.
November 26th, 2008
10:45 PM ET

Bombs, gunfire, chaos, carnage

Editor’s Note: CNN's Andrew Stevens happened to be staying in one of the hotels attacked in Mumbai, India. Below is his report on AC360°. Click here for all AC360° reports on the attack on Mumbai.

Andrew Stevens | Bio
CNN International Anchor, World News Asia

Bombs, gunfire, chaos, carnage. Mumbai, popular with Americans and the commercial capital of India, erupted in a coordinated terror attack.

It began around 10:00 p.m. local time, armed with grenades, automatic weapons and explosives, an unknown number of extremists killed scores including the city's anti-terrorism chief and wounded hundreds.

At least ten sites were targeted including two luxury hotels, cafes, a hospital for women and children, a movie theater, and a train station. At the historic Taj Mahal hotel where a large plume of smoke rose hours after the attacks began, witnesses say gunmen were looking for U.S. and British citizens. An untold number of people have been taken hostage.

The army has moved into the hotel and across the city. Several terrorists have been killed or arrested. Others remain on the loose.

Both President Bush and President-Elect Barack Obama issued statements, each strongly condemning the attack. Who's behind this? Local reports say a group named the Deccan Mujahedeen claimed responsibility. Some officials say it bears all the hall marks of Al Qaeda. Mumbai is the mecca for western business men and women, many from America. It's believed thousands of U.S. citizens own a city that is now under siege.

Just in the last few minutes we've been pushed pushed back and back and back. We were originally up where the fire engines are. We've been pushed back and back and back. What I'm hearing is there could be a new assault about to start. I can't confirm this at the moment but this is what we've been told. There are perhaps 100 people still in this Taj Hotel here behind me. They would be guests. They would be hostages and they would also be hostage takers.

With every one of these, I just cannot confirm the actual numbers at the moment but this is what we're being told. As you can see they are now dousing what became quite a significant fire only about half an hour ago. Flames 20, 30 feet leaping out of those top balconies there where you can see the jets of water now being directed.

We understand that the hostage takers are still in there. The earlier reports have been saying there are between 7 and 15 hostages both Indian, also of European and perhaps North American passport holders as well. What we've heard during the course of the last ten hours or so when this started was - excuse me. I'm just being told - there are people - if you can pan over you can see there's people walking to the annex wing. This tower here is also part of the Taj as well. There were people trapped in that building all night as well. We're seeing people down there near the front gate. I can't tell you what's happening at the moment but if you just come close by the fire engines you'll see army guys in fatigues are taking a position there covering that entrance. So obviously this is reaching some sort of new level, the hostage crisis here at the taj hotel.

As I was saying earlier, there were gunmen - when they went in, this is probably about ten hours ago. This happened at 10:00 p.m. local time. The time is now 8:30 in the morning, they went in there and they rounded people up and they asked for people with British and U.S. passports and these are the ones they were after. We don't know how many or if any British nationals or U.S. nationals were taken or are hostages at this stage but we understand that it is a possibility.

We're now just waiting to see what happens. It's obviously very tense here at the moment.

We think that there is the likelihood - the strong likelihood now there may be a renewed assault, military maneuver into the hotel in front of us there. We're not hearing any nonspecific threats from any other parts of the city at this stage.

Remember ten targets were attacked over the past ten hours. There's been a very well-organized and many are saying now sophisticated, coordinated attack on very, very high-profile targets throughout this city particularly the vast majority of them coming from south Mumbai where I am now.

South Mumbai is the commercial heart of India’s commercial city. This is a wealthy area. This is where a lot of foreign businessmen, indeed, foreign travelers come. They stay at this hotel. This is a favorite. There is one more hotel. The Oberoi hotel, which i haven't mentioned. There is also a hostage crisis there. That is about ten minutes here by car. We're getting less information on that. And there could also be gunmen still in a hospital, a women and children's hospital. Again, not far from here. There are also women and children in that hospital.

It's a very, very fluid situation. The hard facts at this stage are hard to come by. I can tell you the official death toll now stands at 87 people. Those ten attacks included those two hotels. They included the hospital. They also included the main railway station which is an enormous hub for rail passengers in the city of Mumbai. This is a city of 19 million people. It's being reported that gunmen burst into the railway station, opened fire with assault weapons and also let off hand grenades. This is being reported in the Times of India newspaper as well as a couple of others. There are pictures on the front pages of papers showing both the carnage on the floor inside the railway station and also pictures showing what looked like to be the terrorist. We're seeing ambulances arrive as well so we obviously are staying right on top of this.


