responsibility. It is a front for the Indian Mujahideen, which is deeply connected with SIMI and HUJI (Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami) - the search for the social systempunkt has reached yet another major data point."
posted by nickyskye at 8:53 PM on November 26, 2008


i guess we can forget about being thankful for world peace tomorrow ... i'm getting really bad vibes about the consequences of this
posted by pyramid termite at 8:54 PM on November 26, 2008


Times of India reporting death toll at 101 with at least 6 foreigners among the dead

-via twitter
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 PM on November 26, 2008


dawood ibrahim
posted by infini at 8:55 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


A friend in Bombay was telling me that his friend, two of his friends who were chef in the Taj hotel are dead. He's trying to trace a third friend. There's at least one Singaporean who's still being held hostage. Bombay is very much under siege; _all_ the top anti-terrorist forces are descending on the city now.

I'm sorry, all my usual cold rationality is gone this morning. I feel numb and extremely angry at the moment.
posted by the cydonian at 8:55 PM on November 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


To expand on The Whelk's post, here's the full info for the Indian Embassy.

Probably best to communicate with them in a very non-urgent way, though, as I would imagine they are taking numerous inquiries from concerned friends and family of Mumbai residents.
posted by rollbiz at 8:55 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think there's any doubt we're going to see retaliation by extremist Hindus against Muslim civilians.
posted by mediareport at 8:57 PM on November 26, 2008


i guess we can forget about being thankful for world peace tomorrow ... i'm getting really bad vibes about the consequences of this
posted by pyramid termite at 8:54 PM on November 26


An astrologer has found direct links between today's chart and India's Independece Day chart (after which the holocaust of the Partition occurred)

this should NOT be permitted to spark off a nationwide holocaust between muslims and indians AGAIN
posted by infini at 8:57 PM on November 26, 2008


INDIAN EMBRASS INFO:

A round the clock Control Room has been set up at the Embassy to respond to any query related to the terrorist attacks at Mumbai.

Telephone: 202 232 2795
202 232 2796
Email: controlroom@indiagov.org
Fax: 202 265 4351

However, the Embassy will remain closed on November 27 & November 28, 2008 on account of Thanksgiving Day for normal business

Postbag, 2107 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on November 26, 2008


between muslims and indians

Careless talk costs lives.
posted by flabdablet at 9:02 PM on November 26, 2008 [5 favorites]


Holy Family Hospital has enough blood; please donate elsewhere if you do.

-via twitter
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on November 26, 2008


This is just fucking terrible.
posted by ob at 9:02 PM on November 26, 2008


Update, Holy Family still taking excess, directing them to other hospitals, using emergency.

via twitter
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 PM on November 26, 2008


dina: #mumbai speaking to a friend's mum at Colaba. curfew imposed there. no milk or bread delivered home. roads eeriy quiet. stock market closed

-via twitter
posted by The Whelk at 9:07 PM on November 26, 2008


between muslims and indians

Careless talk costs lives.
posted by flabdablet 2 minutes ago


have been submerged in the Partition articles... freudian slip?


(it seems to me, over the course of this thread, that one must be error free, solemn and serious when discussing anything tragic of this magnitude, else it reflects upon one as an insensitive idiot. one questions if the cause adn effect are necessarily given?)
posted by infini at 9:07 PM on November 26, 2008


this should NOT be permitted to spark off a nationwide holocaust between muslims and indians AGAIN

actually, i'm more worried about ww3, which will not be the all-out nuclear war between russia and america, but a land and nuclear war in asia

folks, i'm afraid this is where the shit is going to start hitting the fan

bush, if he has one fucking brain in his head at all, had better be calling the right people in india and pakistan telling them to take a deep breath and don't do anything stupid - and no, this is not his or the usa's fault, this has little to do with us, this is just history and the shit that can happen because of it and god help us all if people make the wrong decisions over this

pray for sanity
posted by pyramid termite at 9:08 PM on November 26, 2008


omg, the Taj Mahal Hotel, which has been on fire due to the terrorist attack, a 1903 landmark in Mumbai is said by an NDTV anchorperson to be "expected to collapse" at any minute.

"Cafe Leopold -- One of Mumbai's best-known restaurants, frequented by tourists, particularly after it featured prominently in the 2003 cult novel "Shantaram"by Australian Gregory David Roberts."

9 foreigners killed.
posted by nickyskye at 9:08 PM on November 26, 2008


A Heritage Foundation-ite, quoted at The Corner:

...it could be a number of groups including Pakistani Kashmiri militants or even a group called the Indian Mujahedeen, an Islamic group based in India. (A group called Deccan Mujahedeen has claimed responsibility...)

The reported targeting of India's business and entertainment center and foreigners may lean toward an indigenous, separatist group rather than a Kashmiri group.

On the other hand, Pakistan's president has made some positive overtures toward India recently, meaning that some Kashmiri groups could have undertaken the attack to prevent an improvement in relations between Pakistan and India, fearing that Islamabad may knuckle under to Delhi on the Kashmir issue.

Al-Qaeda is a possibility although they haven't had a strong presence in India to date, but the precision and sophistication of the attack certainly reminds us of its tactics and techniques.


Interesting that he takes the targeting of foreigners as a sign of an indigenous group.
posted by mediareport at 9:08 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


pyramid termite - Bush appears to have been sidelined.
posted by Artw at 9:10 PM on November 26, 2008


i have this visual image of india as this vast resilient sponge, able to withstand serious shocks and calamities and yet continue to carry on carrying on

absolutely. i doubt that *anything* could bring India to its knees - we're talking about the world's largest functioning democracy, over a billion people who've managed to maintain a largely peaceful, stable democracy for over sixty years, in spite of so many different communities, and with such challenges facing a vast majority of its people.

an Indian friend of mine at work is fond of quipping "the fact that the country doesn't implode into a billion pieces but just keeps carrying on with its business, day to day, is all the proof you need that God exists"
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:11 PM on November 26, 2008


_all_ the top anti-terrorist forces are descending on the city now.

i can't see a single thing that could possibly go wrong with that plan.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:19 PM on November 26, 2008


More than 100 trapped in the Taj.

"KEVIN Rudd has warned that Australian casualties may rise in the Mumbai terrorist attacks, after Sydney law student Katie Anstee, 24 was shot in the leg."
posted by nickyskye at 9:24 PM on November 26, 2008


Ugh that flickr stream is so sad, especially when you reach the older, vibrant, whimsical, and colorful photos.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:24 PM on November 26, 2008


Ubu, I think you're right, especially with supposed "killer" commandos increasingly participating in the operations, but...What else are they supposed to do? There are legitimate fears of additional attacks, and since some top leadership within the police force have been killed, I think that they've realized that getting serious military types in the mix is essential to resolving the hostage situations and protecting the city in the immediate future.
posted by rollbiz at 9:26 PM on November 26, 2008


i can't see a single thing that could possibly go wrong with that plan.

Mumbai's ATS is clearly overwhelmed now; I understand that there are 6-7 terrorists on the loose in a commandeered police-van in the city.

The regular Mumbai police has only courage on its side. They have .303's. These guys have AK-47's and RDX.

an Indian friend of mine at work is fond of quipping "the fact that the country doesn't implode into a billion pieces but just keeps carrying on with its business, day to day, is all the proof you need that God exists"

Not a billion pieces, but three. Happened before. Just that, the Indian Union didn't exist back then.
posted by the cydonian at 9:27 PM on November 26, 2008


I've got to go to bed now, keep watching the Twitter feed and the numbers, again

JJ Hospital +91 22 23739031

St George's Hospital - +91 22 22620240

Bombay Hospital, 22067676

US State Dept hot line - 001-888-407-4747

RT Canadians looking for info on relatives in #Mumbai: Foreign Affairs 1-613-996-8885 from Canada, 1-800-387-3124 Elsewhere

Brazilian help line 9820686143

(C) CNN IBN FA 1-613-996-8885


Australians requiring consular assistance should contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305

A round the clock Control Room has been set up at the Embassy to respond to any query related to the terrorist attacks at Mumbai.

Telephone: 202 232 2795
202 232 2796
Email: controlroom@indiagov.org

Mumbai Emergency Numbers

Can We Help? For finding people in Mumbai hopefully.
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 PM on November 26, 2008


rollbiz: i'd be worried that moving the top commando guys to Mumbai would open up the ground for a secondary wave of attacks elsewhere. if i'd been organising this, that's exactly what i would've planned. it's also the same kind of MO as used in the Bali bombings, only writ large: strike in one place first, cause chaos & confusion, then strike again.

the cydonian: the lucky members of the Mumbai police might have 303s. pity the poor souls armed only with lathis and impressive moustaches!

nickyskye: yeh, i was aware of Australian victims & hostages. in fact, on breakfast TV this morning, the cheery anchors were talking on the phone to a guy holed up in some room in the back of the Taj Hotel. they were busy asking for updates on the situation, when the guy cut them short with something along the lines of:

"how the fuck would i know what's going on? i'm in some sort of janitor's closet with a couple of swiss nationals. there are no windows, no TV, and i was wanting *you* to tell *me* what was happening...and to see if somebody could deliver a gun to me"
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:47 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


After Googling just what the heck an "encounter specialist" is, Mumbai sounds like a bit of a wild town. Via Wikipedia:

Encounter killings is a euphemism used in India and Pakistan to describe extrajudicial killings in which Police shoot down gangsters and terrorists in alleged gunbattles. Encounter killings were common in Mumbai, India, during the 1990s till mid 2000s and some of the Police officres involved came to be known as 'Encounter Specialists'. The Mumbai police resorted to encounter killings as they believed that these killings delivered speedy justice. Encounter killings severely crippled the Underworld in Mumbai and busted the extortion racket which was rampant at that time. Encounter killings, together with torture by police in lock-ups and custodial deaths have irked human rights activists.

Former Sub-Inspector Pradeep Sharma is India's most successful encounter specialist, who has shot-dead 104 gangsters and dacoits in. "Criminals are filth and I'm the cleaner" is one of his famous lines.


It seems to underline the connection between terrorism and organized crime.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:54 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Australian TV star was trapped in the Taj.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:58 PM on November 26, 2008


Encounter killings: what could possibly go wrong?
posted by telstar at 10:06 PM on November 26, 2008


NDTV has a reporter live outside Nariman house right now. She's saying a family has been taken hostage inside. Indian military forces are performing "an operation" right now at the Taj hotel.
posted by bardic at 10:08 PM on November 26, 2008


It seems to underline the connection between terrorism and organized crime.

If you haven't come across it already, I highly recommend Suketu Mehta's Maximum City.
posted by ageispolis at 10:13 PM on November 26, 2008


"Foreign nationals" emerging alive from the Taj Hotel. NDTV reported "negotiations" taking place earlier. Lots of ambulances pulling up to the front. Something went down, hopefully casualties were low.
posted by bardic at 10:15 PM on November 26, 2008


Reports of a large number of bodies in the hotel. Jesus. I can't even begin to imagine. Heartbreaking.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:22 PM on November 26, 2008


[a few comments removed - if you can't help yourself with truly tasteless comments, please bring them to the metatalk thread in progress, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 10:26 PM on November 26, 2008


NDTV is reporting that a Pakistani was arrested. This is the sort of report that needs to be checked and double-checked before they take it public, and I am concerned they might simply be reporting rumor. If so, that's an especially volatile rumor.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:30 PM on November 26, 2008


I'll second that recommendation ageispolis. Suketu Mehta is one of the speakers on this webcast discussing the tragedy.
posted by tellurian at 10:32 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Twitter grid is an iWitness stream account.

Shortly after noon in Mumbai. Indian and Pakistani intel working together now re the Mumbai attack.

KokoRyu, fascinating comment, thanks. "Criminals are filth and I'm the cleaner". Life and death of Dirty Harry of Delhi revives vigilante debate.

"Crime reporters say encounter killings began in the late 1960s to deal with Maoist militants and reached a height in the 1990s."

"Rajbir Singh, who has over 50 'kills' to his credit, was murdered Monday night - ending a career that was as controversial as it was illustrious."

The Mumbai organised crime and terrorists:

In discussing Dawood Ibrahim: "It is thought that in an attempt to gain political support from religious radicals that would legitimise him as more than a crook, he collaborated with various terrorist organisations. This led to the fragmentation of his criminal empire when Chotta Rajan, his lieutenant, broke away and gained support of powerful right-wing Hindu Nationalist politicians. Soon after the bombings he was forced to flee the city (now renamed Mumbai) and the country. Dawood Ibrahim reportedly now lives in Karachi or Dubai, and controls what is left of D-Company from there. The last known public contact with him was when a Times reporter once interviewed Dawood in Karachi."

Pradeep Sharma had links with terrorists
"Pradeep Sharma, the blue-eyed boy of several Mumbai police commissioners for over a decade. Lauded by his bosses and lionised by the media, Sharma ran the encounter squad, a force within a force, for 10 years."

Aftab Ansari "Saeed Sheikh is imprisoned in India for kidnapping Westerners. While there, he meets Aftab Ansari, another prisoner, an Indian gangster who will be released from prison near the end of 1999. [India Today, 2/25/2002] Saeed also meets another prisoner named Asif Raza Khan, who also is released in 1999. [Rediff, 11/17/2001] After Saeed is rescued from prison at the end of 1999, he works with Ansari and Khan to kidnap Indians and then uses some of the profits to fund the 9/11 attacks."
posted by nickyskye at 10:39 PM on November 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


"ransom and release of political prisoners" ?
posted by nickyskye at 10:41 PM on November 26, 2008


I heard about this at the cigar shop this afternoon. I walked in to ask the owner a few questions, and he had the cable news on, and they were talking about the explosions.

I feel like I just got back from India, and to be completely frank, I'm thrilled that I got back before this stuff happened. I'm also terrified, because the group claiming responsibility seems to be the Deccan Mujaheddin, which would imply that they were based in the Deccan Plateau area, which is where I spent most of my trip. Really kind of spooky.

I don't know what to say.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:45 PM on November 26, 2008


Taj emergency helpline numbers

022-665-74-322
022-665-74-372
1-800-11-825
posted by nickyskye at 10:47 PM on November 26, 2008


The "encounter killings" sound similar to how it's done in Brazil.
posted by bardic at 10:50 PM on November 26, 2008


When I saw the news, my wife and I mentioned to the shop owner that we had just left India not that long ago, and he was understandably curious, as the relation with the breaking news. We told him how our day-to-day plans had been directly affected by terrorism, how we had to cancel plans, but also how we had to stay inside our small neighborhood for weeks while things blew over, and about the security measures that are commonplace in public spaces anywhere in India these days.

