Why Wasn't India Prepared?

In aftermath, many ask how 10 men wreaked such havoc
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2008 7:10 PM CST
Why Wasn't India Prepared?
A firefighter rescues guests of The Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India.   (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)

With Mumbai's bloody 3-day siege over, questions are arising about India's failure to anticipate and quickly repel the attack on its financial capital, the New York Times reports. A gang of only 10 terrorists caused widespread carnage, infiltrating three buildings, fighting off security forces, and fooling them into believing there were hostages. Poor communication and outdated equipment may explain India's inability to handle the terrorist threat.

Law enforcement agencies there fail to share information, officials say, and Mumbai police are poorly paid and under-equipped; many patrol the streets with no more than a baton. Even commandos are stuck with old gear, like bulky bulletproof vests, or go without high-power rifle scopes to differentiate terrorists from civilians. But one commando defended their cautious approach: “There were so many people and we wanted to avoid any civilian casualties,” he said.
(Read more Mumbai stories.)

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