Filed under: Andrew Stevens • Global 360° • India • India Attacked • Terrorism
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. matthurlbut1@msn.com

    I just read the comments by Deepak Chopka, Indian author, regarding the fact that the US does not have the monopoly on terrorism(e.g. 911); it is a world-wide problem. I tend to agree. 911 does not make us unique. 911 was tragic, but even more so are the DAILY onslaughts other nations experience at the hands of these animals. However, it seems the U.S. is usually one of the only countres to step forward and make a significant effort to fight terrorism. Other events happen elsewhere, they make the news, then fade away. Yes, other countries are contributing to the war on terrorism, but their numbers are paltry in comparison. Now I realize this could be a misrepresentation by the media- they just might not be reporting the full extent of other country's participation. But if it is true, given the current state of our economy, we are no longer the economic and power leader we once were. It's time to spread the accountability around and assign EQUAL funds/firepower to erradicate terrorism. Why no attacks on Canada or Australia? What are they doing different? Where does their oil come from? Are we such a hated nation that no one wants to step up and help? Very sad considering the amount of foreign aide we have sent to many countries over the years. But if that's the case, as an American, I deeply apologize to any foreigner reading this for the arrogance of our leaders past and present who have led us toward the reputation of being a war-monger. I hope you realize that the majority of average Americans do not condone war and would much rather be spending taxpayer money giving humanitarian assistance to those unable to help themselves around the world and in our own backyard. Yes, we have the power to vote on our leaders, but it appears that often people are elected on campaign promises and then skip to their own agenda once they are in. We are hoping and praying this is not the case with Barrack Obama.

    November 27, 2008 at 12:31 pm |
  2. chuck

    George Bush has killed more lives in his 8 years at the White House than 9/11 that took place under his watch.

    November 27, 2008 at 11:32 am |
  3. Arun

    Add to my previous comment:
    In other countries such as US, the government is impartial and takes stringent action on the offenders whether they are internal or external to their country.

    Unfortunately, the largest democracy in the world does not work that way. Several successive governments have been polarized by vote bank politics. While the ruling Congress party is partial to Muslims (the muslim vote bank is viewed as a unfragmented bank and it is 15% of the population – which is huge), while naturally, the "hindu nationalist" BJP has tried to be favorable to Hindus. The worst blow to the democracy comes when the government does NOT act SWIFTLY AND SURELY to react to the threat of terrorists in order to keep their muslim vote bank. This government is guilty of that charge.

    Now with the international angle to this situation, the potential fallout on Financial, Industrial, IT Enabled Services and other sectors (that has had lot of foreign investment in the past) is HUGE. Let us wait and see if this government acts impartially, swiftly and surely to bring justice to the victims, or opts to play vote bank politics (this is election year) in spite of the international impact, economical impact and socio-cultural impact their decisions and actions may have.

    November 27, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  4. Arun

    Finally, people talk of Hindu extremism in Gujarat and elsewhere.
    Let me try to put things in perspective. Post-9/11, there were attacks in America against Sikhs and Arabs. No one called it Christian or Jewish extremism – it was called an isolated incident.

    Now if one considers India, the Islamic militants have wreaked havoc over the past couple of decades (and more). Common sense says that at some point, the victims will try to retaliate. When they did, the left-wing media in India and elsewhere just found a fancy name for it "hindu extremism".

    People, before you think of hindu extremists killing muslims in Gujarat, think about how 60 hindus returning home were locked shut in a train compartment and were set fire, and most if not all of them burned alive to their sad deaths. And think of all other, repeated attacks which happened before this incident. I would call the Godhra train incident a proverbial last straw for a group of people, while for other Indians with more patience, tolerance and resilience (to situations that were forced on them), they can go on for more time.
    How long can they go?

    November 27, 2008 at 11:18 am |
  5. Arun

    That brings us to the discussion of what should have been done before to prevent them in first place. Let us all remember that hindsight is 20:20. As a commenter pointed out above, I have not seen metal detectors in any of the busy hotels in the US, or UK or in other places for that matter. It is not uncommon for security / intelligent forces to be caught unawares or sleeping – what is important is how quickly they get situation under control.

    As a journalist pointed out, even though India has been a victim of terrorism from 1984 (the then prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in her home), there is not really a federal mechanism for intelligence sharing, or 'correlation' of intelligence information at the national level. I see this comparable to the situation in US pre-9/11.

    And the other side of the same anti-terrorism coin is "response". We should wait until the entire episode (yes I am knowingly using the word episode as this is not the first and this will not be the last) is over before doing the post-mortem on the situation. This situation in India is quite unprecedented (i.e., deployment of marine and army commandos, NSG teams from other cities to counter a terrorist situation) and it is too early to comment. One can easily assume with the lack of a national framework for prevention, it would not be a surprise if the whole situation-response was made on the fly, not based on a play-book or rehearsed. but still, it is too early to comment.

    November 27, 2008 at 11:08 am |
  6. Arun

    In terms of terrorism just like in any other aspect of todays life, it is an unfortunate reality that we live in a connected world. Does any one else think that these terrorists might have learned a thing or two from the Virginia Tech shooter or the Chechnya standoff? An intelligence specialist said this could be a "game changer" globally. In other words, what is happening in India now WILL happen in other places (potentially including Pakistan) in future, and the magnitude of irreverence/lack of concern for human life/cruelty of modus operandi will increase as time progresses. Thus it is a global problem. As far as corrupted ideologies and fertile young minds exist in the world, this CANNOT be stopped. And as any intelligent person knows, you are only as strong as your weakest link. So these terrorists will select the least vulnerable targets, which can get them the maximum attention of the world.

