United States Preparedness to Respond to a Mumbai-Style Attack within the Homeland
Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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American homeland defenders are quick to criticize the Government of Indias GoI counterterrorism techniques, or lack thereof, in response to the attacks in Mumbai last November. But there are two major gaps in the areas of 1 Federal authority and 2 State and Local authority if the whole of U.S. Government was required to counter a Mumbai-style assault in the United States. This study will outline the Mumbai attacks, examine a homeland defense simulation mandated by the National Security Council NSC to amplify these gaps, and recount recent success stories demonstrating what departments and agencies are doing to remedy these two deficiencies. On November 26, 2008, ten well-trained Lashkar-e-Taiba LeT or Army of the Pure militants attacked seven targets and successfully detonated two IEDs in Mumbai, India. More than sixty hours later, when the GoI neutralized the last terrorist, 166 people, including 6 Americans, had been killed, and 308 had been injured.1 Last year alone, there were reports of three Mumbai-style attacks the February assault on the Kabul, Afghanistan government buildings, the March attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket Team, and the attack on the Manawan Police Academy, both in Lahore, Pakistan.2 How could such a devastating attack occur in a world-renowned city like Mumbai, the Entertainment Epicenter of India Excerpts from a popular tour guide describe Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, like this Measure out one part Hollywood six parts traffic a bunch of rich power-moguls stir in half a dozen colonial relicsadd a smattering of swish bars and restaurantsequal parts of mayhem and order as many bazaars as you have lying aroundthrow it all in a blender on highand presto Mumbai.3 Mumbai is also a port-city, with a major financial center.