UPDATED throughout the day
SAJA HQ on Blog Talk Radio is doing a 2-hr podcast at 10AM and 10PM Eastern, moderated by Sree Sreenivasan, Colombia U School of Journalism professor. Be sure to catch it: excellent coverage, with world-reknowned guests
12:15PM Eastern Fox News reports there are no survivors at the Jewish Center.
Jihad Watch links to Up to SEVEN gunmen were British and ‘came from same area as 7/7 bombers’
Two Britons were among eight gunmen being held, according to Mumbai’s chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Schloky‘s twittering; as Richard explains that Shlok Vaidya is currently the Energy Security Analyst with the Center for Terrorism Research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Richard also posts,
Barack Obama’s plan to enlist Pakistan in the fight against al-Qaeda in exchange for improving its relations with India has become one of the potential casualties in Mumbai.
The terrorists have turned Mumbai into a war zone, and Indian forces are fighting back
Commandos slid down ropes from a hovering Army helicopter on Friday morning as they stormed a Jewish center that had been seized. The blue-uniformed troopers landed on the roof and soon made their way inside Nariman House, home to the Hasidic Jewish group Chabad-Lubavitch. The caution and pace of their maneuvers suggested the authorities were keen to avoid civilian casualties.
Throughout Friday, a gun battle raged inside the Jewish center, which echoed to the thump of explosions and the rattle of automatic fire. There was no immediate word on the fate of hostages assumed to be held there.
Late in the day, commandos in black uniform wearing heavy body armor moved into buildings around Nariman House, relieving commandos in blue or black uniforms who had been in action all day. For the first time, a van with six medics in surgical gowns and masks parked close to Nariman House, apparently in anticipation of casualties.
Indian security forces claimed some success in rescuing hostages from the five-star Oberoi hotel but still appeared to be encountering resistance inside the ornate, turreted Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel. The hotels were two of several of the city’s landmarks hit by the attackers late on Wednesday.
The fighting between Indian commando units and Islamic terrorist gunmen holding an orthodox Jewish center in Mumbai is in its “final stage,’ according to police officials.
Earlier reports said the siege had ended.
Commandos emerged from building Friday night, local time, with their assault rifles raised as a crowd outside the building cheered.
There was no word on the fate of the hostages believed to be inside.
According to Fox News five hostages are dead.
BBC News was interviewing a reporter who was held hostage and was just released, I believe, from the Trident hotel. More from the BBC. Fox, and CNN. The Strategy Room livefeed is carrying the NDTV New Dehli TV newscast
Type of Operation
According to sources in Mumbai, armed groups and individuals have attacked at least ten (if not more) targets inside the city including the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel, a railway Station, the Leopold Café and other locations. More shooting incidents have been also reported at the Trident hotel, a hospital and a highway leading to the airport and Assembly Hall. The terrorists fired indiscriminately against civilians, security elements, lobbed grenades, and killed Counter Terrorism officials. At this writing sources are reporting more than 102 deaths, amd hundreds wounded, in addition to hostage taking. Indian security sources confirmed the use of AK-47s, small arms, grenade, etc. This type of operation, involving a number of small groups and individuals “deployed” across several avenues, In my book Future Jihad I coined these types of forthcoming strikes as “urban Jihad” (Chapter 13). Instead of bombers and suicide bombers, the command sends “Jihadi infantry.” The tactical goal of these actions is to engage in different types of missions: random kilings, chaos, killing of security officers and hostage taking.
Jawa is following the story.
More updates throughout the day.
9:35AM Eastern The NDTV anchorman: “War has been declared on Mumbai, war has been declared on India”. 150+ casualties. says three sets of explosions at the Nariman house; Indian forces are still fighting at the Taj Hotel.
Pan-arab satellite programs and their main internet sites have paid modest attention to the attacks in Mumbai which caused more than 100 deaths, while ‘jihadist’ sites limited themselves to scant comments of celebration. The Qatar broadcast al-Jazeera has had several link-ups with its correspondent there but without following events with a special broadcast. Al-Arabiya, the TV channel broadcasting from Dubai and financed by the Royal Saudi house, also reported the events in Mumbai using its journalists on the scene, but broadcast as part of the usual daily news. On its website Alarabiya.net, the attacks in India are in fourth place, after news on Lebanon, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Another important London-based Saudi news website, Elaph, opens with the Mumbai attacks but along with other photo news on Iraq, sport and medicine. Al-Jazeera has the attacks in India and Afghanistan as its headlines for ‘home in movement’. Islamic extremist forums also give it a low profile, in a ‘posting’ by some subscriber who adds laconically: “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great).