    Another question posed again and again in CNN and elsewhere is on the security measures. While everyone acknowledges these are SOFT TARGETS, there's no talk on the potential attack surface. i.e., If Taj was secured to insane levels, the attackers could have easily choosen an international bank like Citibank or BankAm or even McDonalds (all within a couple of miles from Taj) as their for target. Of course, the number of foreigners involved would have been lot less, and may have sparked lesser interest from folks in western media including CNN.
    But the fact remains that Mumbai (or any other modern metropolis for that matter) provides innumerable attack surfaces (as shown by the VT shooter and Chechnya school terrorists, for example). If this should be corrected, that would be done only by tearing the fabric of most basic human element – trust. This is exactly what these terrorists want, and this is exactly what the governments should stop from happening.

    November 27, 2008 at 10:57 am |
  7. salil

    pls ppl dont comment on the action of the security forces...i hav been covering this now for the last 24 hrs and the army and the marine commandos(marcos) have been very proffesional...they haven taken out the terrorists with minimum civilian as well as military casualties...and to correct a comment made over here,the army and commandos hav been deployed since before midnight yesterday and not today morning....this is not a action movie where the good guys with big guns come and kill the bad guys and the situation is over within an hour...this is real life and a real time hostage situation,u hav to be careful and patient,or the whole thing will become an even bigger disaster.

    November 27, 2008 at 10:48 am |
  8. saswat

    9 westerners were killed out of 101.this attack was not only on westerners . all human beings are equal.so grow up.

    November 27, 2008 at 10:42 am |
  9. Mak

    Whenever this kind of attack happens its always the Government who gets all the blame. but as a citizen of India arent we responsible for anything?? Stop blaming others and start acting reponsible.
    Be alert and keep your eyes open for any suspicious act.
    Just imagine you are the authority holder in your house and you ahve got 100 billion people living in that house what will you do???
    So please stop blmaingand start acting after all its us who suffer and not the politicians

    November 27, 2008 at 10:34 am |
  10. Vipul toprani

    Mr. Atul Pandey,
    you do not live here and do not understand the situation as it stands.
    Living in south bombay, its not like any other bomb blasts that have earlier hit the city. The city was back to life the very next day in July 2006 but not this time.
    As for the reign of terror, its cowardice and serious lack of action taken by the government. Why would the Army and Commandos be called more than 6 hours of the initial attack is something I don't understand.

    November 27, 2008 at 9:44 am |
  11. sOm sharma

    It seems CNN is being naive in concluding/implying, that the terror attacks in Mumbai were primarily aimed at Americans and Britons. Fact is that only three of the ten targets – the two hotels, Taj and Oberoi, and Cafe Leopold – were the likely spots frequented by American, Britons and other foreigners. The remaining targets, especially the Rail terminal, the CAMA hospital, were simply places with multitude of people with no Americans, britons etc. So the goal of the terrorists seems to be much wider, to send a message to Indians and Indian government.

    Secondly, implicating Pakistan without any substantiation, at this early stage of breaking news seems simplistic, dangerously inflamatory, and irresponsible. [For the sake of record, I am a Hindu originally from India]

    November 27, 2008 at 9:17 am |
  12. Rajshree

    The fixation with the "westerners hostage situation" is appalling. It is primarily Indian lives that have been lost-but ofcourse that should hardly matter in the face of the "war on terror". I can't believe in the face of the rising death toll CNN has the audacity to flash "Americans hurt" as the headline. Apathy at it's best. So much for "bringing the American way and values" to other countries.

    November 27, 2008 at 8:58 am |
  13. Mary

    The question arose, where is the terroist funding coming from?

    What about the 'Nigerian' scam that seems to continue and flourish?

    How does it work?

    It comes by mail, e-mail and fax. The story line always involves the need for a bank account to deposit money into, and stationary with company letterhead if it is directed to a company or township.

    Of course they want the bank account to drain what-ever funds are in it, but that is not what they say. They say something to this effect:

    I am due 10 million dollars, but I cannot get the 10 million dollars unless I have a bank account to deposit it into. If you supply the bank account, I will give you 1 million dollars..... or some such.

    Another is: Me poor unfortunate husband, he pass away, for me to get the money he leave me, I am in desperate need of your help.

    So who responds? The 58 year old 'grandmother' who is the bookkeeper for a large legal firm and has access to all the firms accounts that hold money in escrow and such. Needless to say, all accounts are emptied and a firm that has been in business for twenty six years is devasted.
    Or the man who is in charge of township funds and accounts and those accounts are empied of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    Or the woman who receives the letter that states her deceased Uncle left money to her, but she needs to send money to get the money, $450,000.00 later, she has lost all her money and has received 'none' and will NEVER receive any.

