November 28th, 2008
08:55 PM ET

Flash bang in Mumbai – Counter terrorist tactics

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/29/mumbai.commandos.taj/art.commando.mask.cnn.jpg
caption="A commando in disguise give details of what went down in the Taj hotel when commandos went in."]
Ken Robinson
Security analyst & former military intelligence officer

Many reports from Mumbai cite gunfire and "grenade" explosions coming from the 5-Star Taj Mahal hotel, the scene of previous terrorist attacks.

It is very possible the gunfire and explosions are actually "room clearing" tactics used by Counter Terrorism forces as they clear rooms.

The tactic of choice is to use what's known as a Flash Bang Simulator, which creates a loud, explosive shock wave, enabling the CT forces to enter a room dynamically, gain a tactical advantage, and overwhelm anyone barracaded inside.

Filed under: India Attacked • Ken Robinson • Terrorism
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Alex

    I'm glad that mess in India is over, for now. Talk about over-analyzing an unfortunate situation, WOW! I thought CNN would never stop broadcasting and talking about that mess. I began to expect to hear what all the Indian troops were having for breakfast! Enough already! There are certain nations (mostly third world countries) that have never and will never stop being victims or perpetrators having idiots like those ten boneheads, who just wanted to kill people and have their moments of "glory" publicized by the news media. CNN certainly provided what they wanted. Everyone knew what the final outcome would be so what was the point of the blow by blow coverage? The news media provided just what the bad guys wanted. The evil people in the world know they can rely on it.

    December 1, 2008 at 8:39 am |
  2. Tom

    I hope this site prints this comment. What has happened in India is a tragedy. Unfortunately, the same is happening to Palestinians everyday. But we don't hear about it, because they are not killed 200 at a time instead 10 or 15 every day. It is time that the world also recognizes state sponsored terrorism like that of Israel.

    November 30, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  3. jt

    Just wonder.

    The comando in this picture has a very light complexion. Maybe other country was involved on fighting the attackers.

    November 30, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  4. ashok

    Christain Amanpour reported today that Muslims in India do not have same access to education, jobs etc. as the rest of the population. This in misinformation and not based on the facts. Let me give you a very good example. The muslims in India (14%) have the same status as African American in USA (14%) except African Americans are not Jehadi. Despite their birth in the USA ,the most powerful and rich country , their condition is at the lowest in the US society while the Indian Americans (mostly Hindus) are above white Americans in per capita income and college going population. Ms Amanpour, do you think African Americans do not have the same access to education, jobs etc.? They too should become Jehadi (many are black muslim but non jehadi) and start killing innocents? India where I was brought up is a country with 700 million poorest on the earth. SO it has at least 500 million poor Hindus as well in addition to 150 million muslims even if you treat all muslims poor which is not hte case. Please check the facts before you are given wrong picture of India. Thanks

    November 30, 2008 at 12:50 am |
  5. Anil

    I am ashamed that our good muslim brothers give no voice to this situation.

    November 30, 2008 at 12:12 am |
  6. Tom

    What has happened in India is a tragedy. Unfortunately, the same is happening to Palestinians everyday. But we don't hear about it, because they are not killed 200 at a time instead 10 or 15 every day. It is time that the world also recognizes state sponsored terrorism like that of Israel.

    November 29, 2008 at 11:56 pm |
  7. Max

    What a relief – at least the SIEGE is over.

    So many things NEED to be FIXED in our WORLD. I think TERRORISTS feel they AT LEAST make a STATEMENT.
    How did the world GET to a PLACE where SO many WERE ignored????

    The LARGE population???? Selfishness in TOO many places????

    Everyone just OUT for themselves????

    And a FEW too many LOOK at ME, LOOK AT ME types – they are great and OTHERS are NOT is the message UNFORTUNATELY.

    November 29, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  8. Ray

    How come nobody on any CNN broadcast has said anything about the captured terrorist and where he was from?

    November 29, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  9. Surya Satyavolu

    I see many people discussing the religious beliefs of the DINOSAURS that attacked Mumbai and enacted a Jurrasic Park among human civilization. While it may be of academic and scientific interest to preserve and protect some of these species of dinosaurs, it is imperative that the world community takes adequate measures to make sure that these predatory dinosaurs never make it out of their Jurrasic parks in the jungles across the border into human civilization in the future. These are extremely dangerous soecies that can camoflage into bodies of human beings and take up Islamic sounding names cause worst kind of destruction as had happened in Mumbai. Their belief and neurological system is though not as advanced as the human species just like the dinosaurs and are bound to perish. But, it is imperative to protect the innocent human species.

    November 29, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  10. Nate

    I am so sick of hearing about MUMBAI, I personaly could care less that is there contry lets stick to fixing ours!