In New Jersey, you still see a whole lot of "9-11 NEVER FORGET" bumper stickers, and high freaking decals, and all that kind of stuff. The cigar store owner told us that after Sept. 11th, Americans talk about terrorism all the time, and about the attacks on our troops, and about how we don't feel safe, but, he said, we have no idea how totally safe and secure we are, we have no point of reference for someplace like India, where terrorism is a fairly common thing, we have no idea of what real danger is like. It was really refreshing to hear someone actually understand.

None of my limited brushes with danger on the Subcontinent were anything like this. I can't even imagine. My rss feed just chimed to tell me that "at least 101 people are dead." The mind reels.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:52 PM on November 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


its interesting to note (per this BBC report/update) the choice of nationalities that these gunmen targeted - US, UK, Israeli - if you consider their strength and ability to deploy crack troops anywhere across the globe. Wonder what the masterminds here were really hoping would happen?
posted by infini at 11:11 PM on November 26, 2008


via #mumbai Twitter

"Mumbai Help Hotline: 91-91-2389 0606

Oberoi Trident Helpline: 91-11-2389 0606

US helpline 888-407-4747 Brazilian help line 9820686143 (C) CNN IBN FA 1-613-996-8885 from Canada, 1-800-387-3124

1 Australian national dead, 7 British nationals injured

9 foreigners among 101 dead

40-50 people still trapped in the Taj. 5-7 terrorists still spread out throughout the hotel. More bodies coming out.

top floor collapses

Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, and his wife Rivka, are missing (Chabad)"

A number of people recommending seeing Slumdog Millionaire

Heading to bed now. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone dealing with this crisis in Mumbai. My prayers for peace.
posted by nickyskye at 11:13 PM on November 26, 2008


Wonder what the masterminds here were really hoping would happen?

Carnage, fear and international attention, possibly a war of attrition. Radicals in Pakistan have been feeling the rhetorical and military heat lately, and are lashing out at any/everyone. From what it sounds like anyway - especially in terms of their demands regarding Kashmir. Chaos seems to be the goal.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:25 PM on November 26, 2008


Ubu: I meant that a standard-issue .303 rifle was not enough.
posted by the cydonian at 11:27 PM on November 26, 2008


Marisa stole etc : yes, that does seem the most likely goal, albeit coming on the heels of economic meltdown, shifts in geopolitics and a history making election, one muses if its just this very interesting inflection point in human history OR someone leveraging a naturally occuring tipping point?

and why?

read this? some itneresting analysis on the reasons for 9/11
posted by infini at 11:31 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the #mumbai tweet grid:

"Actor Ashish Chaudhary's sister trapped in New Oberoi with her husband

Islamic organisation Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) has also claimed responsibility

Mumbai terrorist were in getting orders from Karachi Pakistan via satphones"
posted by nickyskye at 11:35 PM on November 26, 2008


The South African press is reporting that no South Africans are reported killed at this time (South Africa has the largest population of Indians outside the sub-continent).
posted by PenDevil at 11:37 PM on November 26, 2008


NDTV has made it clear that while the Indian government is making tough announcements about not negotiating for hostages, there is some form of communication going on between the authorities and the terrorists.

I dunno. What could they possibly offer them? These guys came to die and take as many people with them as possible.
posted by bardic at 11:39 PM on November 26, 2008


Gunshots and explosions at the Trident Hotel.
posted by bardic at 11:40 PM on November 26, 2008


Some terrorists involved seemed to have been caught and interrogated. Battle currently raging at the Trident (Oberoi).
posted by the cydonian at 11:43 PM on November 26, 2008


I imagine we might be seeing a full on invasion of pakistan from two fronts here shortly.

The consequences of that would be devastating.
posted by empath at 11:47 PM on November 26, 2008


I know we need to understand and tolerate people, and discuss WHY these "beasts" are doing this, but...

WHEN CIVILIANS ARE CURRENTLY BEING HELD HOSTAGE AND DYING, THERE IS NO TIME TO UNDERSTAND THEM

TAKING INNOCENT LIFE = BAD, AND THESE PEOPLE MUST BE DEALT WITH FIRMLY AND JUSTLY

On a seperate note: Americans, take this Thanksgiving and pray for your families, your safety, your future. I know I will be.
posted by andruwjones26 at 11:56 PM on November 26, 2008


Cnn International reported that there was another explosion at the Oberoi.
posted by deborah at 12:03 AM on November 27, 2008


WHEN CIVILIANS ARE CURRENTLY BEING HELD HOSTAGE AND DYING, THERE IS NO TIME TO UNDERSTAND THEM

Look, I can't really dispute your feeling, but the ultimate target of any terrorist action is not this building or that one, but your nervous system. Terrorism is a provocation; its goal is to pang and echo across the wires of the world. So doesn't our resonant, rapt attention to these sorts of tragedies ultimately reward the perpetrators?

Sad, that someone can spend a few thousand dollars to reap untold billions in damage, media coverage, war - the business of destruction may be the surest investment on the planet right now. But that's only if we engage in this spending game. We don't have to.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:11 AM on November 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


now that i have a little background thanks to infini's excellent post

first, my thoughts and prayers are with mumbai, the people of india, and anyone with friends and family traveling in the area.
second, with the region being what it is this could get out of control very quickly. im not even considering worldwide implications because, quite frankly, its beyond me at this point. a cooling of heads is not going to come from the seats of power. to avert any drastic action the people of the region need to recognize that the humans who committed these acts do not speak for or against them regardless of their political, religious, or ethnic identity.

violence has no home.

let me also say that in the midst of this tragedy we are witnessing the end of traditional media as a realistic news source. thank you everyone for the comments here. thank you twitter and thank you flickr. in the future CNN will not have to drive me, and millions of others, insane.
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:41 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


This indicates a highly motivated and clever cell capable of advanced planning, targeting Americans and British citizens in particular.

How was this clever again? If the gunmen walk out of these attacks alive, then you can call them clever. Distributing a bunch of automatic rifles to a bunch of disaffected, impoverished, likely suicidal teens with instructions to go hunt down some Americans and Brits isn't particularly clever at all.

I mean, if shooting people and setting things on fire is "clever" there's like a shit-load of other things you might also be interested in checking out.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:22 AM on November 27, 2008


Has anyone heard from hadjiboy?
posted by triggerfinger at 1:31 AM on November 27, 2008


How was this clever again?

Supposedly they came by boat, avoiding a lot of defenses, targeted several multiple locations and managed to call several top police and anti-terrorist officials and took hostage several western people, which only further shines the spotlight on them, all be surprise. This is a lot of things, but it is not a bunch of angry teenagers with guns running amok, this is an attempt to bring a city to its knees and then hit it on the back 'till its face is in the dirt and someone's boot is on its neck with a gun at its head.

Think about it, a city of 19 million is thrown into chaos and virtual standstill by a group of about 20-30 men with off the shelf machine guns and grenades.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:41 AM on November 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


no, but i think he's based out of Hyderabad (not that that city hasn't had its fair share of such chaos)
posted by infini at 1:45 AM on November 27, 2008


triggerfinger: Crap! Is hadjiboy in Mumbai? Or elsewhere?

I was just thinking that the aftereffects of this will probably be a MAsSIVE blow to India's arts and entertainment scene. Bollywood is practically their LIFELINE - there are a thousand and one TV talent shows for Indians from everywhere (even expats) to showcase their singing and dancing. Young and old. There's hardly any snark about those shows (unlike, say, with American Idol) because they represent a big dream - freedom, fun, a fairytale life. It's such an integral part of Indian culture. My mum told me that had I been born & brought up in Bangladesh, and showed even the slightest bit of interest, I would have been enrolled in all sorts of singing and dancing classes - that's what gave you your spirit.

Much of South East Asia, even super-safe countries like Singapore, were banned by international artists up to 18 months after 9/11 and the Bali bombings. Somehow the whole REGION got lumped in as "unsafe terrorist hunters", and plenty of important entertainment and tourism revenue was lost. It also affected their reputation plenty - and Asia's a region that thrives on reputation. I worry that even one or two years down the line, when India recovers and gets more stable, international acts would still hesitate to drop by - and Bollywood may lose a growing international audience.

The spirit of music, dance, movies would be shunted. No one to cheer for. No one to cheer you on. People would stop thinking of India as "the country with the musicals for everything" and now just think of it as hell.
posted by divabat at 1:47 AM on November 27, 2008


Now that I've gotten over my initial shock and numbness, here are my few naya-paise:

a) 28/11 is NOT just a Hindu-Muslim thing. I'm from Hyderabad, been living in a Muslim-majority locality since for most of the time I've been in the city. I've seen sectarian violence, curfews and such, I've seen how mohallas used to get divided along religious lines. This is NOT any of them. The attackers were Muslim, they claimed they were fighting for an Islamic ideology, but it is NOT religious violence. Note how Americans, British and Israelis were specifically targetted; in fact, if I'm not wrong, this would be the first time ever that Jews were specifically targetted in acts of violence. This has never happened before in the thousand-odd years that Jewish communities made India their home.

That is to say, strife is not local anymore. It has been globalized; been so for years now, apparently.

b) "Deccan Mujahideen" is mostly likely a piece of fiction; the only proof of the existence of this group is a few emails received by media organizations. There's no way in hell that a bunch of neighbourhood kids could have pulled this off.

c) I've said this before, and I'll say this again: India is in a very very destabilizing neighbourhood. Every single country bordering India (and remember, most of India's borders are porous, including the one with Pakistan) has had internal strife in one form or the other. We will get pulled (have got pulled) into the neighbourhood; there's a lot of resentment out there, religious, social or something else.

d) We may be big, but there will be an immediate economic impact on the nation. 40% of India's GDP is generated by Bombay.

Survival of India is an interesting question with quite a bit of nuance. If the question is whether the Indian Union will survive, then the answer is the Indian Union will fight back. Hard. It always has, in dire situations; at seperate points in history, the Indian Union existed in Srinagar and Aizawl only at their respective airports. The Army fought back, and won, from the tarmacs onwards.

But this feeling I have.... it's new, I've never had it before. I feel numb, I feel angry, stupendously angry. I've given two presentations at work, participated in team-discussions, listened to comedy, ranted to all my friends, had lunch... tried to live life as normally as possible. Try as I might, I can't get away from the abject terror that my friend was projecting earlier on, the numbing sensation of normalcy being brutally violated by this darkness that's engulfed us all.

May be I should be Gita-ic, and just concentrate on doing my karya (actions) without thinking about results, just as my friend who lost his buddies is doing now.
posted by the cydonian at 2:17 AM on November 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


divabat: 40% of India's GDP is generated in BOM. The cricket season has now come to an abrupt halt; the English team is flying out at the first possible opportunity, the international Twenty20 teams are being asked to not come. I see no way how there cannot be an impact on the economy, film industry or otherwise.

triggerfinger: SMS'ed him. :-)
posted by the cydonian at 2:18 AM on November 27, 2008


hadjiboy's normally based in Hyderabad, which is roughly 16 hours from Mumbai by train, on a good day*. shouldn't be much of a danger for him, as long as he doesn't venture out of doors for a while, in case of mob reprisals.

no word from him here since late September. i expect he may have fallen in love again, or something.

* must go check Trains at a Glance
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:57 AM on November 27, 2008


Is hadjiboy in Mumbai?

His profile gives a location of Hyderabad.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:00 AM on November 27, 2008


According to the latest Trains at a Glance I could find, hadjiboy would be:

17 hours & 10 minutes from Mumbai on 7031 up (Mumbai CST Hyderabad Express)

14 hours & 20 minutes from Mumbai on 2701 up (Mumbai Hyderabad Hussein-Sagar Express)

(assuming Table 10 is the way to go: Mumbai CST-Secunderabad-Bangalore-Chennai. it would take a few hours to work out if there's a quicker way, but that's the ballpark presumed distance between hadjiboy and this bahut bara tamasha)
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:13 AM on November 27, 2008


Ubu: An hour by flight too, along with an hour each on either airport. Or 12 hours by bus. :-)
posted by the cydonian at 3:15 AM on November 27, 2008


What is the real, easily-achievable goal of this sort of attack? Press coverage. Government over-reaction, i.e., clampdowns, sanctions and invasions that only bolster their ranks.

Why does everyone respond to these attacks in such a foolish and predictable way? The best response would be measured and resolute, but no one ever seems to be able to pull that off because of the death toll, and, well, TERROR involved.

We have to stop giving these people everything they want. This is a horrible, cowardly attack on civilians (esp westerners) but it shouldn't become the start of WWIII.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:15 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Supposedly they came by boat, avoiding a lot of defenses, targeted several multiple locations and managed to call several top police and anti-terrorist officials and took hostage several western people

Sorry, I still don't understand the cleverness of it. Brazen? Sure. But what you've described doesn't take anything more than common sense and a willingness to die. Most people aren't willing to die.

I hate this self-deprecating rush to flatter the evil for their insidious genius like they somehow pulled one over on us. Because obviously they must have had a million-dollar bankroll to pull off such a precision operation. I can't even imagine the kinds of sophisticated technology they must have been using to coordinate the attacks all at the same time.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:21 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Commandos surround Mumbai Chabad House; blasts heard. Newscasters were calling it the "final ssault" on the Nariman House....
posted by PenDevil at 3:22 AM on November 27, 2008


But this feeling I have.... it's new, I've never had it before. I feel numb, I feel angry, stupendously angry. I've given two presentations at work, participated in team-discussions, listened to comedy, ranted to all my friends, had lunch... tried to live life as normally as possible. Try as I might, I can't get away from the abject terror that my friend was projecting earlier on, the numbing sensation of normalcy being brutally violated by this darkness that's engulfed us all.

posted by the cydonian An hour ago [+]


thanks for articulating far better what i've been feeling since 6am or so... i've just taken the day off, luckily I can afford to do so.
posted by infini at 3:48 AM on November 27, 2008


oh, shit.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:10 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I hate this self-deprecating rush to flatter the evil for their insidious genius like they somehow pulled one over on us."

They killed over 100 people, and that number could shoot up once the hotels are cleared. It's the highest number of people ever killed in a terrorist attack on Indian soil. And presumably they managed to target their victims as Americans, Brits, and Israelis (although we'll have to wait longer for final confirmation).

In the bloody calculus of terrorism, this attack was a huge success. What more do you need to hear? That they had ninja training?
posted by bardic at 4:23 AM on November 27, 2008


the cydonian: I've never been to India, but from professors who study Indian Jews, and acquaintances who are Jewish who have lived in India, you're right. Indian Jews have been pretty much unmolested for their history, unlike everywhere else there were Jews.

I had literally just finished my report on my fieldwork when 'my' local Chabad Rabbi sent us all a notice about the attack of the Chabad House in Mumbai. Now Chabad.org is showing that the toddler son escaped, but his parents are presumed to be still inside.

