I was on the road all day yesterday so I was unable to log on. I saw a few minutes of the chaos on Fox News before heading to bed so I didn't see how massive the attacks were until this morning. Allahpundit has been following the news coming out of Mumbai, and it's devastating. There were 10 separate attacks in various parts of the city and apparently more are coming. Approximately 101 have been killed so far and over 900 have been injured.
Bob Owens writes that this was plot was in the works for a while:
Based upon what we're seeing filter through various media outlets thus far, the sites selected and the coordination of the attacks suggests a well-planned and researched attack, using a minimum number of terrorists per target, using common and relatively inexpensive military small arms.
They seem to be getting maximum effect in terms of disrupting Mumbai and creating carnage and chaos at the outlay of what seems to be less than two dozen total terrorists and the small arms they carried. I have no idea who the Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahedeen are, but this strike appears to be the work of professionals with military and intelligence skills.
How does this happen with the long arms of the intelligence organizations in the US and Britain not knowing about it and telling Indian intelligence? Added: This may be one reason why:
"They were very young, like boys really, wearing jeans and T-shirts," said Rakesh Patel, a British guest at the Taj, whose face was blackened by the smoke.
The Times of India says Deccan Mujahideen is claiming credit for the attacks. Bill Riggio writes that the Deccan or Indian Mujahideen has been behind several attacks in India and is a front group for the Students' Islamic Movement of India:
While it is certainly possible that the group is taking credit for another's handiwork, the Indian Mujahideen has been implicated as being behind several recent attacks in India. The group claimed credit for the July 25 and 26 bombings in Ahmedabad and Bangalore. At least 36 Indians were killed and more than 120 were wounded in the attacks. The Indian Mujahideen took credit for the Sept. 13 attacks in New Delhi that resulted in 18 killed and more than 90 wounded. The group also claimed credit for the bombings in Jaipur last May (60 killed, more than 200 wounded), and bombings in Uttar Pradesh in November 2007 (14 killed, 50 wounded).
Indian intelligence believes the Indian Mujahideen is a front group created by Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Harkat ul Jihad al Islami to confuse investigators and cover the tracks of the Students' Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, a radical Islamist movement. The groups receive support from Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence and are al Qaeda affiliates.
According to the Times Online, our intelligence officials expected al Qaeda to produce something "spectactular" between now and Obama's inauguration. Even though this attack wasn't on America or American interests specifically, al Qaeda and other organizations will be watching Obama's reaction. Will he demonstrate some kind of steely resolve on national security that he hid well during the campaign? According to a number of reports, next week Obama is set to select Marine Gen. James L. Jones for his National Security Advisor. Will this give our enemies pause?
Update: The Pakistani President and Prime Minister are both condemning the terrorist attacks, but Bill Roggio says it's a Pakistani terrorist group behind the attacks.
Update II: Our intelligence officials say al Qaeda's goal is to hit Penn Station so patrols armed with some serious weaponry are now on the ground.
Update III: Victor Davis Hanson at The Corner writes that the terrorist attacks in India and al Qaeda's new threats on Penn Station will cause Obama to ease back from many of his campaign promises to dismantle an array of Bush's anti-terrorism programs that have kept us safe the past seven years:
I think the terrible news from India, coupled with intelligence reports of the al-Qaeda desire to do something similar here, may well prompt Obama et al. to think very carefully about repealing the FISA accords, elements of the Patriot Act, immediately closing Guantanamo, and other homeland-security measures.
Those around Obama have already dropped most of the campaign nonsense of Bush shredding the Constitution, and will come to appreciate, once they have the responsibility of governance, that there may well be a reason other than chance that we have not had here the periodic attacks post-9/11 that we've seen abroad--coupled with the politically incorrect view that we have attrited a lot of insurgents and terrorists abroad on the borders of Pakistan, as well as those who flocked to Iraq, and met there a bad end...
The India matter should--and indeed I think it will--be a sobering reminder to the new administration to "make haste slowly."
I just pray VDH is right.