It took 10 minutes for word of the Nov. 26 , Mumbai terror assaults to reach the top of the government of Maharashtra state, but nearly 10 hours for India‘s best commando team to reach the scene.
That delay may help to explain why it took three days for India’s security forces to overpower 10 assailants who police say killed at least 188 people and wounded more than 280.
By Padma Rao Sundarji, McClatchy Newspapers
Indecision by politicians and the delay in launching the commando force, however, don’t fully account for the extent of the slaughter, which now threatens to escalate into conflict between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan , where the attacks are thought to have been planned.
“This was not the fault of any one organ of the security apparatus, but a systemic failure,” said Arun Bhagat , a former chief of India’s Intelligence Bureau , India’s main domestic intelligence agency.
Indian officials ignored advance intelligence warnings. Police officers ran away from the scenes of carnage because they lacked weapons, and their bulletproof vests were said to be defective. The Indian coast guard doesn’t have night vision equipment, much less the more advanced human detection gear used by China , Japan and other countries.
India’s security agencies are now rushing to point the finger at each other.