Monday, December 15, 2008

Mumbai Attacks-Press Reports Part 1

The Nariman House Story - Mumbai
The drama started weeks before the terrorist attacks - at a Jewish residential complexIn Mumbai run by the Chabad-Lubavitch ultra-orthodox movement. From CBC News (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
“In a telephone interview with CBC News from outside the centre, freelance journalist Arun Asthhana said there are reports that some of the militants had stayed at a guest house there for up to 15 days before the attacks."They had a huge mass of ammunition, arms and food there," Asthhana said.That some, or all of the attackers stayed there before the attacks seem no longer in question. Later news reports state that the terrorists came to Nariman House posing as Malaysian students and were given lodging. Why Ultra-orthodox Jews would give lodging to these unknown Malaysian Muslim students is baffling; they could have been ‘terrorists’. After all they did not know them.However, it is well known that those housing quarters are rented only to religious Jews passing through Mumbai, so much so that the Indian Police wanted to know why they were rented to non-Jews in this instance.
From Times of India“Police are trying to find out how Nariman House rooms were given to non-Jews. Police has taken all the records books of for verification”
“Locals said the owners of Nariman House was a Jewish Israeli family who rented out flats to other religious Jews.”
Food ordered in:
From Mid-Day News (MID-DAY is a 28 year old well respected media establishment in Mumbai):
“The role that Nariman House is coming to play in this entire attack drama is puzzling. Last night, residents ordered close to 100 kilograms of meat and other food, enough to feed an army or a bunch of people for twenty days. Shortly thereafter, the ten odd militants moved in, obviously, indicating that the food and meat was ordered, keeping their visit in mind, another cop added.”
DNA INDIA is another well-established, well-known Indian Media house.They reported:
“The terrorists came to Colaba on Wednesday evening,” Mukund Shelke, who runs a grocery shop at Colaba Market, said. “Before barging into Nariman House, they had purchased adequate food to last them at least three days,” he said. “They had purchased around two crates of chicken and liquor worth Rs25,000 from two shops in Colaba,” another resident Joseph D’Mello said.Here the quote says that “they” had purchased the food, and from the text, which would be a translation of the eyewitness account, it would suggest that the terrorists did the shopping. But the policeman’s report and quote is more credible because any group of terrorists going to take over a place during a city-wide attack would not stop to do shopping first, selecting meat, and liquor and other items, unless of course they were right at home.The Attacks Start:According to a changing and shifting narrative all attackers came in by boats.Why they did not stay in Mumbai after spending days scouting the place is unknown. That would have made much more sense. Maybe the commanders came in just in time for the operation.It is now being reported that they landed and split into groups with two men going to the office of the ultra-orthodox Jewish group Chabad-Lubavitch which runs Nariman house. There they supposedly held an unknown number of persons hostage, while killing some.However, eye-witnesses, and the earliest reports, state that all the men from the boat went straight to the Nariman House complex before dispersing to carry out attacks.From Mid-Day News

