Warning Delivered Two Months Before Mumbai Attacks - Terror Expert Worries about Similiar Scenario in Britain
December 1, 2008
Warning Delivered Two Months Before Mumbai Attacks - Terror Expert Worries about Similar Scenario in Britain
By JEREMY REYNALDS, Ph.D.
An Islamic terror group known as the Indian Mujahideen, which took responsibility for bombings in Delhi in September, warned two months ago that its next target would be Mumbai.
The almost 60-hour siege in Mumbai left nearly 200 people dead.
The Delhi bombings were a series of five synchronized bomb blasts that killed at least 30 and injured over 100.
A terrifying e-mail now posted on a password protected al-Qaeda related web site and sent to Indian media two months ago read in part, "Let the Indian Mujahideen warn all the people of Mumbai that whatever deadly attacks Mumbaikars will face in future, their responsibility would lie with the Mumbai ATS (the Anti-Terrorist Squad) and their guardians."
The diatribe continued, "The entire Mumbai ... ATS has failed to take heed from our previous warnings, and is deliberately committed to mess with us. You should know that your acts are not at all left unnoticed; rather we are closely keeping an eye on you and just waiting for the proper time to execute your bloodshed."
Predicting even more violence ahead, the writer of the e-mail said, "Remember it is not at all difficult for us to attack you in states like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala etc. And by the Grace of Allah there is no shortage of explosives or lack of manpower, and we are extremely capable to shed your blood anywhere anytime."
Fundamentalist Islamics who logged in to the secret al-Qaeda web site were thrilled about the Mumbai chaos and bloodshed.
Postings of delight quickly appeared on the site.
One radical wrote, "They turned the city into a big trap ... (Allah willing) we will see the same in western cities; it was only a training."
Someone else wrote how happy he was to finally find people who are really Indian fighters. "It"s a big development," he said.
Another writer commented, "I'm happy to see emerging new Jihadi groups, and especially in India."
Possibly the most troubling comment read, "No matter who did it, I praise and welcome these events. I hope the attackers will not limit themselves to US and UK citizens and filthy Hindus, but kill as (many) non-Muslims as possible."
As a result of the attacks, India's highest-ranking security official Home Minister Shivraj Patil, responsible for public safety and internal security, resigned on Sunday. He took responsibility for the failure of the country's intelligence services and military to prevent the devastation in Mumbai.
Terrorism researcher Glen Jenvey, who is regularly called on by Britain's national media for information regarding terrorism attacks, wondered whether the problem with intelligence in India is similar to what he has encountered in England.
He said that while there is an obvious need for good intelligence services, there is a problem. In an e-mail interview, Jenvey said, "Many ... intelligence services ... have a culture of 'Not Invented Here Syndrome' (NIH), where intelligence gathered outside their own ranks is either ignored or dismissed."
Jenvey said that vital information is often discounted by low level officers working in police stations across the country.
He said, "This vital intelligence is not passed up the ranks to senior police officers and then to the security services, because it came from the public. The more eyes and ears the intelligence services have, the better informed they are."
Jenvey said he has had disturbing dealings with the British anti-terrorism squad over the years, and after last week's terror attacks is worried about what is next.
He said that a number of factors as well as "slack intelligence gathering, leaves London open for a Mumbai style attack with headlines in the papers weeks later disclosing the police were warned but never acted." http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=jenveyid=12.1.08%2Ehtm
Britain unprepared for Mumbai-style attack, former head of SAS says
Britain is unprepared for a Mumbai (Bombay)-style terror attack and hundreds of civilians would die if the country was targeted in such a way, the former head of the SAS has revealed.
By Sean Rayment, Security Correspondent
In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the former Army officer, who cannot be named for security reasons, described the Indian attack as the "doomsday scenario" every country fears.
The former SAS commander, a lieutenant colonel who was involved in providing support to the Metropolitan police following both the 7/7 and 21/7 London tube attacks, said that the UK does not have enough of the right type of counter-terrorist forces in London or other major cities to deal with a multi-site, and mobile terrorist incident such as we seen in Mumbai.
The officer, who won the Military Cross fighting al-Qaeda units in Afghanistan in 2001, and spent most of the last three years in Iraq fighting against the same enemy said: "The doomsday scenario that we always presented in planning was multiple and mobile incidents in London by suicidal armed terrorists because very quickly they could achieve a lot of fatalities before anyone could pinpoint the threats and react effectively.