I want to briefly tell you about 'my' Chabad House, in Ottawa. It's the one that focuses on students. It's a full-time job of being hospitable. They accept all Jews and don't discriminate. (They'll find it odd if you're non-Jewish, because it's kinda odd to be non-Jewish and attend any Jewish event, but even then they'll understand). They give you meals and advice. My rabbi's wife had the same surgery as me. They have three daughters, and the wife is in her third trimester. Despite the amount of work they have--family and organizing everything, which amounts to about three full-time jobs each--they are such happy people. I can't quite put into words what a Chabad House can mean, especially if there's a small Jewish population in the area.

And I don't know Rabbi Gavriel and his wife, but I suspect they're the same way. They're trained to be so nice. So it makes me so sad to see that they were targeted, presumably because of the existence of the State of Israel. It makes me so indescribably sad.

At least the toddler seems to be safe.

(As a side note, when I posted about Mumbai, one friend, who I know has no real compassion for terrible news items, used the occasion to talk about a game show contestant saying he was still from Bombay, because LOL you think he'd get it right. I was disgusted, but she hasn't understood my 'approach' to news before, so I'm just not gonna make a fuss.)
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:48 AM on November 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've had a hard time sleeping; thinking about this, worrying about the hostages and wondering what's next. Such a terrible event.

I really wonder too if the attacks at the hospitals weren't premature, and were intended to actually take place as victims were brought there from the other sites? That would be consistent with the "spread terror" goal, as well as with some general tactics we have seen before from groups like this.
posted by gemmy at 6:27 AM on November 27, 2008


Morning dear MeFite friends. So sad to wake up and hear this nightmare is still ongoing in Mumbai. Now overhead here in Hell's Kitchen there are several helicopters that have been there for an hour. I just remembered there is the huge Thanksgiving Day Parade today here in NYC. That along with the warnings about possible AQ attacks on the NYC transit system leaves me queasy with anxiety.

Adding to resource links:

The International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research

NaxaliteRage

Raman's Terrorism Analysis

shloky's Twitter comments

From a memail last night: India borders in the north with the formerUSSR. Nepal has just emerged from a 9 year civil war led by Maoists. Lots of factionists in India of many types.

There's all kinds of powers around India working on destabilising the integrity of the country.

The oil/heroin war in Afghanistan on the left, the former USSR above left, civil war/Pakistan mess in Kashmir in the north, civil war-torn by Maoist insurrection Nepal and the Tibet-China loggerhead straight above, the Burma fiasco to the right.

This is an ongoing situation.

China took a chunk of India in 1962. The USA has been supplying Pakistan with insane armaments for decades, which caused India to move towards enmeshing with the former USSR.

So who knows what is really going on just now?

That Naxalite site's info re this situation is balanced and reasonable. I didn't want to use the name of the site, Naxalite, in the thread, although I linked to it, because it would have been denigrated as radical fluff, which it isn't. (about Naxalites).

Nice web support here: the Mumbai Help Blog Spot: Surviving Mumbai – Information for emergencies in the Bombay area

Includes initial lists of the dead with names.
posted by nickyskye at 7:00 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


volunteers needed to type out the dead/ injured at http://mumbaihelp.blogspot.com from scanned fax.
posted by nickyskye at 7:08 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's the highest number of people ever killed in a terrorist attack on Indian soil.

Not even close:

March 12, 1993
257 killed and more than 1,000 injured in 15 co-ordinated bomb attacks in Bombay...
July 11, 2006
At least 200 killed and 700 injuried when seven bombs exploded in crowded commuter trains during the evening rush hour near Mumbai.

posted by mediareport at 7:50 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mumbai Help Blog Spot

Thank you, nicky.
posted by zennie at 7:58 AM on November 27, 2008


its interesting to note (per this BBC report/update) the choice of nationalities that these gunmen targeted - US, UK, Israeli -

Um, you left out Indian. Terrorists were tossing grenades into and firing on large crowds of Indian people. We'll have to wait to see how many foreigners were murdered in the hotels, but from current reports it seems likely the largest number of dead from this episode - i.e., the vast majority of people "these gunmen targeted" - is going to be Indian citizens.
posted by mediareport at 8:05 AM on November 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think twitter's built in search for mumbai is nicer than tweetgrid. For those interested in this sort of thing.
posted by chunking express at 8:08 AM on November 27, 2008


I am, TBH, not convinced by the whole "following multiple twtter feeds more informative than watching the news" thing.

Though honestly I'm mostly getting information on this by obsessively updating this thread.
posted by Artw at 8:13 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, going back and reading all 350+ comments in this thread was a depressing way to start my Thanksgiving.

According to what I'm reading, "100 armed men launched an attack," but only "six attackers have been killed and nine others arrested since the violence began."

Yikes.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:27 AM on November 27, 2008


Um, you left out Indian.

You'll never find me disregarding foreign casualties, as evidenced by any Iraq thread I participate in, but the statement you quoted said targeted.

Given that the available targets were overwhelmingly Indian, the picture that is beginning to emerge is that there were two groups that were specifically targeted: those higher up in the police and counter-terrorism hierarchy, and foreigners, possibly of certain nationality. The remaining attacks appear to be taken out on targets of convenience to sow chaos and panic, but obviously, it is early yet to be making definitive conclusions of any kind.

I'd give the previous poster the benefit of the doubt that he/she was not discounting Indian casualties.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:28 AM on November 27, 2008


I am, TBH, not convinced by the whole "following multiple twtter feeds more informative than watching the news" thing.

I'll vote clearly for "Twitter was much less informative, overall, than hourly check-ins with this thread (minus the breathless tweet repeats), blogs with a connection to the region and the BBC, Times of India and other international news sites."
posted by mediareport at 8:31 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


highest number of people ever killed in a terrorist attack on Indian soil.

What is it that impels such gasping morons to breathlessly spew utter bullshit like this? Some cloying need to be convinced of their own importance imputed by the fact of their coincidental existence concurrent with monstrous events?
posted by chlorus at 8:31 AM on November 27, 2008


What is it that impels such gasping morons to breathlessly spew utter bullshit

Could you elaborate on why this statement is "utter bullshit", chlorus? I'd be more interested in that than in your psych profiles of fellow posters.
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:39 AM on November 27, 2008


Could you elaborate on why this statement is "utter bullshit", chlorus?

Mediareport has already elaborated quite succinctly.
posted by chlorus at 8:43 AM on November 27, 2008


This is probbaly going to top 200 though...
posted by Artw at 8:49 AM on November 27, 2008


Sophisticated Attacks, but Al Qaeda Link Disputed

Mumbai Mourns Attacks On Icons Taj And Leo

unrelated but an additional loss to India today: `Messiah Of The Poor`, Former India PM Singh, Dies. More about VP Singh (Vishwanath Pratap Singh).

The man in charge of military response to the terrorist attack in Mumbai is Major General RK Hooda Officer Commanding of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat. I'm not sure if this is another man with the same name, RK Hooda?

"One commando was killed two others injured in the operation at Taj in which one rucksack full of plastic explosives, eight–nine loaded AK–47 magazines, large amounts of ammunition, hand grenades, detonators, batteries, wrist watches for IEDs, foreign currencies, fake credit cards, dry fruits and cash carried by the terrorists were recovered."

How Safe Are Our Nukes?


TV screen shots from the coverage of the Mumbai terrorist attack.

110 dead, 6 foreigners.
posted by nickyskye at 8:52 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fair enough. Must have missed that.
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:02 AM on November 27, 2008


Every time I think I've become totally hardened to these sorts of mass tragedies, there's some little detail that gets through and tears me up. This time it was Flibbertigibbet's description of a local Chabad house that got me.

What terrible news, on all fronts.

(India is not the only country to have relied on "encounter specialists" and extra-judicial killings as central methods in crime fighting. A really good book on the subject is Paul Chevigny's Edge of the Knife: Police Violence in the Americas, in addition to the previously-suggested Mehta's Maximum City and Chandra's Sacred Games.)
posted by Forktine at 9:08 AM on November 27, 2008


terrorists call Indian TV from hostages' cell phone... one belonging to a Swedish woman at Oberoi hotel, and the other from the Chabad rabbi.
posted by lullaby at 9:13 AM on November 27, 2008


From lullaby's link:

" Terrorists Ring Up India TV Twice During Siege Using Hostages’ Cellphones

New Delhi, Delhi, India, Thursday, November 27, 2008 -- (Business Wire India)

Two terrorists, Shadullah and Imran Babar, rang up India TV twice during the siege on Thursday using cellphones of their hostages to place their points of view.

The first call came in the morning from Shadullah who was holed up in Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai. Using Cellphone no. 09769679723 belonging to a Swedish lady named Lisa Ringner from Room No. 1856, Hotel Oberoi, Shadullah rang up India TV’s popular number 93505 93505 and spoke at length about why he and his colleagues carried out the strikes in Mumbai.

Shadullah claimed that he belonged to Deccan Mujahideen, a little known outfit which had claimed responsibility of the terror strikes in Mumbai on Wednesday night. The anchor repeatedly asked whether he was from Hyderabad, India, or from Hyderabad, Pakistan, to which he replied in his heavily Pakistani accent that he belonged to Hyderabad of the Deccan. Shadullah carried on with his litany of perceived injustices meted out Muslims in India. The conversation ran thus :

India TV – What do you want?
Shadullah – When so many of us were killed, who did anything for us? Babri Masjid was demolished. We were not allowed to stay in peace..That time, nobody was with us. You are talking of surrender.. Let these commandos come.. Hum Uski Aisi Chhutti karega ki Who apne bachhey ko yateem kar lega.(We will get rid of them in such a manner that their sons will become orphans)
India TV- You belong to which place? To which faction do you belong?
Shadullah- We belong to Hyderabad.
India TV—Hyderabad of Pakistan?
Shadullah- No, Hyderabad of the Deccan. And we are from Deccan Mujahideen.
India TV—What are your demands?
Shadullah- Wait for a minute ( he consults with somebody)
India TV—Tell us your demands, because the whole of India is listening to you.
Shadullah—Hello, We demand the release of all mujaheddin put in jails. Then will we release these people. Otherwise..Nahin Toh hum Eent se Eent Bajayega (we will destroy this place)..You must have seen, what’s happening here."
posted by nickyskye at 9:26 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh shit.

Don't know much about these groups, or the political situation, but is this about a long game in Pakistan? Pakistan looking for an Indian backlash there, thus handing the Pakistani Generals and ISI all the space they need to destabilise the Zardari government or shore up their political position?
posted by YouRebelScum at 10:04 AM on November 27, 2008


Iridic was right. Those particular cops were indeed targeted.

From ToI:
Terrorists who struck Mumbai had set up advance "Control Rooms" in the luxury Taj and Trident Oberoi hotels which was also targeted and did prior reconnaisance executing plans worked "over months", Union Cabinet minister Kapil Sibal said on Thursday night.
...
They had targeted certain key police officers even when they were wearing vests and protective head gears, he said, adding the terrorists shot them dead within minutes of their arrival.
People are still apprehensive here despite the seeming conclusion of the attacks because there's talk that both some of the terrorists who participated are on the loose along with possibly "sleeper" cells who also disembarked on shore.
posted by Gyan at 10:09 AM on November 27, 2008


Using Cellphone no. 09769679723 belonging to a Swedish lady named Lisa Ringner from Room No. 1856, Hotel Oberoi, Shadullah rang up India TV’s popular number 93505 93505 and spoke at length about why he and his colleagues carried out the strikes in Mumbai.

How weird. The Swedish papers are reporting that Ms. Rigner and her boyfriend escaped "from under the nose of the terrorists", and the story makes a big deal of them "gathering their stuff, mobile phones, and credit cards" with them before fleeing through the smoke. The two stories seem incompatible.
posted by gemmy at 10:13 AM on November 27, 2008


The gunman's reference to Babri Masjid suggests even more strongly this is an internal Moslem-Hindu issue with westerners as collateral damage or attention-getters and this is not about the United States, Britain, etc. per se.
posted by Rumple at 10:21 AM on November 27, 2008


I just want to thank The Whelk for calmly providing useful information for those wanting to help, and not indulging in idle (but understandable, I'm betting on the damned ISI being behind this) speculation.

Good job, The Whelk!

Now I'll go back to worrying about friends and relatives in Colaba.
posted by QIbHom at 10:50 AM on November 27, 2008


The two stories seem incompatible.

If only there was some way of contacting them to find out the truth.
posted by cillit bang at 11:02 AM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


List of Mumbai victims in hospitals.
posted by divabat at 11:42 AM on November 27, 2008


A text version of the list of injured/dead is now at the mumbaihelp blog.

Why isn't this over yet? :(
posted by stumbling at 12:05 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Warning: grim photo of the dead by Taj Hotel poolside.

Video: survivor of the Mumbai train station attack.

video: assorted footage and the mention that there was an Indian political conference going on at the Taj Hotel.

Looks like the terrorists may have entered the Taj Hotel through the kitchen?

Tweets: "A bunch of people were hiding in the freezer (4 deg to -4 deg C) for 7 hours. One of their phones rang and the gunmen found out.

Approx 25 terrorists entered mumbai. Where are all of them? Approx 9 killed and a few captured. Where are the rest?"

Timeline-Major Attacks In India Since 2003

Writers Against Terrorism blogspot - call for contributors from Mumbai Help.

"This blog is an attempt by writers to address issues of terrorism, fanatacism, bigotry, war, censorship, human rights violation, women's rights and any act which violates the idea of justice and fairness.

I invite you to post your comments, opinions, ideas and issues pertaining to these. Let's come up with suggestions to make our world safe and terror free."
posted by nickyskye at 12:36 PM on November 27, 2008


(via twitter)
Amitabh Bachchan: "Before retiring for the night, I pulled out my licensed .32 revolver, loaded it and put it under my pillow. For a very disturbed sleep."
posted by stumbling at 12:43 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


via Rediff Ismail alias Zakiruallah, a Punjabi from Faridkot in Pakistan who was arrested by the Mumbai police on Wednesday night during the terror attacks, is giving interrogators the complete story of how the sensational terror operation was planned and executed.
He has told the Mumbai police that he has been trained by the Lashkar e Tayiba, said police sources while giving chilling details of the most daring terror attack in India that has so far killed 101 people

posted by adamvasco at 12:44 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


In keeping with the agenda of the OP: Tweeting the terror: How social media reacted to Mumbai

From Stratfor: "Nearly 24 hours after the initial attacks in Mumbai, what is now being referred to as India’s 9/11 is still in motion. Operations by Indian security forces to release the remaining hostages at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident hotels and the Jewish Chabad House are ongoing, with reports of another explosion at the Taj hotel. Israel’s intelligence services are also helping the Indians resolve the hostage situation at the Chabad House.