“Mumbai: India's financial capital, Mumbai seems to be going through its longest night for the last two days. Wednesday, 9.40 pm, the affluent south Mumbai was struck by terrorists, at 12 different locations, including the VT station, a hub for all railway trains, to two of the most luxurious hotels, Taj Mahal and Oberoi Trident.24 hours later, the attention has riveted to these hotels, and a tiny nondescript building, barely a few meters away from the Taj Mahal hotel. Housing a five-storied guest house for Israeli nationals, this building is turning out to be the 'den' for the militants."I saw 6 to 7 boats coming in on Wednesday evening and about ten people unloaded many bags from these boats and then gradually took them into the building, Nariman House', Vitthal Tandel, a fisherman in the area said. "The building has many rooms and these are used as guest houses by travelers, largely Israeli residents. None of us know what their names are", he said.“Virendra Ghunawat, a television journalist who has been tracking the Nariman House shootout since the time it took place Wednesday night, said even the cops have been cagey about details”.
“They came by sea, on a small skiff, and made their way in the dark through the narrow streets of old Colaba to the six-storey apartment building called Nariman House. There they stayed – an unknown number of mystery gunmen who besieged the building from the inside.”
“When the terrorists landed in front of Mr. Dhanur’s boat, they were just three blocks straight down a narrow lane from Nariman House, a five-storey building housing a Jewish center run by a young Rabbi, Gavriel Holtzberg, and his wife, Rivka, who had moved from New York. But the attack does not appear to have started there. According to India’s Home Ministry, the first shots were fired at the train station, and soon after that at the Leopold Café.”The account of eyewitnesses and the earliest reports are very clear. The ‘terrorists’ went into Nariman House. Later reports keep insisting that they ‘stormed’ the house.
December 15, 2008 3:50 PM
Anonymous said...
What did they look like?At least some of the terrorists were fair-skinned foreigners.]
From the Guardian of UK“One police officer who encountered the gunmen as they entered the Jewish centre told the Guardian the attackers were "white"”"I went into the building late last night," he said. "I got a shock because they were white. I was expecting them to look like us. They fired three shots. I fired 10 back.”Now, Indians know fair skinned Indians and Pakistanis. They meet them every day, especially in Mumbai, where all the upper class Indians congregate. Indians know foreigners and they call Americans and Europeans “foreigners” or “white”. It is easy for an Indian to tell the difference between a fair skinned Indian or Pakistani and a “foreigner”Other eyewitnesses at other locations also describe the terrorists as “foreign” or fair skinned.
From the BBC
Then, the "foreign looking, fair skinned" men, as Mr Mishra remembers them, simply carried on killing. "They did not look Indian, they looked foreign. One of them, I thought, had blonde hair. The other had a punkish hairstyle. They were neatly dressed," says Mr Amir. While at the Nariman House:Celebrations:From DNA India“Some residents claimed that the suspects were keeping track of the police’s movements through a television in Nariman House. “When the news of top police officials getting killed flashed in the television, we heard loud noises from the flat. It seemed they were celebrating,” Anand Raorane, a resident in a building opposite Nariman House, said.”Some in India claim that the terrorists were targeting some of India’s top anti-terrorist officers, and indeed a number of top officers including Hemant Karare, who were in the process of investigating an explosive case of terrorist activities by army officers and politicians, were killed. It is very strange that these exceptionally experienced men would so easily be killed. Some reports say they were ambushed. It was at the time that the news of these men’s demise was announced that sounds of celebration came from the Chabad office.


Anonymous said...

Armed groups reached the city of Mumbai via the seafront in a carefully planned and executed amphibious operation. The group allegedly numbered 10 in total but may have been more especially in carrying out operation of this stature, local recon elements are vital. Once they hit the beach they split into smaller groups and proceeded to their respective targets Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai Chatrrapati Sivaji Terminal, Leopold Café and Cama Hospital. What happened next was history and was well documented and witnessed by millions world over.

Let us not get into the narrative of why, what and how it happened since a lot of arm chair analyst and tv anchors have provided us with those answers. Lets focus on the spectacular failures of the intelligence community of India and the severe shortcomings in the way security forces responded to the crisis.

The single most profound question would be how a group of only 10 well trained and highly motivated fedayeens could hold Mumbai the financial capital of India and the home of Indian Navy Western Naval Command ransom for 3 days?

Anonymous said...

These analysts in RAW would have simulated and played this scenario but due to inefficiency as in any Indian government organization it was not followed up.

The RAW nowadays is highly corrupted with desk officers in foreign countries selling vital secret and dossiers for dollars.

There was a high profile case recently of involving an agent stationed in USA to this effect.

Even the Director-General of RAW Mr Ashok Chaturvedi is known for his shortcomings & controversies.

Most terrorist attacks in India happened after he took over as the DG, simply due to his inability to prioritize tasking and directing the organization. He is known as a habitual bettle-nut chewer, who will munch on this irritating substance while giving briefing and assessment.

Anonymous said...

In fact Ashok Chaturvedi was once reprimanded by the prime minister of India Mr Manmohan Singh for chewing bettle nut in front of Hamid Karzai while briefing the latter.

He is known to have taken to many medical leaves and spent most of the time at golf-courses playing his favorite game. However due to corruption in the entire govt structure and favours he has done for politician he seems to be invincible while agency began to rot.

It is rumoured that Ashok Chaturvedi complacency would prevail even after his retirement, since his replacement to be, is his prodigy.

This is an illustration of the catastrophic failure by the RAW due to inefficiency propagated by mismanagement, corruption and above all appalling leadership.

Anonymous said...

It was sad day for Mumbai Police to lose their Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hermant Kakre and other high ranking cops to these gunmen, but they saw it coming. An organization rotten as the Mumbai Police is no place for a high caliber officers like Hermant Kakre.