"The author suggests adoption of certain measures to counter
terrorism and these include a comprehensive enquiry, smart counter-terrorism moves along with many other points like establishing a
national commission of professionals to inquire into all major
terrorist strikes, collect a common data base on terrorism, set up a
task force, and most important of all, "Mumbai offshore oil
installations and the nuclear and space establishment on the western coast" should be protected much more as these are most vulnerable to strikes by sea-borne terrorists."
B Raman is back with a new potential best-seller: Mumbai 26/11, A Day of Infamy (Lancer).
An intelligence veteran offers a charter of corrective action as India remembers 26/11.
Long before 26/11 and even 9/11, for nearly 15 years now, one man has been fighting a lonely war against terrorism from his small bachelor apartment in Chennai. Since 1994, B. Raman has been tracking terrorism and terrorists, and warning of "what is to come" and the need for pre-emptive action. Not surprisingly, Raman has himself become an institution.
The details that he provides seem to suggest that he gets a daily briefing from R&AW, Mossad and the CIA. I once asked a senior R&AW officer if the agency briefed Raman. His answer was revealing: "We don't brief Raman. He briefs us."
Mumbai 26/11: A Day of Infamy is a book written in Raman's staccato style: short pungent sentences delivering heavy punches…. India's day of infamy has changed very little. Neither has it changed the history of the subcontinent, nor has it "created the fear of god in the minds of Pakistan and its terrorist surrogates", and nor has India's reactions made it certain that there will not be another 26/11.
Mumbai 26/11 saw a mix of commando-style attacks typical of the special forces of an army and indiscriminate killing of civilians typical of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), the Pakistani jihadi organization. The meticulous planning, the thorough training of the 10 LeT terrorists, who carried it out, and the close co-ordination of the attacks from the command and control of the LeT had the stamp of Al Qaeda and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, both of which the LeT has a close relationship with.
The LeT terrorists attacked a mix of targets—innocent Indian civilians in public places, Jewish people in a religious-cum-cultural centre and members of the Indian and foreign social and business elite in two five-star hotels. The attacks on the Jewish centre and the hotels lasted over 60 hours and were continuously telecast live by the TV channels.
The success of the terrorist attacks, mounted from the sea, highlighted once again the serious deficiencies in India’s national security apparatus and the role of Pakistan in the spread of terrorism across the world. Have we drawn the right lessons in respect of both? Can the Indian people now expect at least a more robust counter-terrorism policy to prevent another 26/11?
eBook Edition also available
Author: B Raman
Features: Color photos