Descriptions of the attackers thus far point to a combination of Indian Muslims, Kashmiris and Pakistanis, all 20 to 25 years of age. Hints of a Pakistani connection are also emerging, with the Indian navy now searching a boat that allegedly originated at the Pakistani port city of Karachi, delivered eight to 10 militants off the coast of Mumbai and was heading back to Karachi Nov. 27 when an Indian navy helicopter encircled and detained the boat.

As Stratfor has emphasized, the Indian government will not be able to downplay its response to an attack of this magnitude, raising the potential for India to spin up the Pakistani linkages in the attack to create a crisis along the Indo-Pakistani border. Stratfor has learned that discussions are already taking place among senior Congress officials in New Delhi to amass troops along the border in Kashmir, a situation reminiscent of the Indian response to the 2001 parliamentary bombing in Mumbai that led to a near-nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan."

Militant Attacks In Mumbai and Their Consequences
"The massive Nov. 26 militant attack in Mumbai, India, promises to cut deeply into India’s foreign investment prospects and rock India’s government. As India responds to the attack, the chance of a destabilization in its relations with Pakistan is high."

Red Alert: Possible Geopolitical Consequences of the Mumbai Attacks

"India is under enormous pressure to respond. Therefore the events point to a serious crisis not simply between Pakistan and India, but within Pakistan as well, with the government caught between foreign powers and domestic realities. Given the circumstances, massive destabilization is possible — never a good thing with a nuclear power."
posted by nickyskye at 12:48 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


British yachting tycoon Andreas Liveras among the dead.

Before he was killed, he gave an interview to the BBC from the Taj's basement: "All we know is the bombs are next door and the hotel is shaking every time a bomb goes off. Everybody is just living on their nerves."
posted by terranova at 12:50 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the rediff link adamvasco posted:
According to information collected by the police, on Wednesday evening, around 10 Pakistanis came by speed boats to the coast near Colaba in South Mumbai from Karachi. From fishing trawls they shifted to dinghies to reach Mumbai, and the transfer took place somewhere near Gujarat. Alert and smart fisherfolk could notice that some unknown characters in casual clothes had alighted. They were surprised to see unknown faces and the unusually large bags they were carrying.


Immediately they drew the attention of the local policemen from the nearby police post at Budhwar Park, Colaba. Within two hours of the fishermen's complaint to the police the terrorists had struck at Taj Mahal Hotel and at Trident hotel, Nariman House owned by Jews, and in Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus [Images] and a few other places. It was a meticulous and well-planned operation which has given the perpetrators of the horrific act a tremendous boost.
(Also: a collection of photos (not Vinu's set), some local bloggers liveblogging this, and a timeline of the events.)
posted by stumbling at 12:56 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Karachi metroblog is reporting some unrest in that city as well. Not sure if this is related.

Entire post:
There are reports of heavy exchange of firing between two groups at Soharaab Goth and a bomb blast on a pushcart near Bakra Mundi. Reports of unrest and violence in different parts of the city. Shops and markets are reported to have been closed in Aziz Abad, Gulburg, parts of Gulshan-e-Iqbal (near Abul Hasan Asphani Road) are reported to have been closed earlier then usual. While since 12:30 am we have been hearing heavy firing with intervals coming from a distance here in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
posted by stumbling at 1:09 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I appreciate the links to news and information. Photos of the dead, not so much.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:24 PM on November 27, 2008


aww. Indian firemen observing the Taj Hotel fire. I love that one is holding the other.

The Taj lost one of its landmark domes to fire.

From Arun Shanbhag's excellent blog, with quite powerful, detailed, people's journalist photographs and commentary, linked by stumbling.
posted by nickyskye at 1:40 PM on November 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Newsweek's article: The Pakistan Connection - Evidence is still sketchy, but tensions are already rising between India and its nuclear-armed neighbor.

For those not near a TV: LiveStation.

Obama says India's democracy will win over terrorism.

Heading out for Thanksgiving dinner, my heart heavy for the stress India is under just now. Longstanding political conflicts are not resolved by war. I truly hope in the years to come that there is a path to peace.

My very favorite Mohammed Rafi song has meaningful lyrics for this potentially volatile time:

YouTube video of Although We Hail From Different Lands

"Although we hail from different lands,
we share one earth and sky and sun,
remember friends, the world is one.

We want all enmity to cease,
for we want peace, we all want peace,
we want no hate, we want no strife,
since we were born for love and life,
come let us chant while joining hands,
we shall not rest till wars are done,
remember friends, the world is one.

Although we hail from different lands,
we share one earth and sky and sun,
remember friends, the world is one.

we have matured to dream and build,
we want our dreams to be fulfilled,
we have come here to dream and plan,
a world of joy and hope for man,
a world is dignity demesne,
a world that we shall see begun,
remember friends, the world is one..

Although we hail from different lands,
we share one earth and sky and sun,
remember friends, the world is one."
posted by nickyskye at 2:47 PM on November 27, 2008


Thank you nickyskye for mentioning the commentary with the photos at Arun's blog. I missed noting that, still kind of jittery/random here. Arun was speaking on CNN just a while ago (CNN's been reaching a lot of local bloggers, Vinu, Dina Mehta etc were on too earlier).

Fresh information from the area has more or less stopped completely in the last couple of hours. I hope that means there is some NSG op going on, or that things are actually quieting down. This has gone on way too long.
posted by stumbling at 2:51 PM on November 27, 2008


people would stop thinking of India as "the country with the musicals for everything" and now just think of it as hell.

And they would be delusional in either case.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:08 PM on November 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


This thread has been an incredible resource. My thoughts go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy.
posted by dejah420 at 3:12 PM on November 27, 2008


Three interlinked first-hand accounts about the attacks: Rahul, Amit and Sonia.

(via @Gauravonomics )
posted by stumbling at 3:34 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think this thread points out both the strengths, and the limits of social networking as a news source.

Back in 1989, I was living in the Napa Valley when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit. I was with my roommate at the winery where he worked, and we obviously felt it, but there was no damage, and very little in the Valley at all. We ordered a pizza, and went home to drink beer, and we watched the events unfold on the television news. Being in the area, we noticed that the further away the news originated, the less reliable it was factually.

During the event, the eyewitness accounts are useful on twitter etc., and I think we get an idea of what's happening. What the news organizations are going to be better at is the more in depth stuff, and the analysis. I'm not watching any teevee on this, but rather reading articles as they are posted my news organizations. The twitter feeds are very susceptible to rumor, but the news orgs can't match it for the on the scenes information.
posted by Eekacat at 3:51 PM on November 27, 2008


Another (massive) list of livebloggers (first-hand information marked as such), from the aforementioned Gaurav's blog.
posted by stumbling at 3:53 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Any update on the Chabad house situation? I can't find much and haven't heard anything fresh in awhile...
posted by andruwjones26 at 4:05 PM on November 27, 2008


According to this source (the 6:37 update), which cites the Economic Times of India, Rabbi Holtzer and his wife have been killed, but I'm not finding any confirmation on that.
posted by Bromius at 4:08 PM on November 27, 2008


NDTV is reporting right now about a "Third Explosion At Nariman House." Very disturbing and sad.
posted by bardic at 4:34 PM on November 27, 2008


NY Times article on Rabbi Holtzer and some of his former neighbors in the Crown Heights Lubavitch community in Brooklyn. The article does not say that they are dead, only that no one has been able to contact them. (or at least that is how the article appears at the time of this posting.)
posted by marsha56 at 5:10 PM on November 27, 2008


Warning: grim photo of the dead by Taj Hotel poolside.

now, that really is fucked up. i've heard that military types know that only around 1 in 20 people can actually pull the trigger to kill somebody when face-to-face with them, so a lot of military training is about either overcoming this natural aversion (by making it an automatic, thoughtless process) or else slotting people into other positions where they're not required to do that sort of thing.

setting a bomb somewhere in pursuit of an ideal is one thing. gunning down a couple who could be your own grandparents on holiday is another, and says something - i'm not quite sure what - about the mindset of the people doing this horrific thing. it'd have to have something to do with ceasing to see people as people, but as nothing other than projected embodiments of some abstract principle that you have come to despise.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:27 PM on November 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Consensus is that Taj and Trident/Oberoi are now stable.

#mumbai is now (~7:10 AM IST) teeming with reports on a final assault on Chabad/Nariman house. The status of the hostage situation there is uncertain. Several people are posting live about this (I'm following @shahpriya).
posted by stumbling at 5:52 PM on November 27, 2008


Bromius: Didn't notice the article on TOI or Economic Times. Not substantiated as yet.

bardic: "Explosions" are still 'okay', in that it could be the NSG breaking open doors. "Gunfire", OTOH, is scary. The tweetgrid feed seems to be saying that there's an aerial assualt underway; they've landed on the roof.

Ubu: Yes, that was exactly the reason why I was calling this "Deccan Mujahideen" thing as fiction. Disgruntled kids in the neighbourhood can, presumably, make country-made bombs and hurl them at crowded corners, but there's no way in hell that they'll ever be able to take on such an operation. You need urban-warfare expertise, training and yes, that inhuman ruthlessness to become killing machines.

Also, this.
posted by the cydonian at 6:08 PM on November 27, 2008


Guest columnist at the London Times: India cannot pin all the blame on outsiders. Radical Islamist terrorism has flourished among the sub-continent's seething mixture of racial and religious rivalries
posted by telstar at 6:38 PM on November 27, 2008


Meanwhile, the Aussie media are keeping us up to date on the important side stories:

'Lucky' Warne escapes Mumbai massacre:

Retired spin legend Shane Warne says a decision to delay his arrival at the Taj Mahal Hotel prevented him from being caught up in the deadly terrorist attacks that rocked Mumbai.

As you alluded to earlier, cydonian, this will probably fuck the 20-20 season, as most of the international star players will surely stay away now.

(gossip around the traps is that Warney is the Godambo-like mastermind behind all of this, and organised the whole operation so that the Rajasthani Royals could keep the trophy)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:40 PM on November 27, 2008


An email of the personal experience of a Canadian writer who escaped the attack.
posted by divabat at 6:47 PM on November 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


I wonder if the guy in divabat's link was already culture-shocked and scaredy, which isn't unexpected on yr first time in Mumbai. His seems such an extreme reaction -- what's that? a bomb? pack-run-airport-plane-home-pronto -- even though it turned out to be exactly the right thing to do.
posted by bonaldi at 6:58 PM on November 27, 2008


bonaldi: it might be, i know people who have had extremely stressful reactions to india after a normal, everyday trip for a professional event or conference, particularly the actual reality of dense crowds, chaos, filth, poverty and overall sense of WTF am I...
posted by infini at 7:04 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


The terrorists speak: 1, 2
posted by divabat at 7:43 PM on November 27, 2008


Does anyone know how we as laypeople can provide help to Mumbai? The Indian Red Cross doesn't say anything directly.
posted by divabat at 7:44 PM on November 27, 2008


I wonder if the guy in divabat's link was already culture-shocked and scaredy, which isn't unexpected on yr first time in Mumbai. His seems such an extreme reaction -- what's that? a bomb? pack-run-airport-plane-home-pronto -- even though it turned out to be exactly the right thing to do.

Well it reminds me of those people who fled the towers on 9/11 early enough for it to make a difference. Sometimes an extreme reaction is the right one. Not sure about grabbing a plane, but his steps till then (leaving aside the very lucky stuff) was methodical and rather cogent, considering.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:46 PM on November 27, 2008


Fareed Zakharia's take on this (his family is from BOM):-
The group that claimed responsibility called itself the Deccan Mujahedeen—a name that doesn't seem to register with many of the terrorism experts quoted in news accounts thus far. Does it mean anything to you?
This doesn't strike me as Deccan (the Deccan plateau stretches over much of central and southern India). I would be very surprised if the people who did this actually came out of the area. It's not an area of any particular significance for Islamic terrorism. It isn't as though there's a Deccan separatist region.

Any insight into where the terrorists might come from, then?
An Indian businessman who says he heard the attackers said he didn't understand the language that the young men were speaking. That means that it wasn't Hindi or Urdu… most Indians would recognize the major languages even if they couldn't speak one of them. But most Indians would be unfamiliar with what's spoken in parts of the Kashmir. That's a source of much of the terrorism. My guess is that ultimately this will turn out to be some outside jihadi groups who might also recruit among disaffected Muslims locally.
posted by the cydonian at 8:22 PM on November 27, 2008


Watching NDTV is confusing. It was roughly 24 hours ago they announced the Taj Hotel was effectively clear of terrorists, now they're saying hostages have been released but terrorists are still holed up there with victims.

And the Tirdent and Oberoi hotels are "connected"? As in, they're two halves of the same building? Share a ground-floor hallway?

The perils of live news coverage I guess. When I went to bed last night it seemed like things were finally coming to an end, but it sounds as if there are still multiple hostage situations.

Here's to their quick and safe release and/or escape.
posted by bardic at 11:15 PM on November 27, 2008


Some unanswered questions about the terrorist attacks.
posted by adamvasco at 11:25 PM on November 27, 2008


List of hostages rescued from Oberoi Trident

"The National Security Guard has declared an all-clear at the Taj Mahal hotel where a fierce gunbattle was on between the forces and terrorists for the past 20 hours."

"Terror attack in Mumbai: What can we do to make India a safer place"

"Walter Andersen, a former senior Administration official, who headed up the State Department's South Asia Division of the Intelligence and Research Bureau has said the Mumbai terrorist attacks showed clearly a failure of India's intelligence and security apparatus and also the utter incompetence of Home Minister Shivraj Patil"
posted by nickyskye at 11:36 PM on November 27, 2008


Take it for what it's worth, but NDTV is reporting that there is still at least one hostage situation at the Taj, possibly more.

It's a huge hotel, and one reporter described it as "a labyrinth."
posted by bardic at 12:04 AM on November 28, 2008


Bill Roggio : Analysis: Mumbai attack differs from past terror strikes.
posted by adamvasco at 2:10 AM on November 28, 2008


Mumbai attacks: citizen journalism round-up.
posted by adamvasco at 2:50 AM on November 28, 2008


Live on IVN now - apparently there is one cluster of 2-5 terrorists holed up in the taj and the security forces, commandos and snipers are focusing on one particular room, intense gunfire, possibly grenades going off ... meanwhile, a few more people seem to be being rescued from hotel, and 3-4 people outside the hotel watching events have been hit by bullets ...

from #mumbai: Nariman has a live battle going on - reports that 4th floor of Nariman House has been blasted into by the commandos

From #mubai: operations in the Oberoi hotel are said to be over. About 40 people have been freed from the Oberoi, also reports of about 30 bodies recovered
posted by madamjujujive at 3:59 AM on November 28, 2008


100 guests now said to have been rescued from final events at Oberoi - partial list of hostages rescued

Reporters and observers seem to think that things are culminating at Taj and Nariman

Taj battle still ongoing; no knows how many guests or hostages might be there but reports are that there are still "a lot of people" locked in their rooms. Large explosions have been heard - a fire has broken out - smoke is coming from two places; the fighting action appears to be moving where before it was focused on one area. A lot of commandos moving in, they want to prevent any possible escapes.