    Funding for terroism - and our foolish foolish people give it to them !

    November 27, 2008 at 8:57 am |
  14. Tamara

    We need to really stop putting so much attention of this horrible autrocity on how they may have targeted Americans. This is not just about Americans and Brits, the Indian people have lost their friends and families. It is not all about "us" like the news is reporting. Talk about narcissistic reporting. This is not all about "Americans". So stop making it out to be about us, and start reporting on the Indian nationalists that were hurt and lost family members.
    So stop the hype and start the reporting

    November 27, 2008 at 8:49 am |
  15. Subhani Syed

    ATS Cheif and his collegues (RIP) who are considered Heroes and are deceased , still the Situation by large is brought under control by Brave Mumbai Police, Armed Forces and the Mumbai Public.
    India and we Indians are in fact the most affected with Terrorism. India will and should react to this.

    Note: No Intelligence is good enough. if good enough 9/11 or 11/7
    would not have happened.

    This stupid Terrorism has to be kept on Hold; Exterminate all the terrorists. Day by day i am more ashamed. I am not sure when in my lifetime can i be happy to be a Muslim. I guess until these Stupid terrorists call themselves Muslim; i cannot call myself one.

    November 27, 2008 at 8:38 am |
  16. Debashish Sarkar

    Thank you, CNN, for the excellent nonstop TV coverage of this massacre. In this time of crisis, you have stood up to be a responsible news network for the world. Much appreciate it.

    November 27, 2008 at 8:32 am |
  17. Ketan Mehta

    We are for the first time seeing so much coverage in the western media for an event occuring in India. Uptil now such events were worth couple of lines in the news. This time the coverage is immense but still limited to the places were western life is at stake.

    As regards Mr. Atul Pandey's comment that terrorism is a result of poverty, corruption, breakdown of the social structure of a society, a feeling of hopelessness and no light at the end of the tunnel, I do not agree with that. If such was a case, terrorism would not have been limited to one particular community. Such situations create criminals not terrorists.

    Modern Indian terrorist are misguided youths, religious fanatics brainwashed by vested interests into believing that they are being persecuted / terrorised.

    He criticizes India's defence systems at one place and in other place says the feeding the people should be the priority over nuclear program. I think rather being in awe of westerners who accumulated wealth by looting asian and african countries and than turning angels, he should see the ground realities in India. If people were not fed, we would be seeing food riots instead of terrorism.

    As regards the basic amenities in the western world, I agree they are far superior to that of India, but they have been developed through unsustainable debts and the current situation is that they do not have money to repair / renovate this amenities unless they borrow more. How long this will last that only time will tell.

    rgds

    Ketan

    November 27, 2008 at 8:29 am |
  18. Dev

    It was heartening to see the all round coverage of CNN of this terror attack on India despite it not being a "US problem." Indians have been facing these attacks for quite some time now, much before Americans were introduced to this form of terror through 9/11. But this overwhelming international media attention is something very new. It makes one really confident in these dark times that the free world is together in their hour of need and that strong democracies stand together to fight the forces that wants to defeat them by attacking the values of freedom, equality and their way of life. I am confident that we shall prevail over these cowards who call themselves Mujaheddin.

    November 27, 2008 at 8:29 am |
  19. SSP

    CNN IBN reports that the boat that was used could have sailed from the port of Porbandhar of Gujarat. Indian Intellligence apparantly was monitoring the threat of a Naval terrorism on Indian sea assets. The LET is engaged in "maritime terror".
    If India does not do anything, they might as well open up the borders and be prepared to become a failed state like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    This is not a Hindu-Muslim issue in India. In fact, the Muslim leaders in India recently issued a fatwa against terrorism in a inter relegious meet in the south.
    This is a modern Vs ancient fight that should include moderate progressive muslims from both side of the border for the common good of the generations to come

    November 27, 2008 at 8:11 am |
  20. T.R.CHANDRASEKARAN

    Man is going away from HUMAN.

    November 27, 2008 at 8:10 am |
  21. Mary

    We talk of the exactness of the attacks, of them coming in on inflatable boats and such. Yet Hollywood continues to come out with film after film after film with just such scenes. Exciting the minds of many to what they may never had thought of otherwise. A perceived glory of sorts....

    Think about that as you and your families watch TV and movies. Select carefully what you choose to watch, and what you allow your families to watch.

    November 27, 2008 at 8:02 am |
  22. Avg Joe

    I hope people realize that these terrorists are getting more out of their actions than just taking hostages and killing innocent people. They are drawing attention to themselves. And we are playing into that. We are gathered around watching the news media shows or checking the latest updates on the internet. The terrorists are successfully distracting us from paying attention to our friends and families on a special family gathering holiday.
    I'm sure most of our conversations will revolve around Mumbai today and the upscaling of protection here in the US. Resist the urge. Since the average citizen is not likely to take physical action, the best we can do is not give them the attention they are striving to get. I feel for the innocent and am also concerned about our own security.
    Now if you'll excuse me, I have friends and family to go be with today. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your time with your loved ones.