    November 29, 2008 at 12:29 pm |
  11. corrie

    Do you think that maybe the attacks on Mumbai were copy cats. The reason I say that is because there is really no one claiming the attack or any real demands. The group that is claimed has never been heard of. There are alot of things that don't match up like, asking for the westerners. The last time I heard of Indians by ship was "The Boston Tea Party" They were not Indians but people dress up or made to believe to be Indians. Do you think that this is a ploy to scare the new American Administration?

    November 29, 2008 at 12:11 pm |
  12. Siddharth Singh

    This is indeed what it was. The National Security Guards chief confirmed this.

    November 29, 2008 at 7:20 am |
  13. kirrun

    I want to comment on situation in india. I can understand it as a move from international prayers to increase tension between india and pakistan. one possibility could be indian themself are behind like what had happened in "samjota train fire case". I am being pakistani always like indian people, films & stars and to be and live in india. The situation for most of pakistanis and indians is same that they like each other. But there are some elements who are busy in developing weapons and let keep tension between the two countries continue to run their business. These elements may include directly or indirectly from pakistan and india.
    My question to whole world and people is that if there is peace and there is no need to build weaponized countries just from tomorrow.
    which country will suffer most ? ( one who is running business of selling weapons to other countries). you need only little knowledge to get answer.
    If i am one of the big weapon selling country in the whole world how can i be most lover of people and peace.

    November 29, 2008 at 6:02 am |
  14. Raj

    If the US and its news media truly cares about fighting terrorism, they should show full support and solidarity with the Indian Govt. and its people.

    I am surprised and saddened that none of CNN's coverage makes any mention of the 4 heroic Indian NSG (National Sedcurity Guard) commandos, ATS (Anti-terrorist Sqaud) Chief and a Senior Police Officer, who were the first to arrive at the scene, and were killed in action. These and other Indian policemen who lost their lives in the operation are every bit as heroic as the US fire-fighters who laid down their lives during 9/11.

    The Indian news channels broadcasted their funeral live just a short while ago. Instead of focussing on negative news such as "conflicting statements" by Indian officials and opinions such as so-called persecution of the Muslims in India (Christain Amanpour reported today that Muslims in India do not have same access to education, jobs etc. as the rest of the population – I am sure she can also explain with ease how these "under-privileged" and "poor" Muslims got access to sophisticated advanced automatic weapons and grenades, satellite and cell-phones, detailed plans of the hotels), please spare a moment for the fallen heroes as they fought the terrorists.

    As the US and UK hopefully have now learnt after terrorism came to their soil, the purpose of terrorists is plainly that – to terrorize and kill. Everything else is an excuse. Just like the 9/11 terrorists, the Mumbai attackers came from outside. The least the US and the Western World can do is to standby India at its hour of need.

    The purpose of the terrorists was to clearly throw a wrench on the tremendous economic progress and growth that India has witnessed in the last 10 years and stop foreign visitors from coming to do business with India. Now is the time to show the organizers thay they have not succeeded by keeping business as usual, going back to India and supporting them.

    November 29, 2008 at 1:32 am |
  15. Azlira Bosra

    Its disgusting to see innocent people got killed in the name of God or in the name of peace.These people,they speak like humans but behaving like worst than the animals.

    November 29, 2008 at 1:08 am |
  16. rahul

    the india government have no intention to fight against terrorists
    most of indian have weak memory after some week all will forget this terrorist attack
    do their normal work

    AS a indian i can forgive all the terrorists for their act

    but not manmhoan india PM and sonia

    November 29, 2008 at 12:41 am |
  17. Peace

    Major Robertson explained that today and also heard India's reportors list the names of the terrorist and hopefully they'll be traced back for associations. Good luck and stop the terrorism ! Proceedures to secure and respond for emergency response in India ? Ground order ? Surprised the people and media were so close to the situation. What security changes will be made ?

    November 29, 2008 at 12:28 am |
  18. AngryIndian

    The Indian police should be embarassed that they do not have the capability of handling terrorist/hostage situation. Battling the terrorists should not have taken this long. Agreed that this was a complicated problem to tackle but there should be quite a few things that need to be done to expedite/improve the process:
    1) Isolate the buildings, do not let reporters/bystanders/general public get so close to the hot zone. Use roadblocks to block off general/media access.
    2) all police personnel should be wearing bullet proof vests, have radios to communicate with each other and also have automatic machine guns and not have rifles which cannot be effective in a close quarters combat
    3) Ask the assistance of US, German, Russian Police SWAT for training and share/learn anti-terrorist tactics

    Would such a standoff have taken so long if it were to happen in, say Berlin, New York, Moscow, London ? Would NYPD in USA asked the Delta Force or Rangers to step in....no way, SWAT would've brought all resources to contain the situation. If the Indian NSG are so effective, then they need to replace the Indian police. Maybe instead of relying on the Indian police, the hotels should outsource their security to private foreign security contractors???

    November 28, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  19. Som

    Its Really sad to see the attach on India, Sitting in US I am really thankful to your coverage.