Nariman house has had large explosions; large numbers of commandos brought in; thought to be about a half dozen terrorists; thought to be about a half dozen hostages - there had been a person waving a white cloth from 3rd floor which was thought to be a Jewish ceremonial cloth waved by a hostage
posted by madamjujujive at 4:49 AM on November 28, 2008


Any insight into where the terrorists might come from, then?
An Indian businessman who says he heard the attackers said he didn't understand the language that the young men were speaking. That means that it wasn't Hindi or Urdu… most Indians would recognize the major languages even if they couldn't speak one of them. But most Indians would be unfamiliar with what's spoken in parts of the Kashmir. That's a source of much of the terrorism. My guess is that ultimately this will turn out to be some outside jihadi groups who might also recruit among disaffected Muslims locally.


There are over 1500 languages spoken in India alone. Just because this one businessman does not recognize the one being spoken, obviously it must be Kashmiris, brilliant.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:54 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Celebrating outside Nariman House now - police coming out with hands in the air, smiling ... people outside celebrating, crowd is very emotional - Narriaman said to be liberated; no word on hostages.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:00 AM on November 28, 2008


Huge crowd outside Nariman becoming unruly, many drunk and angry, a lot of pent up frustration - police having trouble trying to control crowd

Some reports now that action may not be entirely over yet, one floor still said still in process of being cleared. Police being cautious - will not say it is over - but say it is in final stages and should be over soon - thought to be one terrorist still alive and exchanging shots.
Conflicting - because one emerging policeman had told a reporter that the 4 terrorists were all dead.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:15 AM on November 28, 2008




Last SMS from newspaper editor hiding under her bed at the Taj: They are in my bathroom


Saw a tweet about people spending 7 hours hiding in a working walk in freezer but no news stories.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:27 AM on November 28, 2008


~ There are over 1500 languages spoken in India alone. Just because this one businessman does not recognize the one being spoken, obviously it must be Kashmiris, brilliant.

And, the most commonly spoken language on the Deccan is not even mentioned.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:50 AM on November 28, 2008


There are over 1500 languages spoken in India alone. Just because this one businessman does not recognize the one being spoken, obviously it must be Kashmiris, brilliant.

I think the point was that if they were not speaking Hindi/Urdu, then they aren't from the Deccan. If they aren't from the Deccan, and are Islamicist terrorists, then the chances are that they could be Kashmiri. Think Zakaria's point, albeit a weak one, was that most people would recognize what language was being spoken, except if it was a limited regional language like Kashmiri.

Nariman House seems to be sanitized by the NSG and handed over to the local police. No hostages alive from there. Battle at the Taj is raging on. They seem to have been prepared for this for months; there were VISA cards, Blackberries, a crapaton lot of food and ammo. It's possible that they were reconnaissance-ing _daily_ and struck only when the guard was down.

A valid piece by a cricket writer. Echoes my feelings currently.

I just learnt that a neighbour was killed at the Oberoi Hotel. She is the first Singaporean to die in a terror attack ever. Haven't approached the family as yet; been told they are still in a state of shock.

Forget about resilience and all that nonsense, I don't think India or Bombay will be the same after this.
posted by the cydonian at 8:05 AM on November 28, 2008


It isn't over yet?!

Woke up to CNN and MSNBC showing footage of crowds cheering (and admittedly, getting in the way) at the Nariman house. Cop in fire engine asking people, "Thodi samay aur chahiye, abhi aap log khushi zahir math keejiye" (We need some more time, please do not express your joy now). Dear god, hindi does my heart good.

Right now I wanna go back so hard it hurts.
posted by stumbling at 8:08 AM on November 28, 2008


there were VISA cards, Blackberries

What does either one of those do for the captors in a hostage situation?
posted by oaf at 8:09 AM on November 28, 2008


there were VISA cards, Blackberries

What does either one of those do for the captors in a hostage situation?


I think the cydonian was saying that the terrorists had visa cards and blackberries as part of their preperatory equipment and that they had been working this up for quite some time.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:18 AM on November 28, 2008


Audio description from a survivor: "Mark Abell, a British lawyer who was trapped inside the Oberoi hotel in Mumbai, has been rescued. He has endured 48 hours with no food and little water"
posted by nickyskye at 8:25 AM on November 28, 2008


CNN: "Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife were among the dead in Chabad House in Mumbai, India, said Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, a spokesman for Chabad-Lubavitch International in the United States."

It's true that the signal/noise ratio is very high on Twitter (#mumbai TweetGrid) but still, flaws and all, an extraordinary hive-mind reportage. Incredible.
posted by nickyskye at 8:30 AM on November 28, 2008


Tweet: "NDTV indicates that the recovered mobile phone has call logs to the head of the LeT in Islamabad."
posted by nickyskye at 8:33 AM on November 28, 2008


Claims emerge of British terrorists in Mumbai
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on November 28, 2008


What does either one of those do for the captors in a hostage situation?

There was some talk of somebody buying 50,000 rupees' worth of groceries. Also, they apparently had taken rooms inside the Oberoi and the Taj before the mission. The Blackberries were apparently useful to track the reporting from the outside world; a couple of newschannels, for one, were showing non-stop footage live. There's some credible speculation that NSG/MarCo positions were compromised by the news channels.
posted by the cydonian at 8:38 AM on November 28, 2008


Good BBC article: "The gunmen who attacked two luxury hotels, and a fashionable cafe frequented by visiting Westerners, have brought the "war" - as they see it - to India's elite class, and to affluent Westerners living in or visiting India's most cosmopolitan city.

It is more than likely that the masterminds are seasoned operatives and that the foot-soldiers, young as they may have been, had undergone rigorous training for months, perhaps years.

The attacks also show every sign of having been designed to maximise media attention on a global scale.

In other words, there is a method to the madness."

BBC timeline of the events with photos and videos included.
posted by nickyskye at 8:43 AM on November 28, 2008


1 terrorist STILL inside the Taj. Ongoing shooting at the Taj.
posted by nickyskye at 8:48 AM on November 28, 2008


Sachin Kalbag of Mail Today (India Today Group) is at the Taj scene, and seems to be putting out clear and confirmed updates via twitter: @sachinkalbag
posted by stumbling at 9:00 AM on November 28, 2008


Photos from The Big Picture blog.
posted by Neilopolis at 9:11 AM on November 28, 2008


NDTV is reporting that forty terrorists were involved in the entire thing. 29 Pakistanis, the rest Bangladeshis. The NSG reports seeing three dead bodies in Nariman House when they entered; it's quite likely that the rabbi and his wife were killed quite a while back.

Pictures at boston.com Write-up on Rediff on what happened at CST.
posted by the cydonian at 9:27 AM on November 28, 2008


Amazing interview on CNN with a Canadian who was asleep in the Oberoi. First he blew off a text from a friend to come down to the bar, then he ignored a knock on his hotel room - which he later found out was the terrorists, who had gotten a list of Western guests from reception and systematically went to each of their rooms. He managed to escape in the chaos after bombs went off.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:20 AM on November 28, 2008


Some of the photographs from the Big Picture are crazy.
posted by chunking express at 10:38 AM on November 28, 2008


One of the Americans wounded at the Oberoi is children's author/artist Linda Ragsdale.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:35 AM on November 28, 2008


It's Mumbai, cydonian. Always has been for Indians and now is so for everyone else.
posted by anniecat at 12:50 PM on November 28, 2008


It's Mumbai, cydonian. Always For a long time has been for Indians the Gujarati and now is so for everyone else.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:20 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's Mumbai, cydonian. Always For a long time has been for Indians the Gujarati Maharashtrians nationalistic Marathi-speakers and now is so for everyone else.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:12 PM on November 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


First he blew off a text from a friend to come down to the bar, then he ignored a knock on his hotel room - which he later found out was the terrorists, who had gotten a list of Western guests from reception and systematically went to each of their rooms.

What a strange & out of place factoid: a knock on the door. You'd think that they'd kick the door in or use a crowbar or something.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:19 PM on November 28, 2008


So, my first cousin was in the Taj. In the restaurant. She's unhurt, but shaken up.

I saw her on the news yesterday, but I didn't think it was her. Or I didn't want to think it was her.
posted by zennie at 2:23 PM on November 28, 2008


"What a strange & out of place factoid:"

A lesson to aways use you peephole.
posted by 517 at 2:23 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Reports that a taxi packed with explosives was meant to blow up the airport: a red light and a rookie cabbie averted far a greater death toll.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:34 PM on November 28, 2008


anniecat, dear, the cydonion (and it's the cydonian) is Indian, from Hyderabad, a Sanskrit scholar as it happens and could quite likely write books about Indian culture, history, language and pronounciation of various Indian languages. And that was your first comment in Metafilter? Please fingerwag elsewhere.
posted by nickyskye at 2:43 PM on November 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


A lesson to aways use you peephole.

or put a "do not disturb" sign on the door.

anniecat & nickyskye: my finger was shaking as i was posting the comment about "Mumbai" being Marathi - expecting Sri Cydonianji to come back with a complicated & informative history of the ethnolinguistic & political history of the name which would make me look like a complete fool...
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:50 PM on November 28, 2008


And that was your first comment in Metafilter? Please fingerwag elsewhere.

Thanks for saying this in a nicer way than I was contemplating, Nicky.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:52 PM on November 28, 2008


OMG, that indiatoday item CunningLinguist posted, about the taxi being intended for the airport, is really scary.

They seem to have had a lot of explosives - the slow progress of the Taj operation has been attributed (by several #mumbai-kars) to reports that the holed up terrorists have a large amount of explosives with them (8KG of RDX?).
posted by stumbling at 2:57 PM on November 28, 2008


"Instead of taking a slip road that would have taken the passengers straight to the airport, the driver took the flyover which bypassed the airport, only to get stuck at a red light...

At rush hour, the lights stayed red for long, at which the passengers berated the driver and asked him to cut the traffic lights. The driver moved on, but the wait turned out to be a minute or two too long. The car exploded. All that was found was a severed head and parts of three human legs. Had the terrorists' plans of coinciding a blast at the airport with the attacks on the Taj and Oberoi hotels succeeded, the death toll of 26/11 would have been much bigger than it already is."

awww. Poor berated driver. One of those classic getting to the airport on time awful mistakes that ended up saving lives. Poignant story.

CunningLinguist, thanks. And ach, I'm such a pathetic, impatient typist I misspelled the cydonian's name while defending him. Sorry. Although cydonion is a humorous mistake, lol.
posted by nickyskye at 3:05 PM on November 28, 2008


Sorry, but you have very little idea what you're talking about, PhD or not. It was Mumbai long before it was Bombay, but I suppose the illustrated picture book you got from Grandma wouldn't have a detailed explanation, would it? It's strange to think a "scholar" continues to call it Bombay, though I don't doubt you have mastery of something related to India. It's not coming out here though, not on this issue. Might we have missed some topics in our studies? I think obviously so. Who gets naming rights,again, Professor? PS Must be great to be defended by a racist and anti-Semite, isn't it? Now those are some comments, Ubu!
posted by anniecat at 3:59 PM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


this is almost as funny as the time somebody tried to smack languagehat down, saying "i did a linguistics major so i know what i'm talking about"

anniecat, sorry, but you are just not going to win this one.

hey, i'm an anti-Semite now!
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:07 PM on November 28, 2008


You're all wrong, it's "Peking", you idiots
posted by Flunkie at 4:16 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's strange to claim that everyone who grew up calling it 'Bombay' is wrong to have not applied the official switchover to their personal discourse. So... these guys wrong too?
posted by zennie at 4:19 PM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


anniecat, you seem to be bearing a grudge about a person using the term Bombay, which was in use for some centuries as well as the name, Mumbai, which was not the internationally known name for the city until 1995. In justifying your grudge you are spreading ill will, making incorrect and ugly assumptions about MeFites who you do not know. You are trolling in a thread about a serious crisis. If you have a problem communicating in Metafilter there is a place called MetaTalk. Please take your gripes there.

For the record:

The city was called Bombay for much of the last four hundred years. The origin of the name is obscure, but is often said to come from the Portuguese phrase bom bahia meaning "good bay".

"Why was it ever called Bombay?
By a historical accident. There was no city on these seven islands before the 18th century. The nearest city was Thane. It has a long history and was mentioned by many travellers, including Ibn Batuta. The seven islands held many villages with different names, some of which survive in the names of areas in the city: Girgaum and Worli to name just two. The British established a port settlement near the harbour in the late 17th century. This eventually grew and engulfed all the other villages. The name Bombay may have got attached to the British settlement as an English corruption of the Portuguese description of the harbour, "Bom Bahia", meaning good bay."

The name Mumbai has been used in the main local languages for as long, and is ascribed to the local goddess, Mumba (ai means mother in Marathi). The name of the city was changed to Mumbai by an act of the parliament in 1997.

One Taj terrorist working as chef.

"In a shocking revelation on late Friday night, it has been reported that one of the terrorists holed up in hotel Taj Mahal was doing his internship there as Trainee Chef for past 10 months.

After this revelation, another possibility has arisen that there may be more than one terrorists working in various hotels that have been attacked and might be present at some other places also. This has increased the pressure on security forces as well because now it is difficult to ascertain the number of terrorists killed in the operations and those who are roaming free.

Now, security forces will have toil really hard to nab other terrorists if any of them is still at large."

SpecialOperations.com
re India's National Security Guards "Black Cats"

Soft on Terror

"As of 2 p.m., at least 160 people are confirmed dead—at least three of them Americans, including one former Brooklynite—and hundreds more are wounded, according to CNN."

Wall Street Journal: Terrorists Paralyze India's Business Capital

"While independent security experts said it’s likely that the attackers received some support from like-minded radicals in Pakistan, they also stressed that such a massive operation would have been nearly impossible without a deep-rooted local network inside India itself."

From the CUNY journalist blog by Joe Walker re Bush selling nuclear arms to India: “We don’t see the U.S. as a neutral broker anymore,” said a senior Pakistani official to the Wall Street Journal. “We don’t think this is how we should be repaid for our support in fighting al Qaeda.”

and

"Three main beneficiaries of the $700 billion dollar U.S. bailout—financial firms Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Merrill Lynch—are heavily invested in the region. Morgan Stanley alone spent $425 million in its effort to “cash in,” as the WSJ puts it."
posted by nickyskye at 4:19 PM on November 28, 2008


Currently following first-hand live Taj updates on twitter by Prem Panicker (who posted this fine analysis/update post on his blog). He seems to think that the standoff will be over in an hour or two.

