Category Archive 'Mumbai Attacks'
09 Dec 2008
Richard Munday, in the London Times, observes that citizens of modern democracies are typically less safe in the event of terrorist attack today than they were a century ago in gas-lit London when policemen carried only a truncheon and ordinary citizens were allowed to own and carry weapons.
For anybody who still believed in it, the Mumbai shootings exposed the myth of â€œgun controlâ€. India had some of the strictest firearms laws in the world, going back to the Indian Arms Act of 1878, by which Britain had sought to prevent a recurrence of the Indian Mutiny.
The guns used in last weekâ€™s Bombay massacre were all â€œprohibited weaponsâ€ under Indian law, just as they are in Britain. In this country we have seen the irrelevance of such bans (handgun crime, for instance, doubled here within five years of the prohibition of legal pistol ownership), but the largely drug-related nature of most extreme violence here has left most of us with a sheltered awareness of the threat. We have not yet faced a determined and broad-based attack.
The Mumbai massacre also exposed the myth that arming the police force guarantees security. Sebastian Dâ€™Souza, a picture editor on the Mumbai Mirror who took some of the dramatic pictures of the assault on the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, was angered to find Indiaâ€™s armed police taking cover and apparently failing to engage the gunmen.
In Britain we might recall the prolonged failure of armed police to contain the Hungerford killer, whose rampage lasted more than four hours, and who in the end shot himself. In Dunblane, too, it was the killer who ended his own life: even at best, police response is almost always belated when gunmen are on the loose. …
The Mumbai massacre could happen in London tomorrow; but probably it could not have happened to Londoners 100 years ago.
In January 1909 two such anarchists, lately come from an attempt to blow up the president of France, tried to commit a robbery in north London, armed with automatic pistols. Edwardian Londoners, however, shot back â€“ and the anarchists were pursued through the streets by a spontaneous hue-and-cry. The police, who could not find the key to their own gun cupboard, borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by, while other citizens armed with revolvers and shotguns preferred to use their weapons themselves to bring the assailants down.
Today we are probably more shocked at the idea of so many ordinary Londoners carrying guns in the street than we are at the idea of an armed robbery. But the world of Conan Doyleâ€™s Dr Watson, pocketing his revolver before he walked the London streets, was real. The arming of the populace guaranteed rather than disturbed the peace.
That armed England existed within living memory; but it is now so alien to our expectations that it has become a foreign country.
03 Dec 2008
Iowahawk reports that news of the election of a US President of color committed to peace failed to reach the relevant al Qaeda cell in time.
MUMBAI – Ajmal Amir Kasab, the sole surviving member of the 10-man team of Pakistani gunmen that left hundreds dead or wounded after a bloody three day rampage in Mumbai, today blamed the mayhem on an “email mixup” that left him and his colleagues unaware that Barack Obama had won election as President of the United States.
“What? Oh bloody hell, now you tell me,” said Kasab, as he was led away in handcuffs by Indian security forces.
Kasab, 21, apologized to Indian President Pratibha Patil, explaining that no one in his group had known about the recent U.S. election results. …
Kasab, who is personally suspected of killing over 30 victims at point-blank range in a posh Mumbai hotel, was at a loss to explain how he and other members of the terrorist assault team remained unaware of the historic U.S. election results that many American analysts predicted would lead to an immediate and permanent outbreak of rapturous harmony and transcendent brotherly love throughout the universe. …
Tragically, though, it appears that internet connectivity was only the tip of the iceberg in a system-wide Obama news communication failure at Al Qaeda Headquarters.
“Obama won? Seriously?” said an astonished Abdul Aziz Qasim, Senior Media Affairs Director for Al Qaeda’s Peshawar Office at an afternoon press conference announcing responsibility for the attacks. “I mean… you’re positively sure of that?” …
“Believe me, now that Bush is out of the picture we’re just as upset about those senseless killings as everybody else, especially those of us who actually did the senseless killing,” he added. “All we ask is that the Indian judges not take it too hard on Ajmal. The poor kid feels bad enough already. It’s not his fault he didn’t find out about the infidel elections, you know how hard it is to get a decent Verizon cell in Mumbai. Now that we’re all on the same page again it would be a great time for all of us, believers and infidels alike, to put all the nonsense of the Bush years behind us and rekindle that beautiful peace and friendship thing we all had going on back in 2000.”
“I know my wife is looking forward to another Florida vacation — even though she’ll have to drop a few pounds to fit back into her beach chador,” Qasim joked. “She was only ten when we were there for our honeymoon.”
