Mumbai attacks similar to the attack on Akshardham – LeT fellows with hand-held automatics and hand grenades. Gujarat on high alert – Times of India

Profile of Mumbai – The city is no stranger to violence – conspicuous western influence and the gaping wealth gap fan the flames of centuries-old cultural and religious rivalries. Mumbai is a magnet to Indians seeking a better life. The Guardian

John Bolton, former US ambassador to India, “They wanted British or American hostages, perhaps other foreigners, to indicate that India in current circumstances was not exactly a safe place to travel, to invest, or — to trade.
And I think that will increase suspicion in India that this was directed from outside the country, whether it was Al Qaeda or other — Islamic extremists, this was not a wholly indigenous operation. Foxnews

I don’t see it as an attack on tourism – there are more obvious cities to target – more an attack on western businesses and values.” Cox & Kings director Philip Hamilton-Grierson The Guardian

Amit Chaudhuri, the writer – “the city we still refer to as Bombay; it has taken on a retrospective, definitive meaning for us, but it has also burgeoned and changed unimaginably in our absence.The Guardian

No city I know, certainly not New York, has this variety of life, except perhaps London. Its principal difference from these two cities, which, in many ways, it surpasses, is its relative intolerance of the learned, academic classes: it has ceased to have a great university. When, in a traffic jam, you look at the faces in a car near you, you do not see anyone – whether it’s a trader or a corporate executive – who is lost or unfocused, who is not engaged, in some sense, in the final, unifying, daytime activity of money-making. Yet, for all its opacities and daily injustices, it is impossible to think of Bombay without a quickening of excitement and pleasure, and not to recall that quickening with awe and confusion at moments such as this one

Jerusalem Post criticises the Indian handling of the hostage crisis

In hostage situations, the first thing the forces are supposed to do is assemble at the scene and begin collecting intelligence,” said a former official in the Shin Bet’s security unit. “In this case, it appears that the forces showed up at the scene and immediately began exchanging fire with the terrorists instead of first taking control of the area.”

Sambit Bal, Cricinfo – the place of cricket in the great scheme of things, just like the earth in the greater universe

Cricket feels so trivial, so utterly irrelevant now.
Mumbai’s tragedy has brought serious implications for cricket.
I am reminded of Barack Obama’s words about the killers of 9/11: “My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another’s heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those who would murder innocents with such serene satisfaction.”
I can’t wait to see a stadium in Bombay reverberating to the sounds of cricket. I will be there.

Sadanand Dhume, Wall Street Journal – a series of blunders

The attacks highlight India’s particular vulnerability to terrorist violence.But they are also a warning to any country that values what Mumbai symbolizes for Indians: pluralism, enterprise and an open society.
In sum, the Indian approach to terrorism has been consistently haphazard and weak-kneed. When faced with fundamentalist demands, India’s democratically elected leaders have regularly preferred caving to confrontation on a point of principle. The country’s institutions and culture have abetted a widespread sense of Muslim separateness from the national mainstream. The country’s diplomats and soldiers have failed to stabilize the neighborhood. The ongoing drama in Mumbai underscores the price both Indians and non-Indians caught unawares must now pay.

Salil Tripathi, Far Eastern Economic Review, Bombay burning:

boilerplate condemnations
The city, also known as Mumbai, has always risen from these assaults, with Sisyphean determination
If Bombay maintains its stride, if it continues to exude its characteristic warmth, it is in spite of those who rule it, and not because of them.

Vir Sanghvi, Hindustan Times, takes a line from WW2, The Longest Day and focuses on the intelligence failure

The Bombay attacks prove that we have the worst intelligence service of any major power in the world.

Madhavan, Hindustan Times calles it Convergence Terrorism or Terrorism 2.0 where he looks at everything from GPS, satphones, blogging, text messaging, wikis, etc which came to the fore

Technology is a neutral force. It is better to make it your friend before an adversary does.

Schneier on security – counter measures are extremely ineffective. Terrorists need to be stopped before they attack.

We have to find and stop the terrorists before they attack, and deal with the aftermath of the attacks we don’t stop. There really is no other way, and I hope that we don’t let the tragedy lead us into unwise decisions about how to deal with terrorism.

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