    November 27, 2008 at 7:57 am |
  23. Tierney Reid

    I don't understand why this is happening? Who would choose to cause so much pain, suffering and destruction? As a yound adolescent I never participated in many world issues. I chose ignorance. Since the American attacks on September 11th, I am more interested in what goes on the world. Perhaqps with this situation, there is much I am still ignorant about. If anyone can explain what has happened to lead to these horrible events, I am ready to listen. God Bless everyone!

    November 27, 2008 at 7:55 am |
  24. nhdataman

    7:45 EST I have been listening to this story on CNN since last night, and just now heard reporting that identified the city as Bombay. Bombay I have heard of. Mumbai not so much. It was confusing to me that I had never heard of this apparantly large city in India.

    Your reporting needs to enlighten a little bit more on this one, CNN

    November 27, 2008 at 7:54 am |
  25. anurak adulyadej

    In India, they fight with the Hindus. In Thailand, they fight with the Buddhists. In the Philippines, they fight with the Catholics. In the Middle East, they fight with the Jews. In Europe, they fight with the Christians. In China, they fight with the communists. In Germany, they fight with the Germans. In Malaysia, they fight with the Chinese and Indians. In France, they fight with the secularists and Catholics. In Russia, they fight with the non-Muslim Russians. In the US, they fight with the "house negroes", Latino workers, blind people with a dog, cab passengers with alcohol. In Denmark, they fight with the cartoons. In Sudan, they fight with a teddy bear named Muhammad. In Indonesia, they fight with other Muslims. They fight with just everybody. Why is that? Then they claim ISLAM is a peaceful religion and the sad part is that muslim communities keep silent and do not say or do anything to dispel that notion.

    November 27, 2008 at 7:26 am |
  26. Sergei Daghlovsky

    In a word of fairness to CNN and the AC360 team lest before this becomes a 'bash CNN session', CNN as an American-based organisation with a large American viewership has every right to be concerned about the lives of Americans around the world.

    Nevertheless at this very stage it is not possible to discern whether it is a 'localised' terror attack or whether it has 'global' intentions to it. It is not that Asian lives don't matter to Americans, but what the terrorists are trying to do by targeting a city popular with tourists. The immediate action of course would be a loss of faith in the security of the country, an investor pull out which could then lead to a weakened economy and government which might become pliable to terror demands.

    As the saying goes, cooler minds prevail. That is definitely not always easy, but all of us need to stick together on this.

    I repeat – Lives are lost. Your nationality shouldn't be the point.

    November 27, 2008 at 7:22 am |
  27. siri

    i'd also like to add that the mumbai police alongwith the national security guards, army soldiers and the firemen need to be commended for the diligence that they have shown in rescuing hostages and nabbing the involved terrorists..one must not forget their contribution..

    November 27, 2008 at 1:55 am |
  28. R

    The attck may have been targeted towards weterners but more Indians have died. 101 people regardless of nationality have died. There should be compassion from CNN not just focus on foreigners.
    When 911 happened – many tourists from all over the word were on the towers, it was horrific for ALL. But foreigners were not covered in the same spirit as they are being talked about in this incident...today....why because they were not Americans? Human life is valuable regardless of nationality.
    Hotels in US do not have security check in either...some evil mastermind/s have planned this attack, it is just lucky for US that it was not carried out here.....

    November 27, 2008 at 1:47 am |
  29. vangipuram.ananth

    Now this incident is called the audacity of terrorism. Its a proof of the govt's soft policy on terrorists tht has back fired for sure.
    Looking at it frm a Indian Citizen perse, it purely is an act tht puts everyone to shame coz taking entire hotel hostage is a mockery to the security system thts being followed.
    This lesson learned would be easily forgotten in a week as the so called Mumbai spirit comes to picture.

    Rgds
    Ananth

    November 27, 2008 at 12:36 am |
  30. Sidd

    CNN needs to stop saying that it is an attack on westerners and realize that only 6 westerners have been killed out of 101. They only want to focus on Americans and that is pathetic. The lives of Americans are not of lower or higher value than others.

    November 27, 2008 at 12:31 am |
  31. Nelson

    There's no need to always relate things to 911 in America, if westerners are going there for something other than business of the most urgent kind than things such as this must be expected, common sense must prevail, but then again it never ever has, this is reality.