“Oh, before I forget, let me finally send our belated congratulations to President-Elect Obama,” said the Al Qaeda spokesman. “Let me also say we’re very sorry for the snafu in Mumbai, and hope this won’t put a damper on our negotiations for the peaceful return of Spain. We’re cool, right?”
03 Dec 2008
John Lott notes that the state’s monopoly of force works well at disarming law-abiding citizens, only to leave them defenseless in emergencies. Today’s mass shooting incidents could never have occurred in the pre-Gun Control era in America, when ordinary citizens were routinely armed.
In India, victims watched as armed police cowered and didnâ€™t fire back at the terrorists. A photographer at the scene described his frustration: â€œThere were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything. At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, â€˜Shoot them, theyâ€™re sitting ducks!â€™ but they just didnâ€™t shoot back.â€
Meanwhile, according to the hotel companyâ€™s chairman, P.R.S. Oberoi, security at â€œthe hotel had metal detectors, but none of its security personnel carried weapons because of the difficulties in obtaining gun permits from the Indian government.â€
India has extremely strict gun control laws, but who did it succeed in disarming?
The terrorist attack showed how difficult it is to disarm serious terrorists. Strict licensing rules meant that it was the victims who obeyed the regulations, not the terrorists.
01 Dec 2008
The South Wales Echo reports that CNN jeopardized the safety of a Welsh couple by broadcasting their location in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel right in the middle of the Mumbai attacks while the terrorists were actively searching for Western targets.
A South Wales couple caught in the Mumbai terror attacks claimed last night that CNN put their lives at risk by broadcasting where they were.
Lynne and Kenneth Shaw, of Penarth, warned that terrorists were listening in to the media to pinpoint Western victims.
Mrs Shaw claimed the American cable TV channel had broadcast details of where they were at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
She has appealed to the media to be careful with the information it broadcasts because safety could be compromised and lives lost.
The couple flew back into Heathrow yesterday morning on a flight arranged by the British Consulate.
Mrs Shaw had been forced to hide under a table as terrorists stormed the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
She and her husband were later rescued by Gurkhas and taken straight to the Australian Embassy for safety.
The couple were at the end of a month-long visit to India and were staying in Mumbai for a few days before heading back to the UK.
From her home in Penarth yesterday, Mrs Shaw said: â€œWe have been asked by the British terror police not to talk to the press.
â€œBut the reason I would not want to talk to anyone is because our safety was actually compromised by CNN, which broadcast where we were.
â€œThe terrorists were watching CNN and they came down from where they were in a lift after hearing about us on television. For that reason I would appeal to the media to be very careful about what they broadcast.
29 Nov 2008
Staff members of the Taj Motel Palace Hotel saved the lives of many guests, sometimes shielding them from bullets with their own bodies.
They were heroes in cummerbunds and overalls. The staff of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel saved hundreds of wealthy guests as heavily armed gunmen roamed the building, firing indiscriminately, leaving a trail of corpses behind them.
Among the workers there were some whose bravery and sense of duty led them to sacrifice their own lives, witnesses said.
Prashant Mangeshikar, a guest, said that a hotel worker, identified only as Mr Rajan, had put himself between one of the gunmen and Mr Mangeshikar, his wife and two daughters.
â€œThe man in front of my wife shielded us,â€ Mr Mangeshikar said. â€œHe was a maintenance section staff member. He took the bullets.â€ For the next 12 hours, before Mr Rajan was finally taken out of the hotel, guests battled to stop the bleeding from a gaping bullet wound in his abdomen. It is not known if he lived.
Read the whole thing.
29 Nov 2008
“Alleged gunman” holding perfectly visible gun
John Hinderaker of Power-Line loses patience with the mealy-mouthed political correctness of the mainstream media.
The very same media which gleefully lynches opponents to the right, like George W. Bush or Sarah Palin, on the basis of its own trumped up charges has no enemies to the left, so any terrorist (even one captured in a photograph holding an automatic weapon in the midst of a murderous mass attack) is always only a potential suspect, someone whose status requires a full-scale courtroom procedure, and a complete professional defense, before it can possibly be pejoratively characterized.
Reuters‘ caption for the photo begins: “A suspected gunman walks outside the premises of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus railway station in Mumbai November 26, 2008.”
Notice the object the terrorist is holding in his hands. It’s a gun. He isn’t a “suspected gunman,” he’s a “gunman.”
28 Nov 2008
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