News

    Experts: Mumbai Attacks Show Terrorists Using Advanced Technology

    Police in India say they have identified the nine suspected Islamic militants killed during the three-day siege of Mumbai and uncovered new details about them - including their hometowns in Pakistan.  The terrorist attack and the way it was carried out is being studied by terrorism experts to learn what lessons can be drawn from the assault.  Experts in Washington warn future terrorists may use similar tactics as the Mumbai attackers.   

    The small gang of  terrorists that attacked Mumbai came armed not just with guns and grenades, but also carrying cell phones, GPS and other high tech gear.  

    And this level of sophistication is worrying to experts, who warn the Mumbai attacks could be the start of a dangerous trend.   

    "The beach landing, the GPS, the use of Google, cell phone communication, I think it is far more sophisticated than the 9/11 attackers which [who] were effectively using flight control software and box cutters," said David Heyman, a Homeland security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    Experts say the international community must be aware that if terrorists are using more sophisticated technology, they could someday carry out attacks with radioactive material or biological weapons.

    Nuclear non-proliferation expert Leonard Spector says the ruthlessness shown by the terrorists in Mumbai raises concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions.  He says if Iran develops nuclear weapons, there is a danger that nuclear material might end up in the hands of terrorists.

    "We may have a situation where the weapons exist but who controls them day to day, who is responsible for each aspect of their manufacture, for keeping the weapon grade nuclear material, for example, as the weapons are made," he said. "All this is opaque to the outside world and perhaps not so clear cut internally."

    Being better prepared is part of the answer, say experts, who note India has elaborate plans on paper to deal with nuclear or biological attacks.  But in the case of Mumbai, Indian security forces were caught completely off guard, says Heyman.  

    "On the surface, there are a lot of good steps being taken there, but what we saw was how spectacularly unprepared they were for these types of attacks," he said. "They have fewer than a hundred boats to cover a coast that of the size of our coast, the United States coast."

    Yet experts say alert citizens can prevent terrorist attacks such as the case in London in 2006, where a plot to use liquid explosives on planes was foiled.  

    "An investigation was started a year prior to that because a citizen, a neighbor of one of the participants in that plot told police that some strange activity was going on there," said David Heyman.

    Yet the biggest and most obvious lesson from the Mumbai terrorist attacks is for security agencies around the world, says the South Asia adviser at the State Department, Seth Bailey.

    "Not having a permanent commando force in their largest city, their financial capital of Mumbai? I think in retrospect everybody can take a look at that and say it was a mistake," he said. "And I am sure it is not one that will be repeated."

    Experts say the message from the Mumbai attack is that while it may be impossible to completely eliminate terrorism, better preparation makes it possible to limit the damage caused by terrorists and defeat their purpose.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.