    November 27, 2008 at 12:29 am |
  32. Atul Pandey

    I HAVE BEEN OBSERVING THE UNFORTUNATE EVENTS OF THE DREADFUL NIGHT IN MUMBAI ON CNN SINCE THE EVENTS UNFOLDED. HONESTLY, I HAVE MIXED EMOTIONS. I AM ANGERED AND FRUSTRATED TO WITNESS THE LOSS OF INNOCENT LIVES YET AGAIN IN INDIA. I AM ASTONISHED TO SEE THE REACTION OF THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT (OR THE LACK OF ONE) AND THE LOCAL SECURITY AGENCIES. I AM SURPRISED TO SEE THE MAGNITUDE OF COVERAGE OF THE EVENT ON THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA. I AM ASHAMED TO SEE THE TOTAL LACK OF STATE OF READINESS OF OUR SECURITY AGENCIES TO DEAL WITH A TERRORIST ATTACK OF THIS MAGNITUDE. AT THE SAME TIME I AM PROUD OF THE MUMBAIKARS WHO HAVE SHOWN THE COURAGE AND THE COMMITTMENT TO FIGHT TERRORISM AND HAVE PROVED TO THE WHOLE WORLD ONCE AGAIN THAT NEITHER DOMESTIC NOR GLOBAL TERRORISM WILL HALTER THE EVERYDAY BUSINESS OF THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS. BY THE WAY, WE JUST NAME IT DOMESTIC, OR GLOBAL TERRORISM BASED ON OUR CONVENIENCE, DONT WE? AS FAR AS THE MIGHTY UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS CONCERNED, "IT IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS AS LONG AS OUR EGO IS NOT CHALLANGED DIRECTLY. WE WILL SAFELY TAG IT AS INDIA'S INTERNAL PROBLEMS AS LONG AS NOBODY INVOLVES ANYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH AMERICAN PRIDE, OR LIVES WITH THE SITUATION". IS'NT IT OBVIOUS WITH THE MASSIVE MEDIA COVERAGE AND THE INTEREST THAT AMERICA IS TAKING IN THIS EVENT, WHEREAS ATTACKS OF MUCH, MUCH LARGER MAGNITUDE; IN TERMS OF LOSS OF LIFE, PROPERTY, AND THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOCIAL SYSTEM DUE TO THESE ATTACKS ARE NOT UNCOMMON IN INDIA. I HAVE NEVER SEEN COVERAGE OF THIS MAGNITUDE CONCERNING INDIAN SECURITY SITUATION OR TERRORISM IN INDIA IN THE PAST DECADE THAT I HAVE BEEN RESIDING IN THE UNTIED STATES.

    WELL, LET ME START BY STATING MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROBLEM AND THE OBVIOUS LACK OF A WELL PLANNED COUNTER ATTACK BY THE DEFENSE SYSTEM OF THE CITY AND THE COUNTRY, TOTAL LACK OF LEADERSHIP, CHAOS AND PANIC AT EVERY LEVEL OF THE ADMINISTRATION, SECURITY AGENCIES, AND THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF THE CITY OF MUMBAI, LACK OF CENTRAL COMMAND, LACK OF THE BASIC CODE OF CONDUCT IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY AGAINST THE CITIZENS; YOU SAW UNFOLD IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES.

