India’s intelligence service failed to act on intercepted phone conversations that an attack on Mumbai was imminent and the subsequent response to the terrorist strikes was “amateur”, security experts have claimed.
By Rahul Bedi in Mumbai
The Telegraph (UK)
Details emerged yesterday of intelligence failures and delays in deploying National Security Guard (NSG) military commandos to confront the Mumbai attackers.
The 10 terrorists, who Indian officials have said are from Islamist militants from Pakistan, snuck into the western port city of Mumbai by boat on Wednesday night and then besieged two hotels and a Jewish centre, killing 183 people, including 22 foreigners.
Official sources said the gunmen, armed with assault rifles and grenades, began their co-ordinated killing spree around 9.30pm on Wednesday, but Mumbai police initially passed it off as a “gang war” between city crime syndicates.
By the time the seriousness of the attack became clear, and the home affairs minister Shivraj Patil – who has since resigned – ordered the NSG, which is based at Manesar, outside New Delhi, to deploy, it was around 11pm.