Or you can this combination search feed that I am using now.
posted by stumbling at 4:20 PM on November 28, 2008


I've never been there, and no nothing about the history of the name(s) of the city. But the people I've known who are from there codeswitch between "Bombay" and "Mumbai" depending on who they are talking to, what they are talking about, and probably other reasons, too, sometimes back and forth within the same sentence.

I guess my point is that it is not nearly so simple as to say one is right, the other is wrong, end of story.

(Also, I'm confused: who is getting called racist and antisemitic? Is this a reference to a deleted comment?)
posted by Forktine at 4:24 PM on November 28, 2008


the comment may or may not be there still. i was having an inappropriate whinge about israeli backpackers.

i have no intention of reviving the derail, other than to post an analogy: complaining about the behaviour of british soccer hooligans != hating british citizens generally != hating all anglo-saxons worldwide.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:31 PM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


awww. Poor berated driver. One of those classic getting to the airport on time awful mistakes that ended up saving lives. Poignant story.

My parents were in Beirut in the early 70's traveling by taxi downtown. Their taxi driver was pretty normal by Lebanese standards, darting in and out of traffic but nothing unusual. Somewhere downtown they were caught in a traffic jam and sat for a couple of minutes when all of a sudden the driver jammed down the gas and floored it into the oncoming lane. Behind them an Israeli car bomb brought down the front of PFLP headquarters. Turns out the driver saw the agents chuck something into the car and run through the rear-view mirror and reacted as quickly as he could saving my parents and toddler brother.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:32 PM on November 28, 2008 [7 favorites]


Pakistan's English newspaper Dawn, on the attacks (from Prem's "End Game" post):
A few interpretations of the Mumbai terror attacks are doing the rounds. One of these came from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who shot off a thinly veiled warning to Pakistan on Thursday of costs if it cannot stop cross-border terrorism. And if Pakistan-based terrorists did in fact mastermind the bloodbath in Mumbai, as he implied, then they may have hit the bull's eye. Whoever has carried out the attacks has dispatched relations between the two countries, after they had shown significant signs of improvement, back to the more familiar square one.
and,
The scale of the terror attack was military-like in its scope, inviting comparisons with an Al Qaeda plot. But military training is not the preserve of Muslim extremists any longer, as the recent arrest of a lieutenant colonel of the Indian army has revealed. Before the Mumbai terror plot unfolded on Wednesday night, Maharashtra's Anti Terrorist Squad was pursuing solid leads into the involvement of the colonel and several Hindu extremists in bombing incidents eslewhere. Two of the police officers killed in Wednesday's shootout at the Taj Mahal hotel had been heading the probe into the anti-Muslim Malegaon blasts. The suspects were also being questioned for apparent involvement in the Samjhauta Express bombing, for which Pakistan was initially blamed. That probe may now remain shrouded in mystery.
posted by stumbling at 4:36 PM on November 28, 2008


Sreenath Sreenivasan, Dean of Student Affairs for the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in NYC has organized a call-in radio show for Indian journalists to collaborate and report on happenings in Mumbai since the attacks.

Sreenivasan organized this form of collective reporting within an hour, fast organizing made possible through social networking and the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA). There will continue to be “webcasts every 12 hours: 10-11:30 am and 10-11:30 pm New York time; that’s 8:30-10 am and 8:30-10 pm India time.”

posted by infini at 4:40 PM on November 28, 2008


FWIW, I watched about an hour of NDTV (Indian English language news) last night before bed, and the chief of police of Mumbai/Bombay was interviewed regarding the death of various Indian cops and special forces/SWAT guys. He referred to the city as Bombay, while the reporter referred to it as Mumbai. And neither one seemed to care.

Which is to say, I'm now very curious about the issue, but measuring our knowledge-about-India dicks here is incredibly tacky and unbecoming. At least the tone people like anniecat and nickyskye are taking.

Light not heat please.
posted by bardic at 4:47 PM on November 28, 2008


i've never been there, and no nothing about the history of the name(s) of the city. But the people I've known who are from there codeswitch between "Bombay" and "Mumbai" depending on who they are talking to, what they are talking about, and probably other reasons, too, sometimes back and forth within the same sentence.

its just habit and language really, my mom still calls in bumbai (hindi pronounciation) becuase that is what she's always called it. the name changes are recent (albeit with historical legacies to the name) but no one is used to refering to it in that way unless native Marathi speakers (i'm guessing) I still say Calcutta and Madras becuase that's where I lived/was born etc and never got used to the new names
posted by infini at 4:48 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


New details emerging of the plot, from interrogation of captured militant:

It was not a suicide attack: they apparently thought they would sail away to safety on their captured trawler and even programmed the GPS for their getaway.




(I had no idea Calcutta had changed its name. I guess I learned something from that snotty derail after all.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:58 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Who gets naming rights,again, Professor?

I suppose it's the one saying the name, no? I doubt that my hometown's name is pronounced the same in Marathi, but frankly, that does not offend me.

Ubu, I thought it was during the Gujarati rule in the 1300's that Mumbai got it's present name?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:59 PM on November 28, 2008


[comment removed. further namecalling to metatalk - Ubu, you especially.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:00 PM on November 28, 2008


Exactly my experience with residents of that city Forktine from the mid-1970's when Bombay Se Aaya Mera Dost was sung around the Indian subcontinent. I've only known several, Bombay-wallahs, briefly, but they were all deeply associated with what is now known as Mumbai, lived there, called it home. One was the author, Mulk Raj Anand, one was Kabir Bedi and the other the head of a large clothing manufacturing company. They all spoke about living in Bombay.

"Bombay (or its mutations)"

Bollywood isn't called Mollywood.

And holy shit Pollomacho. Amazingly close call. wow. Some story. Glad your parents and brother survived.
posted by nickyskye at 5:24 PM on November 28, 2008


nicky, i met Kabir Bedi as a teenager when he was shooting a film off the coast of Malaysia and the local "Bharat Club" invited him for dinner. Cute wasn't he? ;p
posted by infini at 5:27 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


NDTV is reporting that forty terrorists were involved in the entire thing. 29 Pakistanis, the rest Bangladeshis.

GODDAMIT.
posted by divabat at 5:39 PM on November 28, 2008


It was not a suicide attack: they apparently thought they would sail away to safety on their captured trawler and even programmed the GPS for their getaway.

Heh. Someone lied to them.
posted by Artw at 5:51 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.

posted by Sailormom at 5:52 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


anniecat, it doesn't matter whether you're indian or not, you're still a newbie and that was our very first sighting of you here on the blue. welcome mat has been laid out by you

(although i dimly recall some such fracas in my early days wtih the above mentioned poster myself. be that as it may there will always be indophiles who know much much better than any local, its the nature of the beast, since locals rarely bone up on their own culture, they just live it)
posted by infini at 5:55 PM on November 28, 2008


I suppose I'll be disappointing a lot of people here when I say that I have no substantial explanation here than simply habit. :-) I'm just used to saying Bombay in English and 'bumbaayi' in Hindi and Telugu, just as it's "Madras" in English and "madhraasu" in Telugu. You might not get this, but to a lot of us folk from the peninsula, "Mumbai" is the _new_ name and "Bombay" the old.

But yes. Amusing and relaxing to get trolled even as operations at the Taj are... (checks tweets) ... still not complete. Firefight going on there even now.

Also, not a Sanskrit scholar... as yet. :-)
posted by the cydonian at 5:57 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


here's a side thread for the offtopic/derails from this thread
posted by infini at 5:58 PM on November 28, 2008


Obama:
These terrorists who targeted innocent civilians will not defeat India's great democracy, nor shake the will of a global coalition to defeat them.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:58 PM on November 28, 2008


cydonian: how is your friend doing?
posted by infini at 6:02 PM on November 28, 2008


What Bush said, for anyone who still cares. Interesting how fast that minority is dwindling. They're pretty much the same statement, FWIW.
posted by Artw at 6:03 PM on November 28, 2008


The live TV streams from outside the Taj are rather crazy right now (they seem to be have stopped the self-censoring now), reporters and camera men lying flat on the ground, gunshots and explosions every few seconds, black smoke billowing out the windows, etc.
posted by stumbling at 6:13 PM on November 28, 2008


... and a huge fire, it seems to be spreading
posted by madamjujujive at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2008


ibn-cnn live
posted by madamjujujive at 6:21 PM on November 28, 2008



(i think it is over)
posted by stumbling at 6:31 PM on November 28, 2008


Man, 9/11 really shat in the pot for terrorists out there who want the other side to assume they're not suicidal and intent on killing all hostages anyway.
posted by Artw at 6:33 PM on November 28, 2008


infini: Oh, that third person (whom I personally don't know, I must stress, but is very close to a good friend) has been accounted for, thanks for asking. He spent the night at the Taj, hiding himself somewhere. Haven't pressed anyone for details; a lot of trauma and shock out there.
posted by the cydonian at 6:33 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I'm not mistaken, the Taj Hotel has been declared secure two times already, It's obviously not.

It's kind of bitchy to start criticizing the Indian security forces, but for fuck's sake, don't declare a building secure until you know for absolutely certain that it's, you know, secure. Until you've gone into and searched every room, crevice, and utility closet.
posted by bardic at 6:34 PM on November 28, 2008


I wish I did better with accents; I can barely understand the live coverage. (this is not an ethnocentric thing, I'm hearing impaired.)
posted by desjardins at 6:39 PM on November 28, 2008


TV reporting that all the gunmen at the Taj have been killed. Lots of plainclothes people milling around, NSG folks taking cellphone pics(!), etc. This is certainly over.
posted by stumbling at 6:42 PM on November 28, 2008


cydonian : (if you want we can continue on the derail thread) a lot of people who've not been through the regular chaos /terror attacks (going to college in 1983 with random teddy bears and purses blowing up around delhi for eg) haven't 'got' the reality of what this means in india, where normal chaos is simply exagerated and systems don't work (i'm not articulating properly and just referencing offline friends etc from EU for eg ) - the shock, trauma is exagerated by our own sense of impotent helplessness - neelakantan writes about it here - I just read that the Indian Design Festival to be held in Pune 1-7th Dec is being postponed to Feb. (ok, doesn't sound like a big deal but you know what it means to reschedule and replan in India?)

its the aftermath and the shockwaves around the country that we need a thread on to discuss, imho, its not like 1984 adn indira gandhi's assassination time, this time the media exists and has made it worse - the NID community has been talking about "terror is communication design" and how the terrorists have plotted to leverage coverage by CNN and BBC etc ok, i'm rambling pretty incoherently right now ;p email me
posted by infini at 6:43 PM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


bardic: The Taj is two buildings. The _new_ wing has been sanitized for a long time now. The heritage wing has always been problematic.

Also, the TV channels aren't helping things one bit because they seem to be thoroughly confused. The NSG/MarCos teams seem to have sanitized specific floors momentarily, get people trapped there out, and then start a firefight. Additionally, they seem to be operating in shifts; one team goes in, does a specific task, and then is taken over by another team. When people from the first team emerge, they wave hands and visibly show relief; the TV folks seem to be confusing that with actual securing. Most "real" journos on the ground, though, seem to be of the opinion that they know what they're doing, and that they've been extremely systematic and thorough in clearing an area after the deed was done.

Which is not to say that they don't have a PR problem.

But yes, the current tweet seems to be that the NSG team is taking pictures on mobiles. Prem is calling it 'complete'.
posted by the cydonian at 6:47 PM on November 28, 2008


Honestly, I hope so. I really do. But NDTV declared the "final phases" of the Taj operation were almost wrapped up 48 hours ago.

So yeah, the Indian media isn't doing anybody any favors. At least not NDTV.
posted by bardic at 6:53 PM on November 28, 2008


...authorities have just said the operations are over, all terrorists killed, now sanitizing the building and looking for survivors.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:54 PM on November 28, 2008


And the NSG are "starting a fire" to smoke out the terrorists? (Again, according to NDTV.)

They seem to be pretty highly trained guys. This is not something highly trained guys would ever do. Strange. I think it's fair to say that both the Indian media and government are peddling a lot of bullshit right now. Here's hoping it's finally over soon.
posted by bardic at 7:13 PM on November 28, 2008


(As in, really over. The Taj Hotel situation was declared "secure" by the Indian government 48 hours ago. It's frustrating.)
posted by bardic at 7:16 PM on November 28, 2008


The media is more irresponsible than we can even imagine it to be
Another eye-opener is the role of the media. The same pseudo-secular reporters "terrorizing" people across the country with their spot commentary and "latest updates". For God's sake, stop discussing the NSG movements and plans on national television. But this is not all.

Padma Bhushan Rajdeep Sardesai and fellow CNN-IBN newsreader and "analyst" Sagarika Ghose held interviews with BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad and former Armymen on CNN-IBN and started off with "communalizing" terrorism themselves. The irresponsible Ghose, who deserves an outing in a jail for her utterly shameless and senseless questions, was reprimanded by Prasad for initiating a debate such as "What is the BJP's clear stance?" when Prasad had already made it clear that the BJP will not be critical of the Government. The BJP offered full support, which is a sign of hope for politics, but Ghose and co. were hell bent on provoking Prasad and getting him to speak exactly "what the IBN team wants to hear".

Barkha Dutt, with the fakeness of a full-blooded hypocrite, interviewed two women, one of whose husbands had yet failed to emerge from the Taj. What I heard next should certainly have infuriated any rational viewer of NDTV yesterday night. "How do you feel?", "What would you do if your husband fails to make contact?", "What do you think is going on in his mind when he is out there with the terrorists?" were some stinkers directly from the mouth of a so-called celebrated journalist.

Their coverage of the attacks has been completely self-defeating and highly immoral, if nothing else. They are causing as much damage to us right now, just not in terms of lives. Shameful irreverence from such tardy mediapersons is shocking in such times. They definitely have an agenda of their own, and I can bet my entire fortune on it that the unity of the people or strict action on terrorism is not part of it. They are too happy in their petty world of pointless debates, disuniting and cynical rhetoric and brainless remarks on sensitive issues.

Get off us, you burden of ills.

posted by infini at 7:20 PM on November 28, 2008


bardic: It really is. Press conference going on now. Nobody was trying to smoke out anyone; there was an electric short-circuit a while back, which the fire brigade promptly doused.
posted by the cydonian at 7:26 PM on November 28, 2008


Okay, spoken too fast. Fighting over. Sanitizing on. 3 terrorists dead, 1 caught alive. 400+ rooms, this will take time.

