2008 Mumbai attacks
Map of the 2008 Mumbai attacks
Date 26 November 2008 – 29 November 2008 (IST, UTC+05:30)
Attack type Bombings, shootings, hostage crisis,[1] siege
Deaths Approximately 166 (including 10 attackers)[2]
Injured More than 308[2]
Perpetrators Lashkar-e-Taiba led by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed[3][4]

Template:Campaignbox India terrorism Template:Campaignbox Mumbai terrorism

The 2008 Mumbai attacks were 11 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, India's largest city, by Islamist terrorists[5][6] who were trained and came from Pakistan.[7] The attackers allegedly received reconnaissance (recce) assistance before the attacks. Ajmal Kasab, the only attacker who was captured alive, later confessed upon interrogation that the attacks were conducted with the support of Pakistan's ISI.[8][9] The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday, 26 November and lasted until Saturday, 29 November 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308.[2][10]

Eight of the attacks occurred in South Mumbai: at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident,[11] the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower,[11] Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital (a women and children's hospital),[11] the Nariman House Jewish community centre,[12] the Metro Cinema,[13] and a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier's College.[11] There was also an explosion at Mazagaon, in Mumbai's port area, and in a taxi at Vile Parle.[14] By the early morning of 28 November, all sites except for the Taj hotel had been secured by Mumbai Police and security forces. On 29 November, India's National Security Guards (NSG) conducted Operation Black Tornado to flush out the remaining attackers; it resulted in the deaths of the last remaining attackers at the Taj hotel and ending all fighting in the attacks.[15]

Ajmal Kasab[16] disclosed that the attackers were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant organisation, considered a terrorist organisation by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations,[17] among others.[18] The Indian government said that the attackers came from Pakistan, and their controllers were in Pakistan.[19] On 7 January 2009,[20] Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman officially accepted Ajmal Kasab's nationality as Pakistani.[21] On 12 February 2009, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik asserted that parts of the attack had been planned in Pakistan.[22] A trial court on 6 May, 2010 sentenced Ajmal Kasab to death on all the 86 charges for which he was convicted.[23] On his appeal against this verdict, Bombay High Court on 21 February 2011[24] and Supreme Court of India on 29 August, 2012 upheld his death punishment.[25]

Background[edit | edit source]

File:Mahim train blast.jpg

One of the bomb-damaged coaches at the Mahim station in Mumbai during the 11 July 2006 train bombings

There have been many bombings in Mumbai since the 13 coordinated bomb explosions that killed 257 people and injured 700 on 12 March, 1993.[26] The 1993 attacks are believed to have been in retaliation for the Babri Mosque demolition.[27]

On 6 December, 2002, a blast in a BEST bus near Ghatkopar station killed two people and injured 28.[28] The bombing occurred on the 10th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.[29] A bicycle bomb exploded near the Vile Parle station in Mumbai, killing one person and injuring 25 on 27 January 2003, a day before the visit of the Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the city.[30] On 13 March 2003, a day after the 10th anniversary of the 1993 Bombay bombings, a bomb exploded in a train compartment near the Mulund station, killing 10 people and injuring 70.[31] On 28 July 2003, a blast in a BEST bus in Ghatkopar killed 4 people and injured 32.[32] On 25 August 2003, two bombs exploded in South Mumbai, one near the Gateway of India and the other at Zaveri Bazaar in Kalbadevi. At least 44 people were killed and 150 injured.[33] On 11 July 2006, seven bombs exploded within 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway in Mumbai.[34] 209 people were killed, including 22 foreigners[35][36] and over 700 injured.[37][38] According to the Mumbai Police, the bombings were carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).[39][40]

Attacks[edit | edit source]

Main article: Timeline of the 2008 Mumbai attacks

The first events were detailed around 20:00 Indian Standard Time (IST) on 26 November, when 10 men in inflatable speedboats came ashore at two locations in Colaba. They reportedly told local Marathi-speaking fishermen who asked them who they were to "mind their own business" before they split up and headed two different ways. The fishermen's subsequent report to police received little response.[41]