    India is attached throughout the year by Terrorists and every Indian is quite clear of who do this. Pakistan do not want India to Succeed, they must have used the Indian Fisherman's boat to enter India, they capture these boats whenever Fishermen enter Pakistani part of Ocean by mistake and never Return.

    India is tired of trusting Pakistani words, you invitePakistani ministers to clear their names of this event, but you shouldn't make mistake in trusting them, They can never be anyones friends.

    China Provides weapons, Pakistan trains the militants. US should get these facts together soon , or else we all will end up making Terrorists strong and tomorrow you might be covering the Nightmare of world i.e these nations becoming super power.

    November 28, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  20. Nagaraj

    60 hrs of resistance from the terrorists with the unimaginable training and deterimnation to keep the whole country and the world for hostage, if only those brains can be put to positive purpose in LIFE.

    November 28, 2008 at 11:07 pm |
  21. marva

    the hero show on thursday night was a tear jerker. thanks mr. AC. for making us aware all the magnificent things people have done. thanks for a wonderful -wonderful that show. especially, where children are helped. suggestion..... when you do the next show would you name it CNN's "hero's (for men) and "shero's. (for women)? just a suggestion. again thanks for airing such a magnificent piece of art.

    November 28, 2008 at 11:07 pm |
  22. Robin Taylor Roth

    Love the blogs, Anderson. Great to get your viewpoint(s).

    Also, the rebroadcast, tonight, of "CNN Heroes" is perfect for Thanksgiving weekend. Thank you for helping to pull that together.

    November 28, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  23. Vig

    I have just heard the NSG Chief's message on NDTV. He said that the operation at the TAJ in Mumbai is still going on. Please do not distort this message. Two terrorist's bodies have been found. Again, the operation is ongoing with sanitizing taking place.

    November 28, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  24. Srinivas

    The incidents in Bombay is a clear sign of some weaknesses in multi party democratic system in India. Every party try to appease the muslims by throwing un necessary promises to win the votes and really not envisioning the future of how the muslim sections of india are emerging as potential terror groups. In this case they might not be directly engaged in operation but they support all such activities that emanate from pakistan by providing shelter and intelligence to them. I should not forget to mention that one of the Indian states Andhrapradesh recently released a terrorist known to kill a senior police officer Krishna Prasad just for winnting the state capitol's election. This is the fate of indian politics. This is time for an active American and Israel mutual cooperation and create a special task force consisting of these three countries that can swiftky land in any country and tackle such situation. Forget about the prestige and deginity cooperation is the need of the hour.

    November 28, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  25. thokkadan


    I was listening to Larry King live and Cristiana Amanpour was talking about Kashmir and the ongoing situation in Mumbai. It is absolutely wrong to say that India controls a muslim majority Kashmir. First, Kashmir in an integral part of India same like NY or MI for US.

    Say what happens if one of the States in the US become a Muslim majority state and can we allow them to have separate state? I hope it will not happen but think about it.

    The issue here is about religion and nothing but religion. So i wish an experienced reporter like Christiana will be a little more responsible when talking about controlling a specific part of a nation with a particular religious majority.

    Thank You.


    November 28, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  26. SG, New York

    What is the obsession of this American Media? Few Foreigeners lost their lives. Few Americans and a few Jews..but hello, 100+ Indians lost their lives too .

    It is all about yourselves huh ??
    Violence was Pak sponsored and I just hope India does what America did to Afghanisthan and Ira1

    November 28, 2008 at 9:55 pm |
  27. Greg Hodges

    Do people really believe you can reason with these mad dog killers. They have been brainwashed to the point where they are smiling at innocents while pulling the trigger. Bishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize) of South Africa put it best. "You do not negotiate with a Frankenstein; you DESTROY IT!!!" The sooner we realize that the only way to win the war on terrorism is to give these killers nowhere to hide, the sooner these horrible scenes of carnage will cease. Did we negotiate with Hitler? No; we showed what free people can do in a righteous cause against Evil! Let us begin!!

    November 28, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  28. Rekha Joy Raman

    This Indian government is very, very complacent. TIme and again we have seen these acts of terrorism in India and around the world. After the incidence dies down, I guess everybody gets somehow intoxicated with their everyday lives and the "dance of politics" drivels to its own beat. How can one not anticipate major economic centers to be the targets of such terrorist activities, especially under the global economic repression. Understand, India has a massive population of a little more than a billion, and it is not easy to project a map of safeguarding such crucial targets. At least now India must wake up, not only to such overt destructive activities that capture the globe's attention, but also to covert activities that go on within the heart of the nation that may in the long run break up the cohesive culture of the country.

    November 28, 2008 at 9:34 pm |
  29. Geri

    I am so glad I saw the term "Islamic Militants"....once in this whole article or I wouldn't have known who perpetrated these attacks. I guess we don't want to offend the one (1) muslim pasifist in the world. Wherever he is hiding!

    November 28, 2008 at 9:31 pm |