I'm off following this now, need to get some work done.
posted by the cydonian at 7:33 PM on November 28, 2008


Exactly. Just like it was "really over" two days ago.

Among other things, it's deeply irresponsible to tell people (shell-shocked, horrified people) that Location X is clear of violence when it's truly not. Not that this doesn't happen in American journalism, but as an outsider this is really troubling. I hope once the smoke clears Indians will hold these news agencies responsible for reckless, shitty journalism of the worst sort.
posted by bardic at 7:40 PM on November 28, 2008


I'm sorry to sound like a broken record here, but the Taj Hotel is on fire. Literally. Any journalist or government spokesperon who announced the situation was clear and/or secure should be fired immediately.
posted by bardic at 7:41 PM on November 28, 2008


Regular tv here in NYC says "the siege is over". I think it's premature to say that - unwise and irresponsible- until things have settled for a good while.

Video: Siege at Taj hotel over in India

History of the Jews in India. A site about Jews in India and in Asia.

Tweet: "IBN reporter says it was a terrorist who fell from the window while trying to hurl a grenade"

infini, didn't know you were born in Calcutta, lived in Madras. wonder if we have friends in common?

omg, you met Kabir? He was hawt! I was tiddly at a New Year's Eve party at an Italian secret service guy's party in Delhi, 1983 I think it was, the height of lots of international intrigue in New Delhi. We didn't get many Bombay folk back in those days in New Delhi. Seeing Kabir there was a huge deal. I went up to him, asked him to lean forward (he's so tall) and I whispered in his ear something like "God, you are so handsome". Shameless, lol. He kissed me. *blush and sigh

He was delightful actually. His mom, who later became a nun, was involved in lots of buddhist activities. His mom, Sister Bedi, was really awesome. Another handsome Bombay wallah I knew quite well was Sam Manekshaw.

not a Sanskrit scholar

*rolls eyes. the cydonian, you're so damn humble. And what about that thesis you did? I know you speak in five languages, write in three, think in two, and can read in seven, including Sanskrit.
posted by nickyskye at 7:42 PM on November 28, 2008


bardic, it was the chief of police who said operations were over, not the news media. The NSG has been more cautious though saying the possibility exists that there could be another terrorist.

I didn't hear earlier reports, but for the last hour or two that I have been listening, ibn-cnn has been very cautious and drawing any conclusions merely repeating things that authorities have stated in press briefings. Mostly showing delayed footage rather than live, too.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:47 PM on November 28, 2008


"pseudo-secular"?
posted by Artw at 8:02 PM on November 28, 2008


"Montreal physician Michael Moss, shown in this undated handout photo, has been identified as one of two Canadians killed in the Mumbai attacks."

"His mission in life was to protect the underdog," said Ludman of his friend. "He was a strong believer in the self-determination of patients themselves."

Moss emigrated to Canada from the United Kingdom in the 1960s and still held his British passport, according to Ludman.

Moss, who was to return to work on Monday, was described by Ludman as outspoken and proud, a person who "was a patient advocate above all else."


That is so sad.
posted by nickyskye at 8:03 PM on November 28, 2008


meh. friend just called. his wife's childhood friend was the Oberoi Manager who just lost his wife and three kids
posted by infini at 8:23 PM on November 28, 2008


infini, I am so sorry.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:25 PM on November 28, 2008


madamjujujive: that's the irony, I don't deserve your sympathy nor have i a reason to, but that is also the story of india that everyone knows someone who knows someone. we're all interconnected in this thing and cannot just turn the television down or the computer off. not that I'm lessening your thoughts but explaining how ironic it is, that no matter how far away you may deem yourself, something reminds you of how close to home it really is. (and his brother in law is stuck in Bangkok airport!) that's not just indians anymore is it? through this web, we're all connected together now.
posted by infini at 8:34 PM on November 28, 2008


aww infini. So sorry!
posted by nickyskye at 8:40 PM on November 28, 2008


I don't know who else to express my sorrow to, infini - you and other mefites are the closest people I can reach to say that to. I didn't have a direct connection to 9-11, but the kindness expressed here any by world citizens warmed my heart and made me feel less despondent about how awful humans can be.

You are right, we are all connected together.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:41 PM on November 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


through this web, we're all connected together now

We were always all connected. We just didn't feel so much as we all do now.

And you're so right about everyone knows someone who knows someone. In the 80's I knew the Oberoi family in New Delhi, Natasha, Vikram, their mom Goodie and dad Bikki. I can only imagine the horror they must be feeling that their hotel became the arena for so much suffering and death.

Yesterday, speaking to a cab driver en route to Thanksgiving dinner, he said that of the poor people who were slaughtered in the railway station especially, it's not just that they lost their lives but that the children and spouses they left behind who will now have a terrible struggle.

Last night on tv there was a long awards show called CNN Heroes, which was profoundly moving and uplifting. about all kinds of people, none of them well to do in any way, who spent a good part of their lives being compassionate and generous to others in need.

Those working on trying to make peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan have a delicate road ahead. It's such a relief now that Obama's been elected to think that people could work internationally on trying to make the world a more peaceful place.
posted by nickyskye at 8:59 PM on November 28, 2008


And this is so sad:

"Alan Scherr and daughter Naomi, 13, were nearing the end of a visit to India with their Virginia spiritual group when militants attacked, killing both."

Ratan Tata, owner of the Taj speaks: audio: “We must show that we cannot be disabled or destroyed, but that such henious acts will only make us stronger. It is important that we do not allow divisive forces to weaken us. We need to overcome these forces as one strong unified nation,” Tata said in a statement.
Condoling the loss of life in separate terror attacks, including on the Taj Hotel, owned by the Tata Group, he said, “We cannot replace the lives that have been lost and we will never forget the terrifying events of last night. But we must stand together shoulder-to-shoulder as citizens of India and rebuild what has been destroyed.”

An excellent New York Times synopsis with time line, divided between locations.
posted by nickyskye at 9:19 PM on November 28, 2008


The Chabad site has an obituary up for Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.

My heart aches.
posted by elfgirl at 9:26 PM on November 28, 2008


Speaking of connections: Just took a walk in the neighbourhood. This is much much more closer that I thought; the Singaporean woman who was killed at the Oberoi hotel lives a couple of _doors_ away. My girlfriend knows her sister, and we're all wondering how to approach the family, if at all we should.

The anger here is quite palpable, and on first glance, is as big as it is in India. There's a steady stream of visitors, and the normally talkative guards downstairs were all quiet, shaking their heads at the death.

Today's New Paper has a big headline that simply reads as 'Cowards'.
posted by the cydonian at 9:28 PM on November 28, 2008


For God's sake, stop discussing the NSG movements and plans on national television.

I couldn't believe the video I saw showing every movement the commandos made storming Nariman House. Didn't we learn anything from Munich? I hope that wasn't shown live, but it sounds like it may have been.
posted by dhartung at 9:43 PM on November 28, 2008


the cydonian: Wow. That must be really really hard for your neighbourhood to digest. I can't even begin to imagine the shock. There's a Malaysian missing, no idea what's the update, but as infini and others have said, in this region you're likely to know someone who knows someone affected.

How can we help at all? Is there any way to learn from this situation? Or are we all doomed to repeat it over and over and bloody over?
posted by divabat at 9:50 PM on November 28, 2008


9/11 was probably the most traumatic event in my lifetime. i remember everything i was doing for every hour that day. i was in high school and i can remember all the faces of the people i spent each class with as we watched cnn, fox, nbc, abc, cbs. i can remember which teacher chose to watch which network. but 9/11 and the entire war on terror never felt like anything more than a high budget movie.

sure it touched me and gave me an adrenaline rush that has etched a scar into my very being. but i didnt have a personal connection with those events or any of the subsequent wars. i didnt know anyone involved and i didnt know anyone who knew anyone. so while its definitely very callous to say that the last 7 years have seemed like an action movie living in America... what can i do?

mumbai has been different. i cant explain it fully and i can only point at some things i think is making it different for citizens the world over.
- social media is connecting us to real people and letting us live the entire event through them. blogs, twitter, and flickr gave unprecedented and unfiltered access to the unfolding of human drama.
- those same social media tools have been around long enough that i feel like my friends in the real world and my friends online are blurring. ive collaborated on projects with some people i twitter with, seen and shared whole pieces of life over flickr, and am seeing how metafilter allows entire groups to mindmeld.
- finally, all of these things are so popular that everyone had a voice and a task to perform in the reporting of this. some were on the scene and had up to the minute reporting and others opined while still others gave much needed deep background to the ignorant (me).

all of it added up to a situation where i feel connected to whats going on in a nation i have never visited and only recently became acquainted with as something more than a spot on a map. it wasn't as traumatic as 9/11 because my world didn't stop for this. but it was the moment i realized the internet has made every piece of humanity intricately connected to every other piece. our fortunes are connected and if one boat is to rise we all must.
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:00 PM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


this is what I'm going to do -

Erik Hersman is the brains behind WhiteAfrican and the Ushahidi "crowd sourcing crisis information" engine that can be used on the ground via sms and mobiles to collate and visually display data on what is happening in situations like this. Its just been deployed in the Congo and was first put together for Kenya in Jan 2008.

He and I have just had a chat adn he's sent me information PDF's that I'll use to mail my Indian contacts. In addition to that I'm going to a) make an FPP about Ushahidi b) put it up in projects c) promote the facebook group and d) start the noise to make happen to have this deployed in India (Mumbai maybe or Bangalore , India might be too large and diverse for just one deployment) ASAP

(I can't run this myself, i don't have the knowledge or the skills and I'm not in India but someone somewhere does, my strengths otoh are in marcom/promo and making it happen)

Erik says we need a champion for INdia, someone local who can make the noise, get the people aware of the service, get a phone number, deploy this and have it up and running or have access to people who can. I told him that if India could not find a couple of IT savvy guys to make this happen (PHP and LAMP are two bits of jargon he gave me) then it wasn't worth its own rep. meh.

He says that things like this make a real difference to morale and its critical to have it up and running asap.

He also said that had Ushahidi already been deployed in India it would have helped with (quote from chat)

1) if it was deployed already, it could have been the early warning system needed to know what was happening. The ordinary person could have sent in warnings anonymously.

2) If it was there already, people could have sent their reports into it live during the events.


not to mention that lives could have been saved if there was something like this as well. There's also FrontlineSMS (which Ushahidi uses) and I've actually had the luck to be in a panel at a conference with both the founders so that end is taken care of. Its the local deployment in INdia asap that needs to be made happen, PLUS eventually the funding/time/energy to localize the application to local language needs etc but that's prolly after this initial deployment maybe?

This is not the right place for all of this but I'd appreciate any pointers to where I can take this request to "help make this happen in INdia, particularly Mumbai ASAP"

Divabat, Cydonian : Why stop in India? Bangkok needs this, as does just about any country in the region, if not violence then for nature's fury... Can't we start making this happen for every country?

thanks
posted by infini at 10:17 PM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


OK, I can't FPP, I'm in the "no post" time zone (and flying to europe in 6 hours) if anyone else cares to make an FPP on Ushahidi adn Erik's work I"d be grateful
posted by infini at 10:20 PM on November 28, 2008


Gosh, the press is now streaming in. The guards are stopping them; been told the family has asked for privacy.

infini: Fascinating projects. I was thinking along similar lines yesterday, just before I slept. One place where I thought we clearly lacked, and one where I can contribute in a big way, is rapid information-management, probably using mobiles and the net. Despite all appearances, there's actually quite a bit of interest in info-management in governmental circles; it's a matter of reaching the right champion, as you put it. I'll try to run this with a couple of people I know back home (and we can take this discussion offline)
posted by the cydonian at 11:17 PM on November 28, 2008


cydonian, gmail me (address in profile) and I'll introduce you to Erik if you can indeed make this happen? I've already given him the heads up and he's ready to come to India with his Kenyan associate after 6th jan to run a workshop or something to localize the stuff, maybe we need one for every language? who knows? but rihgt now even in english getting up and running might make a major difference

btw, on a flight to EU tonight so no email acess till monday sing time
posted by infini at 11:34 PM on November 28, 2008


Chabad of Mumbai Relief Fund.
posted by nickyskye at 1:12 AM on November 29, 2008


Last night I went to the local Chabad sabbath dinner. It was planned months ago that this would be the 'environmental' dinner: dimmed lights and real plates. It looked a like somber at first.

Three people there knew either Rivka or Rabbi Gavriel: my Rabbi, his wife, and a lady called Jenny who herself lived in India for a few years. Jenny met Rivka on a Chabad rebbetzin meeting in Hong Kong (I don't know if Jenny herself is/was a rebbetzin). When she asked the wives why they would give up the comforts of Crown Heights (NY) or Israel, she said they smiled and said "Because we're needed" or "Because this is our home" or "Because it's what we're meant to do." None came from the area they were living in. Some had 7 kids.

The words of the Rabbi in one message hit me hard: "they heard the cries and responded to hundreds if not thousands of lost souls yet for some reason their cry was left unanswered ?

Who will raise their baby ?"
I think he was thinking about his own kid. He's encouraging people who donate to the releif fund linked by nickyskye specify it's for Baby Moishe/Moshe.

The Rabbi took this as a call to be MORE Jewish, as is his philosophy.

There's a phrase in Heschel, but the theory is pretty widespread among Jews: "It's a sin to be sad on the Sabbath." That's not to say you should feel guilty for being sad, but that you should try to be happy. It was especially hard tonight--especially between handwashing and eating the challah bread, when Ashkenazi Jews traditionally don't speak, leaving everyone to think about what had happened--, but the Rabbi did it. He got us all laughing even though his friends had died. By the end of the night it seemed almost as usual... He was cracking jokes about the people there, in that loving way only he can pull off: "This guy hurt himself pretty bad last night... Thank God he was drunk!"

I'm amazed by Chabad. Even if you don't support Chabad in general ("Antipathy towards Lubavitch, or Chabad, has been intense among non-Lubavitchers among the strictly Orthodox for many years, in fact, and there is very little interaction between this group and the rest of us [...] Unfortunately, and ironically, their subculture within the broader strictly Orthodox Jewish subculture is perceived to have departed so far from the main that, for most, in the main centers of Jewish life we do not mix.") can appreciate how much they do ("But today we are all Lubavitchers, all Chabadniks.").

Sniff.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:12 AM on November 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I tried to check if this was already posted above, so my apologies if this is a repeat.

Excellent, large, clear photos from this week's attacks on Boston.com [SOME VERY GRAPHIC]
posted by LMGM at 9:37 AM on November 29, 2008


Journalist Scott Carney makes a case against Pakistan.
posted by dhruva at 10:01 AM on November 29, 2008


I was wondering what might have triggered AnnieCat's venom, and after doing a little reading, I learned something. (Which UbuRoivas, among others, obviously was aware of already.)