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus[edit | edit source]

File:2008 Mumbai terror attack VT bullet mark.jpg

Bullet marks on the wall of the suburban terminus at CST

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) was attacked by two gunmen, one of whom, Ajmal Kasab, was later caught alive by the police and identified by eyewitnesses. The attacks began around 21:30 when the two men entered the passenger hall and opened fire,[42] using AK-47 rifles.[43] The attackers killed 58 people and injured 104 others,[43] their assault ending at about 22:45.[42] Security forces and emergency services arrived shortly afterwards. The two gunmen fled the scene and fired at pedestrians and police officers in the streets, killing eight police officers. The attackers passed a police station. Many of the outgunned police officers were afraid to confront the attackers, and instead switched off the lights and secured the gates. The attackers then headed towards Cama Hospital with an intention to kill patients,[44] but the hospital staff locked all of the patient wards. A team of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad led by police chief Hemant Karkare searched the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and then left in pursuit of Kasab and Khan. Kasab and Khan opened fire on the vehicle in a lane next to the hospital and the police returned fire. Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, Ashok Kamte and one of their officers were killed, though the only survivor, Constable Arun Jadhav, was wounded.[45] Kasab and Khan seized the police vehicle but later abandoned it and seized a passenger car instead. They then ran into a police roadblock, which had been set up after Jadhav radioed for help.[46] A gun battle then ensued in which Khan was killed and Kasab was wounded. After a physical struggle, Kasab was arrested.[47] A police officer, Tukaram Omble was also killed.

Leopold Cafe[edit | edit source]

The Leopold Cafe, a popular restaurant and bar on Colaba Causeway in South Mumbai, was one of the first sites to be attacked.[48] Two attackers opened fire on the cafe on the evening of 26 November, killing at least 10 people, (including some foreigners), and injuring many more.[49] The attackers fired into the street as they fled the scene.[citation needed]


Bullet marks left at Leopold Cafe

Bomb blasts in taxis[edit | edit source]

There were two explosions in taxis caused by timer bombs. The first one occurred at 22:40 at Vile Parle, killing the driver and a passenger. The second explosion took place at Wadi Bunder between 22:20 and 22:25. Three people, including the driver of the taxi were killed, and about 15 others were injured.[14][50]

Taj Mahal Hotel and Oberoi Trident[edit | edit source]

File:2008 Mumbai terror attacks Oberoi Restaurant.jpg

The damaged Oberoi Trident hotel

Main article: Taj Mahal Palace & Tower

Two hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and the Oberoi Trident, were among the four locations targeted. Six explosions were reported at the Taj hotel - one in the lobby, two in the elevators, three in the restaurant - and one at the Oberoi Trident.[51][52] At the Taj Mahal, firefighters rescued 200 hostages from windows using ladders during the first night.

CNN initially reported on the morning of 27 November, 2008 that the hostage situation at the Taj had been resolved and quoted the police chief of Maharashtra stating that all hostages were freed;[53] however, it was learned later that day that there were still two attackers holding hostages, including foreigners, in the Taj Mahal hotel.[54]

File:2008 Mumbai terror attacks Taj Hotel Wasabi Restaurant burned.jpg

The Wasabi restaurant on the first floor of the Taj Hotel was completely gutted.

During the attacks, both hotels were surrounded by Rapid Action Force personnel and Marine Commandos (MARCOS) and National Security Guards (NSG) commandos.[55][56] When reports emerged that attackers were receiving television broadcasts, feeds to the hotels were blocked.[57] Security forces stormed both hotels, and all nine attackers were killed by the morning of 29 November.[58][59] Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan of the NSG was killed during the rescue of Commando Sunil Yadav, who was hit in the leg by a bullet during the rescue operations at Taj.[60][61] 32 hostages were killed at the Oberoi Trident.[62]

