Published on November 26th, 2008 | by Reenita Malhotra4
Mumbai Terror Update: Terrorists Have Planned This For 6 Months
Over 150 people have been killed in a Mumbai terror scene that eerily resembles the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. The terror scene has been unfolding in Mumbai since late Wednesday night (November 25th) and has carried on beyond 48 hours. Although a group known as the Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility, there is speculation that that the series of coordinated attacks is part of a larger international conspiracy. One of the terrorists that was arrested has confirmed that the attack was planned more than 6 months ago and that more than 40 terrorists came to India – 29 of them were from Pakistan and the others were from Bangladesh.
154 dead, 327 injured; Indian commandos and hotel staff from the Taj and Oberoi hotel are looked upon as heroes.
Terrorists stormed Mumbai, India’s commercial capital in a coordinated effort that has wreaked havoc over the entire city. The Taj and the Oberoi, Mumbai’s two leading hotels, Chatrapati Shivaji station, the main train station, Leopold Cafe in the Colaba area and several other spots including a gas station, hospitals and public areas near Mumbai’s domestic airport were attacked.
Meanwhile, investigators are examining satellite phone and GPS found on trawler seized in Arabian Sea.
Hostages held in Mumbai’s Leading Hotels
Hostages were held in both of the above hotels. The Taj hotel was significantly damaged by fire which burned intermittently through the night. The top floor of this heritage hotel completely collapsed.
At least 100 hostages were held inside the Taj hotel. Many Taj staff and guests have died or are injured. Authorities found 8 kilograms (17 pounds) of RDX, one of the most powerful kinds of military explosives, at a restaurant near the Taj, indicating that the attackers may have been planning more attacks. Armies checked dead bodies within the hotel for booby traps. Rescue operations are on however the recovery is slow.
Hostages were also held in the Trident hotel, an Oberoi property. NDTV reported that the lobby of the Oberoi Hotel was on fire and authorities were in a skirmish with terrorists inside the hotel. According to eyewitnesses, half of the hostages were non-Indians, with U.S. and UK passport holders apparently the main targets.
Hostages were also held in Nariman House, a Jewish residential building.
Army commandos have entered both hotels and an encounter is underway. Commandos are holding talks with the terrorists.
Terrorists Arrived By Boat
A boat laden with arms was found docked at the harbor just a short way away from the Taj hotel. The terrorists used rubber dinghies to bring AK-47s, hand grenades and bombs to the shore.
Deccan Mujahideen Claims Responsibility
Even as a little-known Deccan Mujahideen group claimed responsibility for the coordinated terror strikes in Mumbai on Wednesday night, the identity and nature of the attack has left security agencies baffled. In the camera shots of a suspected terrorist involved in the gruesome shootout ever to be undertaken by terrorists, the AK-47 wielding youth comes across as an average youngster. Dressed in a black half T-shirt and jeans with a blue rucksack hung over his left shoulder and red sacred thread tied on his right wrist, one might just mistake him to be just another regular college going student.
Mumbai Cops Have Been Killed
Reports have come in that encounter specialist cop Vijay Salaskar and Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte have been killed, and that Hemant Karkare, head of the anti-terrorist squad, has also succumbed to injuries. Navy and National Security Guards have also been called for help.6
Mumbai Terror Highlights
- State Dept. number for info on American hostages in Mumbai: 1-888-407-4747
- Mumbai is on high alert
- AK-47 shootings reported inside hotels and near a hospital
- Encounter with terrorists inside Hotel Oberoi (Hotel Trident)
- Terrorists inside Oberoi Hotel throw bombs from windows
- Terrorists came to Mumbai by boat
- BP Petrol pump blown up in Colaba
- Encounters with police continue at hospitals and at movie theaters
- Cities of Delhi and Gujarat are on high alert
- Unexploded grenades have been found in the Taj hotel lobby
- Explosion on the roof of Taj Hotel; Taj hotel burned through the nigh; top floor completely collapsed
- Two young terrorists took people with UK and USA passports hostage
- Huge explosions reported in Hotel Oberoi (Trident)and Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
- 14 Mumbai police have been killed.
- NSG (National Security Guards) commandos have entered the hotels
- Terrorist inside Oberoi (Trident) Hotel is demanding the release of all Indian Mujahideen
- Indian army is carrying on an operation inside both Taj and Oberoi Hotels
- Rescue Operations are on at the Taj hotel
- Deccan Mujahideen, an unknown outfit, claims responsibility for the attack via email
- Hostage Situation develops inside Cama hospital.
- Five Jewish families taken hostage in Nariman House, a Jewish residential home.
- Partial curfew issued in Mumbai in Coalaba area and Gateway of India (near Taj hotel)
- Mumbai Stock Exchange will be closed on 11/26
- 9 terrorists have been arrested; 5 terrorists killed; several terrorists still running rampant in the city
- 800 Army personnel stationed throughout Mumbai
- Mumbai University cancels exams that were scheduled for today
- Pakistan supports a complete investigation with open lines of intelligence communication
Situation Update as of November 26th
- Terror attacks in 11 places across Mumbai
- Hostage situation in Taj hotel, Trident hotel, Nariman house
- 101 dead including 14 policemen, 6 foreigners
- Encounter cop Vijay Salaskar, Additional CP Ashok Kamte killed
- Anti-Terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare shot dead
- Nine suspected terrorists caught, five killed, three escape
- Reports: Deccan Mujahideen claims responsibility
- 100 people rescued from the taj , many still trapped inside
- Police: terrorists came by boat into Mumbai
- NSG commandos at Taj hotel, trident hotel
- Places attacked: Cama hospital, GT hospital, VT station, Trident hotel, Taj hotel,
Wadi Bunder, outside Metro Cinema, Girgaum Chowpatty, Petrol pump near bootleggers pub
- Taj hotel staff killed; encounter still on
- Unexploded grenades in the lobby of taj hotel
- BSE, NSE stock exchanges to be shut today
- 5-6 terrorists still believed to be loose in Mumbai
- 800 army personnel at various locations in Mumbai
- Mumbai University cancels all exams scheduled today
- Curfew in Colaba and gateway of India
- Sources: shades of underworld in terror attack
- Hotels in Mumbai asked not to take new guests
- Touring English cricket team wants to head back home
- PM cancels all rallies scheduled for today
- Army officer RK Hooda: terrorists extremely well-motivated
- Army officer RK Hooda: checking for booby traps in hotel
- Operation begins at Trident in Mumbai
- TV sets inside trident disconnected as operations begin
- Hostages at Nariman House, Trident, Taj
- 10-12 terrorists inside Trident hotel
- Pak national held in Chowpatty: Sources
- Rs 5 lakh for killed; 50K for seriously injured
- Foreign hand fully evident: Intelligence
- Helicopters circle over Taj
- At Trident: Two terrorists still holed up
- At Nariman House: 2-3 terrorists inside
- Commandos airdropped at Nariman House
- Schools and colleges remain shut
- Helicopters circle over Taj hotel
The Oberoi Hotel and Trident (Old Oberoi finally came under army control at 1.06 am Pacific Standard Time. (NDTV)
A lethal gunfight is still going on at the Taj hotel…more than 48 hours later.