There are many definitions of terrorism as it has no particular limitations according to the actions and their doers. Still, commonly it occurs to be considered as an act managed to bring terror (Malisow and French 14). As a rule, it is observed in the political perspective.
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It is said that the terrorism of the 21st century is not the same as it was earlier (Hess and Martens 113). Due to the generality of the term it has a number of different characteristics. Personally I believe that some of them define it better than others. Religious or political purposes of the attack, intimidation of innocent citizens and lethality of actions are characteristics that can serve as an example.
Terrorist acts are said to be commonly conducted under the influence of some political beliefs and the wish to gain leadership. Still, some scientists claim that today the perspective has changed, and the reason for such actions is religion, very often it is Islam.
These people think that one should follow one particular way all the life, and if someone interferes, they are to be destroyed. The reasons for the Mumbai attack that took place in 2008 occurred to be political. It is claimed that terrorists wanted to cause economic damage to the whole country and gain leadership in perspective (Rabasa et al., 21).
Several Pakistan men occurred to be terrorists who intimidated people of Mumbai. They were connected with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba group known as a terror one. These men did not seem to have a particular target. They stormed buildings and threatened many people. During the attack at least 172 innocent people were killed.
The locations that were attacked are likely to be chosen because they gathered many citizens (train station, café, hotels and hospital, etc.). The attack that happened in Mumbai in November 2008 is different from the previous ones for several reasons. First of all, it was not conducted by Islamic terrorists who preferred to manage one or a number of bombings at distinct regions.
This time, the act of terrorism was held throughout the whole city of Mumbai (Roggio par. 5). The tactics of the terrorists altered. As a rule, no one makes a break between the bombings and they are seen within a short period. This new attack was planned in another way as the whole city suffered from it. Thus, the terrorists occurred to be extremely dangerous.
They were ready to wait to maximize the effect of their threat to the human minds. Commonly the terrorists appeared as the suicide bombers. However, in Mumbai gunmen were conduction the operation. Terrorists were also well-prepared. They entered the city being separated into four teams.
They came to the main train station and attacked people who were there. After that they divided and the first team went to the Cama & Albless Hospital, the second to Nariman House, the third to Trident-Oberoi Hotel and the last one to the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (Rabasa et al. 6).
These locations were chosen beforehand. In this way, the terrorists made havoc in the city and gave the police less opportunity to catch them all. Thus, they had more chances to increase the damage they caused. The government occurred to be not ready to react immediately to the complex military assaults, which worsened the situation.
People in the United States live under the threat of terrorism. However, it is believed that today there is no known group of terrorists who can carry out a Mumbai-style attack (Jenkins par. 12). Even if such things take place in future, they will not be as “successful” as they were in Mumbai because the police and citizens are better prepared.
According to the National Preparedness Goal India’s response to the Mumbai attacks is to be assessed using five areas:
- Prevention “includes those capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent, or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism” (“National Preparedness Goal” 4). The counterterrorism forces that were working in Mumbai occurred to be not able to prevent the attack as they did not find the source of threat and stop it in advance. Still, they coped with the issue. The poor communication and coordination in the government and lack of attention paid to the borders are the reasons for the failure.
- Protection “includes capabilities to safeguard the homeland against acts of terrorism and manmade or natural disasters” (“National Preparedness Goal” 6). Even though this was not the first attack that Mumbai survived, their security system had many gaps. The police were not prepared to deal with the terrorism act and save the citizens.
- Mitigation “includes those capabilities necessary to reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters” (“National Preparedness Goal” 9). The information that the responders provided often occurred to be wrong. The location of the attacks reported by the news did not correspond to reality as well as the number of gunmen.
- Response “includes those capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident has occurred” (“National Preparedness Goal” 11). The response was to be managed within an hour, but the city had to wait for 10 hours for the Black Cat Commandos.
- Recovery “includes those capabilities necessary to assist communities affected by an incident in recovering effectively” (“National Preparedness Goal” 15). As the response was delayed, the process of recovery slowed. More buildings were to be restored, and more people needed help.
Hess, Richard, and Elmer Martens. War in the Bible and Terrorism in the Twenty-first Century, Warsaw: Eisenbrauns, 2008. Print.
Jenkins, Brian. Could Terrorists Pull Off a Mumbai-Style Attack in the U.S.? 2013. Web.
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Malisow, Ben, and John French. Terrorism, New York: Infobase Publishing, 2008. Print.
National Preparedness Goal 2011. Web.
Rabasa, Angel, Robert Blackwill, Peter Chalk, Kim Cragin, Christine Fair, Brian Jackson, Brian Jenkins, Seth Jones, Nathaniel Shestak, and Ashley Tellis. The Lessons of Mumbai, Santa Monica: RAND, 2009. Print.
Roggio, Bill. Analysis: Mumbai Attack Differs From Past Terror Strikes. 2008. Web.