A number of European Parliament Committee on International Trade delegates were staying in the Taj Mahal hotel when it was attacked,[63] but none of them were injured.[64] British Conservative Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Sajjad Karim (who was in the lobby when attackers initially opened fire there) and German Social Democrat MEP Erika Mann were hiding in different parts of the building.[65] Also reported present was Spanish MEP Ignasi Guardans, who was barricaded in a hotel room.[66][67] Another British Conservative MEP, Syed Kamall, reported that he along with several other MEPs left the hotel and went to a nearby restaurant shortly before the attack.[65] Kamall also reported that Polish MEP Jan Masiel was thought to have been sleeping in his hotel room when the attacks started, but eventually left the hotel safely.[68] Kamall and Guardans reported that a Hungarian MEP's assistant was shot.[65][69] Also caught up in the shooting were the President of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, while checking in at the Oberoi Trident,[69] and Indian MP N. N. Krishnadas of Kerala and Gulam Noon while having dinner at a restaurant in the Taj hotel.[70][71]

Nariman House[edit | edit source]

Main article: Nariman House
File:2008 Mumbai terror attacks Nariman House front view 3.jpg

Front view of the Nariman House a week after the attacks

Nariman House, a Chabad Lubavitch Jewish center in Colaba known as the Mumbai Chabad House, was taken over by two attackers and several residents were held hostage.[72] Police evacuated adjacent buildings and exchanged fire with the attackers, wounding one. Local residents were told to stay inside. The attackers threw a grenade into a nearby lane, causing no casualties. NSG commandos arrived from Delhi, and a Naval helicopter took an aerial survey. During the first day, 9 hostages were rescued from the first floor. The following day, the house was stormed by NSG commandos fast-roping from helicopters onto the roof, covered by snipers positioned in nearby buildings. After a long battle, one NSG commando Havaldar Gajender Singh BishtTemplate:Dubious and both perpetrators were killed.[73] Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka Holtzberg, who was six months pregnant, were murdered with four other hostages inside the house by the attackers.[74]

According to radio transmissions picked up by Indian intelligence, the attackers "would be told by their handlers in Pakistan that the lives of Jews were worth 50 times those of non-Jews." Injuries reported on some of the bodies indicate they may have been tortured.[75][76]

National Security Guards[edit | edit source]

The National Security Guard (NSG) is a Special Response Unit in India that has primarily been utilized for counter-terrorism activities and was created by the Cabinet Secretariat under the National Security Guard Act of the Indian Parliament in 1986. It works completely within the Central Armed Police Forces structure. The NSG is an elite force providing a second line of defence to the nation. They have played a pivotal role in safeguarding the unity of India and have commendably foiled attempts of anti-national elements to tear apart the social fabric of the country. The NSG has maintained an edge over terrorist outfits in possession of latest technology and are considered among the best special operations units in all of Asia.[citation needed]

End of the attacks[edit | edit source]

By the morning of 27 November, the NSG had secured the Jewish outreach center at Nariman House as well as the Oberoi Trident hotel. They also incorrectly believed that the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers had been cleared of attackers, and soldiers were leading hostages and holed-up guests to safety, and removing bodies of those killed in the attacks.[77][78][79] However, later news reports indicated that there were still two or three attackers in the Taj, with explosions heard and gunfire exchanged.[79] Fires were also reported at the ground floor of the Taj with plumes of smoke arising from the first floor.[79] The final operation at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel was completed by the NSG commandos at 08:00 on 29 November, killing three attackers and resulting in the conclusion of the attacks.[80] The NSG rescued 250 people from the Oberoi, 300 from the Taj and 60 people (members of 12 different families) from Nariman House.[81] In addition, police seized a boat filled with arms and explosives anchored at Mazgaon dock off Mumbai harbour.[82]

Attribution[edit | edit source]

File:Mohammed Ajmal Kasab.jpg

Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving terrorist, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Main article: Attribution of the 2008 Mumbai attacks

The Mumbai attacks were planned and directed by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants inside Pakistan, and carried out by ten young armed men trained and sent to Mumbai and directed from inside Pakistan via mobile phones and VoIP.[18][83][84]