From May 08: "Sanjay Raut, the executive editor of Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, had in his weekly column Sunday flayed the use of the word 'Bombay' in some quarters even after it was changed to Mumbai over a decade ago and exhorted Marathi-loving people to bust such 'Bombay islands'." Article here.

And July 08 : "The Maharashtra Navanirman Sena's pro-Marathi campaign has turned its attention on Bollywood. Raj Thackeray's two-year-old outifit is asking filmmakers not to refer to Mumbai as Bombay in their productions and also not portray Maharashtrians in what they say is a distorted fashion." Article here.

I had no idea that some took it so seriously, quite interesting. (Not trying to derail or be fighty!)

And as for the Boston.com photos, I appreciate that they hid some with a "click here" link, but they might have done the same for the shot of the woman in the ambulance. (where only a hand was seen, true, but still graphic)
posted by HopperFan at 12:33 PM on November 29, 2008


HopperFan: I can't pretend to know the detailed history, but I understand that the official switch from "Bombay" to "Mumbai" was orchestrated from within the right-wing Hindu nationalist ranks of the Shiv Sena ("Army of Shiva") - the quasi-fascist bedfellow of the frightening-enough Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The rallying cry of the Shiv Sena was "Maharashtra for Maharashtrians", so you can get an idea of how tolerant & inclusive they are. They have paramilitary cadres, including, apparently, suicide squadrons. Both the Shiv Sena & the BJP were integrally involved in the destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya & in the communal violence that followed, which was probably the single most destabilising incident since the Partition, in terms of stirring up tension & violence between Hindus & Muslims.

So, in a sense, insisting on a strict usage of "Mumbai" is buying into the ideology (perhaps without realising it) of an intolerant, violent, anti-muslim & racist* extreme right wing organisation. You can piece together for yourself the links between those kinds of attitudes & the violence that we've been witnessing this week.

* by "racist" i really mean "communalist" - india is comprised of many communities divided along all kinds of lines: religion, caste, language etc. the SS - at a high level - seem to think that Bombay/Mumbai & the state of Maharashtra should be the preserve of Marathi-speaking Hindus only.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:27 PM on November 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


for a bit more context, you might like to read up on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (there are some fascinating docos if you care to google them). the relationship between the RSS & the Shiv Sena & BJP is a little hazy, but you could possibly think of it as similar to the IRA:Sinn Fein relationship. the main point here is that we're talking about the same kinds of right-wing movements that spring up anywhere in the world when you get disaffected people marginalised by changes in society & economic shifts, who turn to blaming all them furriners fur stealin' our jobs. "Mumbai" as the name for the city is intimately connected with these issues & political movements.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:51 PM on November 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The latest official pronouncement from the Indian government is that only ten gunmen were directly responsible for the attacks.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:02 PM on November 29, 2008


How things have changed since I wandered into an RSS rally, and was in the middle before I managed to read the signs (I'm an anglo, my Hindi and Marathi are very weak). The only reaction was some smiles and waves from folks who knew I was a student.

I left a couple weeks before Indira Gandhi was assassinated. I'm really scared by what the reaction may be here.
posted by QIbHom at 2:29 PM on November 29, 2008


The latest official pronouncement from the Indian government is that only ten gunmen were directly responsible for the attacks.

Which flies in the face of one of the original eyewitnesses who saw 10 terrorists get out of one boat, and the government saying there were more than one boat landing. Sounds like they killed 9, caught 1, and don't want to say that some may have gotten away.
posted by Eekacat at 2:29 PM on November 29, 2008


Apparently, a new Chabad couple (i.e. new Rabbi and wife) are flying out to Mumbai TONIGHT.

(Also, I'm sorry for focusing on Chabad in my comments... It's my only real connection to the events, and even then it's only indirect. The deaths of all those involved are terrible, and some of the more graphic photos on Big Picture made my very mind freeze.)
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:02 PM on November 29, 2008


"The latest official pronouncement from the Indian government is that only ten gunmen were directly responsible for the attacks."

The Indian gov't announcements have all pretty much been wrong so far. I see no reason to believe this statement.
posted by bardic at 9:24 PM on November 29, 2008


Summary.
posted by adamvasco at 7:56 AM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Suketu Mehta: What They Hate About Mumbai
posted by homunculus at 9:41 AM on November 30, 2008


Juan Cole: India: Please Don't Go Down the Bush- Cheney Road
posted by acro at 10:20 AM on November 30, 2008


That Juan Cole post is weird
He says,
The Bush administration was convinced that 9/11 could not have been the work of a small, independent terrorist organization. They insisted that Iraq must somehow have been behind it.

I don't think many (?most?) people see it that way. Opportunism, rather than innocent incompetence or misjudgment, is how I would characterize it.

It is being argued that the terrorists fought as trained guerrillas, and implied that only a state (i.e. Pakistan) could have given them that sort of training.
But to the extent that the terrorists were professional fighters, they could have come by their training in many ways. Some might... [snip]


This is a bizarre framing of the accusation. Pakistan isn't being fingered because only a state could have provided the training and Pakistan is the logical candidate. These terrorists had rigorous training and it's been established that many terrorist groups have bases in Pakistan and have been aided by the ISI (rogue elements within or not). Given that the captured terrorist is a Pakistani who has reportedly attested to receiving training at a LeT camp, with LeT being a ISI-backed group, it is but natural to look at Pakistan. Also, Iraq does not have a history of sending groups of terrorists to the US, unlike Pakistan doing the same in India.

India should not allow itself to be distracted by implausible conspiracy theories about high Pakistani officials wanting to destroy the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai. (Does that even make any sense?)

First of all, it is the Taj that the terrorists purportedly wanted to blow up, not the Oberoi. Again, this is a bizarre framing of the issue. I doubt that "high Pakistan officials", if indeed they are the planners, wanted to blow up the Taj for its own sake, if indeed there was an intention of doing so. It would have been a symbolic counterpart to 9/11. The Taj is an iconic hotel in India and its collapse would be aggravating to the Indian psyche, particularly Mumbaiites.

Later on, he acknowledges the possibility of some Pakistani link
Is it possible that a military cell under Gen. Pervez Musharraf trained Lashkar-e Tayiba terrorists for attacks in Kashmir, and then some of the LET went rogue and decided to hit Mumbai instead? Yes. But to interpret...

but distances it from the Pakistan govt proper. He urges going easy on Pakistan

Pakistan could be an increasingly important security partner for India. Allowing past enmities to derail these potentialities for detente would be most unwise.

I would hardly call Wednesday the "past".

In any case, the serious accusation is that LeT carried out this attack. ISI (or rogue elements within) are connected to the LeT and provide it with help. Pakistan is at least responsible for not handling the ISI and not getting rid of LeT et al. even if no elected officials were involved in the attacks. That hardly calls for rapprochement, given that LeT didn't spring up last month.
posted by Gyan at 1:11 PM on November 30, 2008


In a bizarre twist, an actor who played one of the London suicide bombers in a television documentary escaped death at the hands of real life terrorists in the Mumbai massacre before being detained as a suspect by police.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:51 PM on November 30, 2008


‘Then the head waiter came rushing across to me and said, “No, no, you can’t do that!” and I said, 'Well we’re going to' and he said, 'No sir, those are the wrong type of glasses. I shall find you champagne flutes.'

'And he did. The service was immaculate.’

posted by nickyskye at 7:59 PM on November 30, 2008


Here's a blog post suggesting that the terrorists followed the tactics laid out in Fredrick Forsyth's The Dogs of War. (via cstross)
posted by dhruva at 10:08 PM on November 30, 2008


Where was Mark Thatcher?
posted by Artw at 8:47 AM on December 1, 2008


Pakistani Reaganism Must End: The New Government must take on the Lashkar
posted by homunculus at 12:25 PM on December 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Indian Muslims say they do not want the gunmen killed by the security forces during the attacks in Mumbai to be buried in Muslim graveyards.

I think this is an incredible response to the attacks, and says a lot more than mere (routine) condemnation.
posted by dhruva at 7:09 PM on December 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


I haven't heard about any reprisals against muslims - is that a hopeful sign?
posted by Artw at 7:37 PM on December 1, 2008


From dhruva's link above:

Ibrahim Tai, the president of the Indian Muslim Council, which looks after the social and religious affairs of the Muslim community in India, said that they had "defamed" his religion.

"They are not Muslims as they have not followed our religion which teaches us to live in peace.

"If the government does not respect our demands we will take up extreme steps. We do not want the bodies of people who have committed an act of terrorism to be buried in our cemeteries.

"These terrorists are a black spot on our religion, we will very sternly protest the burial of these terrorists in our cemetery," he said.

Other Muslim groups have written to their local assembly representatives to say that if the authorities force the militants to be buried in a Muslim graveyard, they too will come out on the streets in protest.


I can't see too many Hindus or Jains or Parsees or Buddhists or Sikhs or Christians or miscellaneous coming out into the streets in numbers to oppose that motion.

On the other hand, wherever the terrorists end up buried, they can probably look forward to having their graves decorated with a neverending supply of chappal garlands.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:21 PM on December 1, 2008


There could be five gunmen missing.

Also the crowd kicked one of them to death. I can't say it was undeserved.
posted by Artw at 10:34 PM on December 1, 2008


Actually, no, that's the one that's still alive. They just kicked the shit out of him.
posted by Artw at 10:36 PM on December 1, 2008


Terrorists used Google Earth
posted by Artw at 10:37 PM on December 1, 2008


I hadn't realized this before, but the article Artw linked (labeled "five gunmen missing") says that the captured terrorist is the same one who was photographed at the train station. Strange coincidence.
posted by Forktine at 4:53 AM on December 2, 2008


Heh. John McCain makes a visit to India, to talk to the PM.
posted by dhruva at 9:43 AM on December 2, 2008


> I haven't heard about any reprisals against muslims - is that a hopeful sign?
That's a very hopeful sign. I hope it lasts. Now the Indian govt. is asking the Pak govt. to take “strong action” against those responsible for last week’s Mumbai terror strikes"
posted by dhruva at 9:49 AM on December 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


'Rot' at heart of Indian intelligence
posted by adamvasco at 3:52 AM on December 3, 2008


Mumbai: Where are the 14 Other Pakistani-Trained Terrorists? Captured Gunman Says Only 10 of 24 Were Sent to Mumbai; Concern for New Delhi
posted by homunculus at 10:17 AM on December 3, 2008


Mumbai after the smoke cleared.
posted by nickyskye at 5:44 PM on December 3, 2008


Six gunmen shot by security forces at Delhi airport
posted by homunculus at 1:05 PM on December 4, 2008


Or not.
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on December 4, 2008


Yeah I saw that incorrect BBC news report. Jumped the gun a bit. heh.
This slate article discusses the poor reporting of the Mumbai attacks.
posted by dhruva at 2:58 PM on December 4, 2008


More links to Pakistan
posted by dhruva at 7:36 PM on December 4, 2008


Ahmed Rashid in Lahore argues that rising tension between India and Pakistan over the Mumbai attacks might provide the two countries with an opportunity to extract a more lasting peace.
posted by homunculus at 1:57 PM on December 5, 2008


Nuclear-armed Pakistan went into a state of ‘high alert’ last weekend and was eyeing India for possible signs of military aggression, after a threatening phone call made to President Asif Ali Zardari by someone from Delhi who posed himself as the Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Whether it was mere mischief or a sinister move by someone in the Indian external affairs ministry, or the call came from within Pakistan, remains unclear, and is still a matter of investigation. But several political, diplomatic and security sources have confirmed to Dawn that for nearly 24 hours over the weekend the incident continued to send jitters across the world. To some world leaders the probability of an accidental war appeared very high.

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:14 AM on December 6, 2008


Mumbai cops gave Ajmal his surname:

"it emerges that `Kasab' may be the Mumbai police's addition to terrorist Mohammed Ajmal's name...
They asked him for his father's profession and learnt that he was a butcher-the officials then entered his surname as Kasab (Urdu for butcher).
"
posted by Gyan at 1:01 AM on December 7, 2008


Pakistan arrests suspected mastermind of Mumbai attacks
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on December 8, 2008


Revealed: home of Mumbai's gunman in Pakistan village. Since the terrorist attacks in Mumbai 10 days ago, speculation has been rife about the birthplace of the lone surviving gunman, Ajmal Amir Kasab. India and Pakistan have clashed over reports that he came from the Punjab. Saeed Shah, after spending days travelling throughout the region, tracked down the killer's home - and his grandfather - and found conclusive proof of his identity
posted by homunculus at 12:02 PM on December 9, 2008


The Mumbai police said Tuesday that the 10 men who carried out the terrorist attacks here belonged to a group of 30 recruits of the Lashkar-e-Taiba Pakistani militant organization who had been selected for suicide missions, and that the whereabouts of the other 20 were unknown.
posted by homunculus at 12:08 PM on December 9, 2008


Pakistan said Tuesday it would not hand over suspects in the Mumbai terror strikes to India and warned that while it wanted peace with its neighbour, it was ready for war if New Delhi decided to attack.
posted by homunculus at 1:24 PM on December 9, 2008


Yeah McCain warned Pakistan about possible airstrikes!
posted by dhruva at 6:31 PM on December 9, 2008


"Indian police officials said those directing the attacks, who are believed to be from Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group based in Pakistan, were using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service, which has complicated efforts to determine their whereabouts and identities."
posted by dhruva at 6:56 PM on December 9, 2008


Group blamed for Mumbai attack also operating in Mideast
posted by homunculus at 3:40 PM on December 11, 2008


Does Obama understand his biggest foreign-policy challenge? The president-elect wants to work with the Pakistani government to "stamp out" terror. It's not nearly that simple.
posted by homunculus at 9:24 PM on December 12, 2008


Arundhati Roy: Mumbai was not our 9/11

The above linking is not an endorsement.
posted by Gyan at 2:24 AM on December 13, 2008


Confessional statement in full of the lone surviving gunman Mohammed Ajmal Amir his true name, as stated by him
posted by Gyan at 9:45 AM on December 13, 2008


Pakistan’s DAWN newspaper features a great investigative piece that details how its reporters tracked down (whereas other major papers failed) the family of Mohammed Ajmal “Babyface” Kasab (who may really be Mohammad Ajmal Amir) and listened to what they had to say. Kasab was, of course, the lone surviving gunman from the recent Mumbai attacks.
posted by chunking express at 5:27 PM on December 13, 2008


David Lyon`s Butcher & Bolt should be required reading for politicians these days.
posted by acro at 5:56 PM on December 14, 2008


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