    TERRORISM TO ME IS A BY PRODUCT OF POVERTY, CORRUPTION, BREAKDOWN OF THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF A SOCIETY, A FEELING OF HOPELESSNESS AND NO LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, A SOCIETY THAT HAS BECOME STAGNANT DUE TO A ZILLION FACTORS LIKE ISOLATION, DIFFERENT SITUATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF EVOLUTION PROCESS (I AM SURE SCIENCE WOULD AGREE WITH ME THAT SOCIETIES, RACES, AND ALL THE DIFFERENTIATING FACTORS AMONGST THE HUMAN RACE WERE A DIRECT RESULT OF OUR RESPECTIVE EVOLUTION PROCESS. MANY RACES CLUNG TIGHTLY TO THEIR CULTURE AND TRADITIONS AFRAID OF EXTERNAL INFLUENCE IN THEIR SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND EVENTUALLY CORRUPTING THEIR OWN. NOT KNOWING WHAT THE OTHER SOCIETY HAD TO OFFER BECAUSE OF THE FEAR OF THE LIMITED OR NO KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR CULTURE, OR YOU MAY CALL IT THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN OR THE FEELING OF SECURITY AMONGST THEIR CULTURE AND FEELING THREATENED BY OTHER EVOLVING SOCIETIES. WHILE OTHER SOCIETIES NEVER BOUND TOGETHER CONNECTING TOGETHER WITH AN EMOTIONAL OR SOCIAL BOND AND SEGMENTS OF THE SOCIETY VENTURED OUT ON THEIR OWN TO EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES THE WORLD HAD TO OFFER AND THEY NEVER BELIEVED IN LIMITING THEMSELVES IN THE FALSE SECURITY OF CULTURES AND TRADITIONS. SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT, EAST IS THE CULTURAL SIBLING AND THE WEST IS THE ADVENTUROUS ONE), SEPARATE SET OF SOCIAL VALUES. ONCE THE SOCIETY STARTS DEVELOPING A DEEP ROOTED BELIEF THAT ONE HAS NOTHING TO LOSE; INFACT BY RESORTING TO INHUMANE ACTS HE GETS A PLATFORM TO BE HEARD. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT SOMEONE IS WILLING TO END HIS/HER LIFE FOR INSANE REASONS OF THEIR OWN? ONCE AGAIN, MANY FACTORS INFLUENCE SUCH AN ACT AND DETERMINATION TO END ONE’S OWN LIFE ALONG WITH TAKING INNOCENT LIVES. NOT GOING INTO DETAIL, I WOULD SAY THAT THE REASON FOR THE BREAKDOWN OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE AT THE MOLECULE LEVEL IS THE ACCEPTED THOUGHT PROCESS OF THE SOCIETY; DEVELOPMENT OF A YOUNG BRAIN TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS NO HOPE IN THIS WORLD. WHATEVER YOU ACQUIRE IS BY FIGHTING FOR IT. THEY ONLY UNDERSTAND THE LAW OF “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST”. THAT IS THE FOUNDATION OF TERRORISM RIGHT THERE. ADD FIRE TO THE FUEL, JUST MENTION POWERTY, ILLETRACY, POPULATION EXPLOSION, PEOPLE DIENG ON THE STREETS, ETC ETC ETC. INDIA CAN NOT PROVIDE THE BASIC AMINITIES TO IT’S CITIZEN, AND YET WE HAVE A NUCLEAR PROGRAM (YOU CAN ARGUE ALL YOU WANT THAT IT IS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF OUR SOCIETY, ITS JUST A BUNCH OF BULL. PROVIDING CHEAPER FUEL SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT BE A COUNTRIE’S FIRST PRIORITY; FEED YOUR PEOPLE FIRST).
    ANYWAY, LOOKING ATB TODAY’S EVENTS; I FAIL TO UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO CARRY OUT SUCH A SENSLESS ACT AGAINST INNOCET CIVILIANS OF A THRIVING ECONOMICALLY PROGRESSING SOCIETY? IS IT TO KILL TOURISM IN INDIA BECAUSE THE WORLD ECONOMY IS DOWN AND INDIA WOULD EMERGE AS A CHEAP & EXOTIC TOURIST DESTINATION? SOUNDS SILLY, DOESN’T IT? OR IS IT SOME KIND OF A SICK POLITICAL MOVE (WITH ELECTIONS AROUND THE CORNER) THAT WENT WRONG OR OUT OF CONTROL? WAS IT INDDED A MESSAGE TO THE WESTERN WORLD BY SINGLING OUT BRITISH AND AMERICAN NATIONALS?
    TO BE CONTINUED………………………………………………………………………………………….

    November 27, 2008 at 12:24 am |
  33. D.S.

    We hope these people dont do this here,happy thaks giving all of you ,cant wait to watch SARAH PALIN in GEORGIA on monday.We love seeing her interviews and speaches,hope she runs in 2012,that would be a great debate her and Obama.this terrorist attack is so sad they are so jelous of freedom and will die to try and destroy it,no matter what they wont ever succeed.

    November 27, 2008 at 12:23 am |
  34. Abbas

    This is truly sad, I dont even know what else to say.

    November 27, 2008 at 12:23 am |
  35. Dolly Townsend

    Everyone appreciates the coverage that comes from cnn 360; however, you keep covering the Taj Mahal fatality in depth. We would like to see more about the other 9 locations that were attacked.

    All of these scattered incidents has to make one wonder "when" these terroristiic acts are going to occur on American soil. The sadness of people's ignorance to the regard of human life makes me feel disgusted. The innocent lives that were taken had no personal bearing on these individuals that want to make their statement. Our prayers are with their families during this time. Sadly, these terrorist have changed these families lives for future holidays. The children will not think of Santa, but will remember the loss of thier loved ones.

    November 27, 2008 at 12:10 am |
  36. Kingsley

    The war against terror cannot be won,this is very sad to know and hard to say,the truth still remains in the fact that innocent and gulity lives are being sacrificed at the cost of policy misrepresentation,cultural differences,religious beliefs and communication barriers.
    I believe every problem in the wolrd has a solution,Our present and past leaders have to come up with a true neutral ground without bias to resolve our differences,this does not make anyone stronger or weaker but we must always exhaust diplomacy,dialogue,debate,understanding and patience.
    The high death toll of humanity is the sacrifice paid for unintelligent decisions of our various present and past leaders around the world.

    We need to adopt the measures of mutual communication and not assumptions,the world,leaders, countries, religion, societies,communities, ethnicity, and humans need to embrace a more simple way to living and making decisions
    We are all interelated one way or the other,regardless of our differences.
    I humbly urge our leaders to' think to remember and remember to think"before they make decisions.
    This chain reaction has been lingering for a longtime and it is only getting worst.
    We must find a neutral ground!!!!
    The highest governing body (UN) needs to come about a vast solution to minimize these deaths and destruction.
    Neither war or terror can resolve this problem.
    Leaders need to speak with fellow leaders with repect and understanding,how a leader feels about a situation affects his followers.