In July 2009 Pakistani authorities confirmed that LeT plotted and financed the attacks from LeT camps in Karachi and Thatta.[85] In November 2009, Pakistani authorities charged seven men they had arrested earlier, of planning and executing the assault.[86]

Mumbai police originally identified 37 suspects—including two army officers—for their alleged involvement in the plot. All but two of the suspects, many of whom are identified only through aliases, are Pakistani.[87] Two more suspects arrested in the United States in October 2009 for other attacks were also found to have been involved in planning the Mumbai attacks.[88][89] One of these men, Pakistani American David Headley, was found to have made several trips to India before the attacks and gathered video and GPS information on behalf of the plotters.

In April 2011, the United States issued arrest warrants for four Pakistani men as suspects in the attack. The men, Sajid Mir, Abu Qahafa, Mazhar Iqbal, and alias "Major Iqbal", are believed to be members of Lashkar-e-Taiba and helped plan and train the attackers.[90]

Negotiations with Pakistan[edit | edit source]

Pakistan initially denied that Pakistanis were responsible for the attacks, blaming plotters in Bangladesh and Indian criminals,[91] a claim refuted by India,[92] and saying they needed information from India on other bombings first.[93]

Pakistani authorities finally agreed that Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani on 7 January 2009,[20][94][95] and registered a case against three other Pakistani nationals.[96]

The Indian government supplied evidence to Pakistan and other governments, in the form of interrogations, weapons, and call records of conversations during the attacks.[3][97] In addition, Indian government officials said that the attacks were so sophisticated that they must have had official backing from Pakistani "agencies", an accusation denied by Pakistan.[84][94]

Under US and UN pressure, Pakistan arrested a few members of Jamaat ud-Dawa and briefly put its founder under house arrest, but he was found to be free a few days later.[98] A year after the attacks, Mumbai police continued to complain that Pakistani authorities are not cooperating by providing information for their investigation.[99] Meanwhile, journalists in Pakistan said security agencies were preventing them from interviewing people from Kasab's village.[100][101] Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the Pakistani authorities had not shared any information about American suspects Headley and Rana, but that the FBI had been more forthcoming.[102]

An Indian report, summarising intelligence gained from India's interrogation of David Headley,[103] was released in October 2010. It alleged that Pakistan's intelligence agency (ISI) had provided support for the attacks by providing funding for reconnaissance missions in Mumbai.[104] The report included Headley's claim that Lashkar-e-Taiba's chief military commander, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, had close ties to the ISI.[103] He alleged that "every big action of LeT is done in close coordination with [the] ISI."[104]

Investigation[edit | edit source]

File:Mumbai attacks vinu image01-crop.jpg

Police looking for attackers outside Colaba

According to investigations, the attackers travelled by sea from Karachi, Pakistan, across the Arabian Sea, hijacked the Indian fishing trawler 'Kuber', killed the crew of four, then forced the captain to sail to Mumbai. After murdering the captain, the attackers entered Mumbai on a rubber dinghy. The captain of 'Kuber', Amar Singh Solanki, had earlier been imprisoned for six months in a Pakistani jail for illegally fishing in Pakistani waters.[105] The attackers stayed and were trained by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in a safehouse at Azizabad near Karachi before boarding a small boat for Mumbai.[106]

David Headley was a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba, and between 2002 and 2009 Headley travelled extensively as part of his work for LeT. Headley received training in small arms and countersurveillance from LeT, built a network of connections for the group, and was chief scout in scoping out targets for Mumbai attack[107][108] having allegedly been given $25,000 in cash in 2006 by an ISI officer known as Major Iqbal, The officer also helped him arrange a communications system for the attack, and oversaw a model of the Taj Mahal Hotel so that gunmen could know their way inside the target, according to Headley's testimony to Indian authorities. Headley also helped ISI recruit Indian agents to monitor Indian troop levels and movements, according to a US official. At the same time, Headley was also an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and Headley's wives warned American officials of Headley's involvement with LeT and his plotting attacks, warning specifically that the Taj Mahal Hotel may be their target.[107]

