December 1, 2008

Puzzle Solved!

Hatched by Dafydd

My favorite blogger just put up a post on my favorite blog; he quoted from an AP story on the appalling ineptitude of the Indian security forces during the terrorist siege -- where ten men held an entire city of 19 million souls hostage.

Some choice quotes:

As more details of the response to the attack emerged, a picture formed of woefully unprepared security forces. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to strengthen maritime and air security and look into creating a new federal investigative agency - even as some analysts doubted fundamental change was possible.

"These guys could do it next week again in Mumbai and our responses would be exactly the same," said Ajai Sahni, head of the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management who has close ties to India's police and intelligence....

Bapu Thombre, assistant commissioner with the Mumbai railway police, said the police were armed mainly with batons or World War I-era rifles and spread out across the station.

"They are not trained to respond to major attacks," he said.

The gunmen continued their rampage outside the station. They eventually ambushed a police van, killed five officers inside -- including the city's counterterrorism chief -- and hijacked the vehicle as two wounded officers lay bleeding in the back seat.

"The way Mumbai police handled the situation, they were not combat ready," said Jimmy Katrak, a security consultant. "You don't need the Indian army to neutralize eight to nine people."

Constable Arun Jadhav, one of the wounded policemen, said the men laughed when they noticed the dead officers wore bulletproof vests....

Even the commandos lacked the proper equipment, including night vision goggles and thermal sensors that would have allowed them to locate the hostages and gunmen inside the buildings, Sahni said.... [Ajai Sahni is "head of the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management who has close ties to India's police and intelligence."]

The slow pace of the operations made it appear that the commandos' main goal was to stay safe, Hefetz said. [Assaf Hefetz is "a former Israeli police commissioner who created the country's police anti-terror unit three decades ago."]

To which John appends his own bafflement:

In view of the number of terrorist attacks India has suffered, its failure to be more prepared is puzzling.

Well, perhaps the puzzle is more solvable than at first it appears. Of course the Indian authorities failed to be prepared for any sort of resistance: They relied upon India's extensive and draconian gun-control laws.

For what they proved worth.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 1, 2008, at the time of 3:38 AM

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Comments

The following hissed in response by: krg

Ironic.

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."

* Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 446 (Beacon Press paperback edition)

The above hissed in response by: krg [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2008 5:47 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dick E

Dafydd-

Bapu Thombre, assistant commissioner with the Mumbai railway police, said the police were armed mainly with batons or World War I-era rifles and spread out across the station.

For those armed only with batons, I suppose there’s little they could do. “Hey, leader, strike up the … terrorist?” (Oh yeah -- different batons.)

But WWI rifles were accurate, deadly weapons. Maybe the terrorists had better ones, but failure to shoot at all?

I wouldn’t presume to think that Indian police are more cowardly than gendarmes elsewhere. But what kind of weapons training do they receive if they thought deadly force wasn’t justified in this case?

The above hissed in response by: Dick E [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2008 9:57 PM

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