Mumbai- Notes/Links About Terror
In the past some commenters have complained about graphic comments and images in posts that discussed war/terrorism. I don’t believe in sugarcoating the truth so we are going to continue to provide specific details about what happened. It is important to do so that people understand the gravity of the situation and are not able to minimize things.
Also, let’s not forget that they made a point of going after Jewish/Israeli targets. That doesn’t mean that I have no sympathy for the other victims. It is just important to mention that we recognize that alongside hotels, rail stations and restaurants they went for a small, obscure house. It was deliberate. But one way or another justice will be served.
Aussie Dave tipped me off to a story that says it appears that the hostages at the Chabad House (Nariman House) were tortured.
“They said that just one look at the bodies of the dead hostages as well as terrorists showed it was a battle of attrition that was fought over three days at the Oberoi and the Taj hotels in Mumbai.
Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.
â€œBombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing,â€ a doctor said.
Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: â€œIt was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victimâ€™s body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words,â€ he said.
Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: â€œIt was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood,â€ one doctor said.
The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: â€œOf all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again,â€ he said.
Corroborating the doctorsâ€™ claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. â€œDuring his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis,â€ an IB source said.
It is also said that the Israeli hostages were killed on the first day as keeping them hostage for too long would have focused too much international attention. â€œThey also might have feared the chances of Israeli security agencies taking over the operations at the Nariman House,â€ he reasoned.”
The Times of India shared a report from a Russian expert who speculates that the terrorists were trained by special forces.
Another report says that the terrorists posed as Malaysian students. The story relates information from the confession of one of the terrorists.
“But the 10 men were apparently not the only ones directly involved:
Another group, he claimed, had checked themselves into hotels four days before,
waiting with weapons and ammunition they had stockpiled in the rooms.
The 10 men in Azam’s group were chosen well: All were trained in marine warfare and had undergone a special course conducted by the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Preparations were also detailed, and started early.
Azam and eight others in the team made a reconnaissance trip to Mumbai several months before the attacks, pretending to be Malaysian students. They rented an apartment at Colaba market, near one of their targets, the Nariman House.
The chief planner of the attacks also visited Mumbai a month before to take photographs and film strategic locations, including the hotel layouts.
Returning to Pakistan, the chief plotter trained the group, telling them to ‘kill till the last breath’.
Surprisingly, the men did not expect themselves to be suicide terrorists. Azam said they had originally planned to sail back on Thursday – the recruiters had even charted out a return route, stored on a GPS device.
On the evening of Nov 21, Azam’s group set off from an isolated creek in Karachi in a boat. The next day, a large Pakistani vessel with four Pakistanis and crew picked them up, whereupon the group was issued arms and ammunition.
Each man in the assault team was handed six to seven magazines of 50 bullets each, eight hand grenades, one AK-47 assault rifle, an automatic loading revolver, credit cards and a supply of dried fruit. They were, as some media put it, in for the long haul.
A day later, the team came across an Indian-owned trawler, Kuber, which they boarded. They killed four of the fishermen onboard, dumped their bodies into the sea, and forced its skipper Amarjit Singh to sail for India.
The next day, they beheaded the skipper, and one of the gunmen, a trained sailor, took the wheel and headed for the shores of Gujarat, India.
Near Gujarat, the terrorists raised a white flag as two officers of the coast guard approached.While the officers questioned them, one of the terrorists grappled with one of them, slit his throat and threw his body into the boat. The group then ordered the other officer to help them get to Mumbai.
On Nov 26, the team reached the Mumbai coast.
Four nautical miles out, they were met by three inflatable speedboats. They killed the other coast guard officer, transferred into the speedboats and proceeded to Colaba jetty as dusk settled.
The Kuber was found later with the body of the 30-year-old captain onboard.
At Badhwar Park in Cuffe Parade – just three blocks away from Nariman House – the 10 men got off, stripped off the orange windbreakers they had been wearing and made sure to take out their large, heavy backpacks.
It was there that they were spotted by fisherman Prasan Dhanur, who was preparing his boat, and harbour official Kashinath Patil, 72, who was on duty nearby.
“Where are you going?” Patil asked them. “What’s in your bags?”
The men replied: “We don’t want any attention. Don’t bother us.”
Thinking little of it, Dhanur and Patil, who said they did not see the guns hidden in the backpacks, did not call the police, and watched the 10 young men walk away.
Then the carnage started.
On hitting the ground, the 10 men broke up.
Four men headed for the Taj Mahal Hotel, two for The Oberoi Trident, two for Nariman House and two – Azam and Ismail – for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by taxi.
At the railway station, Azam and his colleague opened fire, targeting Caucasian tourists while trying to spare Muslims.“