US officials believed that the Inter-Services Intelligence (I.S.I.) officers provided support to Lashkar-e-Taiba militants who carried out the attacks.[109]

The arrest of Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Hamza in June 2012 provided further clarity on how the plot was hatched. According to Abu Hamza, the attacks were previously scheduled for 2006, using Indian youth for the job. However, a huge cache of AK-47's and RDX, which were to be used for the attacks, was recovered from Aurangabad in 2006, thus leading to the dismantling of the original plot. Subsequently, Abu Hamza fled to Pakistan and along with Lashkar commanders, scouted for Pakistani youth to be used for the attacks. In September 2007, ten people were selected for the mission. In September 2008, these people tried sailing to Mumbai from Karachi, but couldn't complete their mission due to choppy waters. These men made a second attempt in November 2008, and successfully managed to execute the final attacks. David Headley's disclosures, that three Pakistani army officers were associated with the planning and execution of the attack were substantiated by Ansari's revelations during his interrogation.[110][111] After Ansari's arrest, Pakistan's Foreign Office claimed they had received information that up to 40 Indian nationals were involved in the attacks.[112]

Method[edit | edit source]

The attackers had planned the attack several months ahead of time and knew some areas well enough for the attackers to vanish, and reappear after security forces had left. Several sources have quoted Kasab telling the police that the group received help from Mumbai residents.[113][114] The attackers used at least three SIM cards purchased on the Indian side of the border with Bangladesh.[115] There were also reports of a SIM card purchased in the US state New Jersey.[116] Police had also mentioned that Faheem Ansari, an Indian Lashkar operative who had been arrested in February 2008, had scouted the Mumbai targets for the November attacks.[117] Later, the police arrested two Indian suspects, Mikhtar Ahmad, who is from Srinagar in Kashmir, and Tausif Rehman, a resident of Kolkata. They supplied the SIM cards, one in Calcutta, and the other in New Delhi.[118]

Type 86 Grenades made by China's state-owned Norinco were used in the attacks.[119]

Blood tests on the attackers indicate that they had taken cocaine and LSD during the attacks, to sustain their energy and stay awake for 50 hours. Police say that they found syringes on the scenes of the attacks. There were also indications that they had been taking steroids.[120] The gunman who survived said that the attackers had used Google Earth to familiarise themselves with the locations of buildings used in the attacks.[121]

There were ten gunmen, nine of whom were subsequently shot dead and one captured by security forces.[122][123] Witnesses reported that they looked to be in their early twenties, wore black t-shirts and jeans, and that they smiled and looked happy as they shot their victims.[124]

It was initially reported that some of the attackers were British citizens,[125][126] but the Indian government later stated that there was no evidence to confirm this.[127] Similarly, early reports of twelve gunmen[128] were also later shown to be incorrect.[3]

On 9 December, the ten attackers were identified by Mumbai police, along with their home towns in Pakistan: Ajmal Amir from Faridkot, Abu Ismail Dera Ismail Khan from Dera Ismail Khan, Hafiz Arshad and Babr Imran from Multan, Javed from Okara, Shoaib from Narowal, Nazih and Nasr from Faisalabad, Abdul Rahman from Arifwalla, and Fahad Ullah from Dipalpur Taluka. Dera Ismail Khan is in the North-West Frontier Province; the rest of the towns are in Pakistani Punjab.[129]

On 6 April, 2010, the Home Minister of Maharashtra State, which includes Mumbai, informed the Assembly that the bodies of the nine killed Pakistani gunmen from the 2008 attack on Mumbai were buried in a secret location in January 2010. The bodies had been in the mortuary of a Mumbai hospital after Muslim clerics in the city refused to let them be buried on their grounds.[130]

Arrests[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ajmal Kasab

Ajmal Kasab was the only attacker arrested alive by police and is currently under arrest.[131] Much of the information about the attackers' preparation, travel, and movements comes from his confessions to the Mumbai police.[132]

