Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Coordinated Terror Attack on Mumbai

Terrorists used machine guns and grenades in well-coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India, against 2 luxury hotels, the city's largest train station, a theater, and a hospital, killing over 80 (death toll not yet final...) and wounding about 240 ... so what Christine Amanpour described as

the worst attack in India in the last 20 years, where Islamic militants have been stepping up their assaults on Mumbai, which is not just the center of its filmmaking but the economic and financial hub of India.

According to the New York Times,

Even by the standards of terrorism in India, which has suffered a rising number of terrorist attacks this year, the assaults were particularly brazen and drastically different in scale and execution. The attackers used boats to reach the urban peninsula where they hit, and their targets were sites popular with tourists.

It appears that the attacks were run like a military operation rather than the usual suicide attack, using a group of "soldiers" and the element of surprise to take out unarmed civilians - to what purpose, God only knows.

Some guests, including two members of the European Parliament who were visiting on a trade delegation, remained in hiding in the hotels, making desperate cellphone calls, some of them to television stations, describing their ordeal.

Alex Chamberlain, a British citizen who was dining at the Oberoi, told Sky News television that a gunman had ushered 30 or 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and, speaking in Hindi or Urdu, ordered them to put up their hands.

“They were talking about British and Americans specifically,” he recounted. “There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said, ‘Where are you from?’ and he said he’s from Italy, and they said, ‘Fine,’ and they left him alone.”

Sajjad Karim, 38, a British member of the European Parliament, told Sky News: “A gunman just stood there spraying bullets around, right next to me.”

Others who escaped from the ordeal confirmed that gunment asked for people with US or British passports. As for Mr. Karim,

Before his phone went dead, Mr. Karim added: “I managed to turn away and I ran into the hotel kitchen and then we were shunted into a restaurant in the basement. We are now in the dark in this room, and we have barricaded all the doors. It’s really bad.”

No word yet on the fate of Mr. Karim, whose name would suggest he is Muslim, but whose passport may have sealed an undeserved fate at the hands of complete idiots imagining themselves carrying out some sort of Islamic "jihad". Their "jihad", which according to the Qur'an, is supposed to involve the use of the mind, apparently went AWOL into the netherworld of "underground" gangs where "action" replaces "thought" and "faith" is defined as "totally willing to kill targets, including self-targeting" - as long as the word "Islam" is used to justify the "action".

Consequences... await the living... as the body count goes up, as civil society falls apart, as both sides seek some sort of balancing between revenge and peaceful coexistence, mostly the former, and as "Muslim" extremists increasingly perform group lobotomistic rituals that is turning the world against them and against their religion. A religion which is classified in many minds as "terrorist", while nothing could be farther from the truth.

Another great excuse for the war on terror. Another gushing wound on the hope for human cooperation. Unless thinking people can see beyond it, to the inevitable failure of "terrorism".

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