From Mumbai to New York

The question is finally being raised by someone as to whether the strikes in Mumbai have any bearing here in the States. Visible cautiousness can sometimes be misconstrued as paranoia or fear mongering. Nonetheless, the dramatic modification in tactics and where they transpired are quite significant.

From the Heritage Foundation;
Heritage Foundation-It is unwise to draw specific lessons and suggest trends based on any one particular incident, particularly when all the facts are not known. Nevertheless, there are do’s and don’ts that should be followed in thinking about the unthinkable—armed assaults in America.
Precisely the point I was attempting to make. There have been past attacks which were similar in nature to Mumbai, their wholesale practice, as the strategy du jour, has never been applied on an international scale. They have been isolated to particular regions, such as Russia, although there were plans for such attacks in the US.
Heritage Foundation-In October 2002, 50 heavily armed Chechen rebels seized a Moscow theater and held hundreds hostage. The rebels booby-trapped entrances with mines and rigged an explosive bomb in the center of the theater.

On September 1, 2004, a well-armed group of Chechen rebels invaded a school at Beslan in the North Caucasus. Armed with automatic weapons and explosives, they took more than 1,000 hostages. After a bloody stand-off, 334 hostages were killed.

Even the United States has not been immune from the danger of planned armed assaults. For instance, in August 2005, a Pakistani national was arrested as part of a terrorism investigation into a possible plot to attack the Israeli consulate, California National Guard facilities, and other targets in southern California. In 2007, the FBI arrested six men from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, for allegedly planning an armed assault on Fort Dix.
Mumbai, is the financial capital of India and a Mecca of tourism. Two highly attractive and alluring reasons for a terrorist group to target an area such as this. There is an opportunity to disrupt finance and an environment filled with targets of opportunity.

Then there is a distressing happenstance that has been overlooked. On February 26, 1993 the WTC was attacked by usage of a VBIED (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device) in an attempt to bring down the Trade Center. Likewise, a few weeks later, Mumbai was rocked by a series of thirteen bombings. One in particular was carried out in a very analogous fashion; a powerful car bomb exploded in the basement of the Bombay Stock Exchange building, killing fifty.

The motivation and perpetrators of these attacks were extremely different. However the "end result" they were trying to accomplish was the same. Disruption of the national financial system and the deaths of as many innocent civilians as possible. NYC shares commonalities with Mumbai; giving reason as to why both cities have been targeted somewhat frequently.

Also, terrorist and militant groups are notoriously prone for adopting and sharing strategies and technologies that have proven successful in the past. This gives them a template to operate from. So, it is not out of the realm of possibility that a similar attack could be attempted on our shores in a large metropolitan area such as New York City.

Another worry is a homegrown network of domestic terrorists, who are inspired by actions like those in Mumbai. Intelligence gathering, logistics, and movement would be far easier for them than their foreign counterparts. Garnering greater possible success by operating in an environment that they are familiar with.

For now, law enforcement, on a local and federal level, stand at high alert and our intelligence communities are gathering and analyzing the data from Mumbai. If there is even a shred of possibility this can occur in the US, I think it is safe to say they are on top of it.



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