    November 27, 2008 at 12:07 am |
  37. cherif

    I have been watching cnn and analysts are asked about president elect obama's strategy to counter terrorism
    i wrote an email in the wake of 9-11 th about my personal view on the matter and here i'm sending the main idea ... again

    Do you know that in my country, Egypt,
    most of mosqs under the control of the gouvernement?
    and now let's see the message of hatred that those mosqs are delivering.
    Concerning faculties like Dar el Ouloum , or Al Azhar,
    or any other islamic school in Egypt, USA must think
    in a way to be sure which MESSAGE those educational institutions, are delivering
    I know it is hard and sensitive to deal with those
    matters, but the US has to link it's aid to positif
    changes in these institutions

    And this is must be done in cooperation with (or coertion of) all islamic countries

    American administration has to deal with the roots of
    terrorism, not only by controlling the regimes, but by
    controlling every hostile message given through a
    tape, a book which is sold in the street, or through a sick minded cheikhs or a professors in islamic institutions

    November 27, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  38. Zinni

    I have just seen a quick interview of the Canadian High Commission present outside on one of the site Trident hotel.
    He confirmed Canadian citizens are in the hotel, he managed to get in touch with some of them, 5 Isralies confirmed to have been taken hostage..6 foreigners have been killed. More than 200 ppl are in the trident hotel. May god help the innocent ppl and the Indian army

    November 27, 2008 at 12:01 am |
  39. anjali

    I agree. I heard that some Gas stations (known as Petrol Pumps in India ) were bombed, a school was bombed...but I guess those Indian lives don't matter...only the lives of the western hostages matter.....who cares how many Indians die huh?

    November 26, 2008 at 11:59 pm |
  40. zanskriti

    Local media are reporting that the terrorists came in on powered inflatable rafts. If that's true, then this is unlike anything India has ever faced – its far too co ordinated and sophisticated an attack to have been a local terror group. Intelligence agencies around the world will have to figure out the details – becuase its a huge step up if terror groups have access to such sophisticated weaponry.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:58 pm |
  41. anjali

    Also, I realize that CNN may not agree with those comments made by some of the experts....please don't report that security has been lax or poorly managed or poorly trained...without haveing any evidence to the same. The security at the Taj is a lot more exacting than any encountered anywhere here domestically. I have not been to any hotel over here with metal detectors, have you?

    November 26, 2008 at 11:54 pm |
  42. Roger

    As the U.S. continues to poke its nose into someone elses tent, sooner rather than later that nose is going to get punched. Nuff said!

    November 26, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  43. preeti

    FYI your maps are wrong. Cafe Leopold is around the corner from the Taj Hotel and it is on the very busy Colaba Causeway that is the shopping and nightlife hub of South Bombay.

    As someone born in Bombay and now a US citizen I cannot believe that such an attack is happening in this way in the city. The Taj & VT are 2 of the oldest and most beautiful and iconic buildings in Bombay! It's like attacking Grand Central and the Waldorf at the same time.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  44. Rana

    Thanks to someone in CNN HQ my wife and her other CNN colleagues got out of the Taj Mahal Hotel at around 4 am . Was sending messages to my wife to get out via her black berry..she was too scared to move out of her darkened room till then. Will be a night of horror for all of us..akin to 9/11.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:28 pm |
  45. Hari

    If terrorists choose to hit the same city repeatedly over many years using different techniques, doesn't it say something about the governance (or lack of it)?

    November 26, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  46. JG

    How is it just an attack on Westerners and Americans when more than 90 Indians have died? We need to see this as an attack on human beings and not just on Westerners. How is it that CNN only covers terror attacks where Americans are involved and not on people of other countries? There have been attacks on Train Stations and Hospital but only the Five Star Hotels where westerners stay get all the attention. Yes, westerners have been attacked but the majority of them are still Indians there.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  47. Raj Kaushik

    This is a joke. 9 hours after the attack do commandos and special forces move in! I am an Indian from India and know the cost of life in
    India is very low. This may be India's 911 finally as foreigners have died in numbers this time.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  48. ken

    intelligence is saying there were 10 terrorists which came from karrachi,pakistan

    November 26, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  49. Dhruv

    The US media needs to wake up to the facts. The attacks included random shooting of passengers at a local railway station among other spots, not just the hostage situation with foreigners at the luxury hotels. This wasn’t just about US citizens, this was Islamic terrorism at large. And this has nothing to do with Hindu-Muslim tensions. Indian civilian casualties were next to only Iraq in the past year, thanks to Islamic terrorism in India. The media needs to quit its elitist stance on Islamic terrorism and call a spade a spade. And for its war on terror, the US needs to wake up to the fact that it is not only the US that is under attack. India and US are philosophically aligned – democratic, secular, progressive. India and US are natural allies in this war. Ofcourse, US needs to realize that the problem lies in Islamic fundamentalism, nothing else.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:04 pm |
  50. Craig

    Lets see just how religious all these terrorists are, blow up the Dome of the Rock and see how they like it. Or tell them to stop all actions or we will destroy it.

    November 26, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
1 2

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.