"This would produce the type of chaos that would defy even the most sophisticated command and control systems. You would turn London into a temporary war zone very quickly."
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph today, Peter Clarke, the former head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorism branch, also warns that there is now a real risk that a Mumbai-style massacre could take place in Britain.
Speaking for the first time since resigning from the Army last year, the former SAS Colonel said almost every counter-terrorist force in the world would struggle to cope with multiple terrorist attacks on the scale faced in Mumbai and particularly in countries such as the UK that choose not arm its conventional Police.
He added: "It was always the doomsday scenario which Peter Clarke and I both recognised as the most challenging. In the early stages of such an attack there would a lot of death and chaos. Our unarmed police would be able to do very little except report in. There would be many hours of chaos before the police, backed by the military counter-terrorist response teams were in a position to contain, let alone neutralise, the terrorist threats."
The former officer added that British armed response teams are not as numerous, well trained or equipped as they should be to deal with a fast moving and violent a scenario as that which occurred in Mumbai.
"A Mumbai-style attack requires a military-type response," he said. "Our armed police are brilliant at dealing with armed criminals, in ways that produce the best possible chance of a conviction of a suspect in the law courts but they are as yet unlikely to be as effective as they need to be when chasing terrorists armed with AK47s and chucking grenades in the centre of London."
"What we probably need is more forward-based rapidly deployable armed police units that are trained to find and fix a mobile enemy with limited/no information in a very confusing situation, to set the conditions for follow-on decisive assaults (as happened in the Hotels in Mumbai); and that initial 'fixing force' task is a very demanding task and one that requires time and resources to build properly. The only other short-term option would be to prepare the limited number of Foot Guards and Household Cavalry to be prepared to do this, which may be possible, but less desirable politically for this country than a properly equipped police response."
The former SAS officer now works in the private sector developing an independent Blackberry-based communications, information and tracking technology that reduces the individual and corporate risks for those living and operating in dangerous countries or during incidents such as those faced in Mumbai.
Islamic terrorist 'planned Mumbai-style massacre in Britain'
Counter-terrorism investigators believe an Islamic terrorist was planning a Mumbai-style massacre in Britain.By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:36AM GMT 01 Dec 2008
The Daily Telegraph (London)
Kazi Nurur Rahman, from east London, was associated with the same terrorist group that is accused of the attack in India which killed almost 200 people.
He was arrested in a sting operation as he tried to buy three Uzi submachine guns and 3,000 rounds of ammunition.
He had talked of buying up to five weapons, hand grenades and as many bullets as possible along with Russian-made rocket-propelled grenades and SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles.
When police raided Rahman's home they found a scanner which enabled him to listen in to police radios along with information on guerrilla warfare.
Counter-terrorism police believe Rahman was planning to arm a gang of associates.
One senior officer told the Daily Telegraph: "This was definitely part of a larger order and the fact that he tried to buy three submachine guns means you only have to do the maths to know he was not the only one involved."
Police also accept that, had he succeeded in buying the weapons, it would have been difficult to stop a massacre on a similar scale to India.
Rahman, 31, was an associate of Omar Khyam, the leader of a gang plotting to blow up Bluewater shopping centre or the Ministry of Sound nightclub with a fertiliser bomb.
Khyam trained with Lashkar-e-Taiba (Let) the Kashmiri separatist group accused of the Mumbai (formerly Bombay) massacre, before he turned to al-Qaeda.
Police were first told about Rahman by an American informant who spoke of a man he knew as Abdul Haleem who ran a terrorist gang in east London and travelled to Pakistan in the aftermath of September 11.
MI5 eventually identified the man as Rahman, 31, a plumber from east London with a history of violence.
At South Mimms Service Station on the M25, Rahman met an MI5 agent who called himself "Salim" and an undercover police officer named "Mohammed" who he believed was an international arms dealer.
The men drove to Welham Green, Hertfordshire, where Rahman was shown wrapped up Uzi machine guns in the back of a Luton van.
He pleaded guilty to offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 and was sentenced to nine years in prison in May 2006.
The judge, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith, told him: "The equipment which you were hoping to buy on the day of your arrest is dreadful and dangerous, capable of killing or wounding a very large number of people in a small space of time and your intention was that it should be used for terrorist purposes in this country."