On 12 February, 2009 Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that Pakistani national Javed Iqbal, who acquired VoIP phones in Spain for the Mumbai attackers, and Hamad Ameen Sadiq, who had facilitated money transfer for the attack, had been arrested.[96] Two other men known as Khan and Riaz, but whose full names were not given, were also arrested.[133] Two Pakistanis were arrested in Brescia, Italy (north-west of Milan), on 21 November 2009, after being accused of providing logistical support to the attacks and transferring over US$200 to internet accounts using a false ID.[134][135] They had Red Corner Notices issued against them by Interpol for their suspected involvement and it was issued after the last year's strikes.[136]

In October 2009, two Chicago men were arrested and charged by the FBI for involvement in terrorism abroad, David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana. Headley, a Pakistani-American, was charged in November 2009 with scouting locations for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.[137][138] Headley is reported to have posed as an American Jew and is believed to have links with militant Islamist groups based in Bangladesh.[139] On 18 March 2010, Headley pled guilty to a dozen charges against him thereby avoiding going to trial.

In December 2009, the FBI charged Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired major in the Pakistani army, for planning the terror attacks in association with Headley.[140]

On 15 January, 2010, in a successful snatch operation R&AW agents nabbed Sheikh Abdul Khwaja, one of the handlers of the 26/11 attacks, chief of HuJI India operations and a most wanted terror suspect in India, from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and brought him over to Hyderabad, India for formal arrest.[141]

On 25 June 2012, the Delhi Police arrested Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Hamza, one of the key suspects in the attack at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. His arrest was touted as the most significant development in the case since Kasab's arrest.[142] Security agencies had been chasing him for three years in Delhi. Ansari is an Lashker-e-Taiba ultra and the Hindi tutor of 10 terrorists who were responsible for the Mumbai attacks in 2008.[143][144] He was apprehended, after he was arrested and deported to India by Saudi Intelligence officials as per official request by Indian authorities.[145] After Ansari's arrest, investigations revealed that in 2009 he allegedly stayed for a day in a room in Old Legislators's Hostel, belonging to Fauzia Khan, a former MLA and minister in Maharashtra Government. The minister, however, denied having any links with him. Home Minister P. Chidambaram, asserted that Ansari was provided a safe place in Pakistan and was present in the control room, which could not have been established without active State support. Ansari's interrogation further revealed that Sajid Mir and a Pakistani Army major visited India under fake names as cricket spectators to survey targets in Delhi and Mumbai for about a fortnight.[146][147][148]

Casualties and compensation[edit | edit source]

Main article: Casualties of the 2008 Mumbai attacks

At least 166 victims (civilians and security personnel) and nine attackers were killed in the attacks. Among the dead were 28 foreign nationals from 10 countries.[2][53][149][150][151] One attacker was captured.[152] The bodies of many of the dead hostages showed signs of torture or disfigurement.[153] A number of those killed were notable figures in business, media, and security services.[154][155][156]

The government of Maharashtra announced about Template:INRConvert as compensation to the kin of each of those killed in the terror attacks and about Template:INRConvert to the seriously injured.[157] In August 2009, Indian Hotels Company and the Oberoi Group received about $28 million USD as part-payment of the insurance claims, on account of the attacks on Taj Mahal and Trident, from General Insurance Corporation of India.[158]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Main article: Aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks

The attacks are sometimes referred to in India as "26/11", after the date in 2008 that they began the attacks, and the nomenclature behind the 9/11 attacks (akin to that of the 3/11 attack in Madrid). The Pradhan Inquiry Commission, appointed by the Maharashtra government, produced a report that was tabled before the legislative assembly over one year after the events. The report said the "war-like" attack was beyond the capacity of any police force, but it also found fault with the Mumbai Police Commissionaer Hasan Gafoor's lack of leadership during the crisis.[159]

The Maharashtra government planned to buy 36 speed boats to patrol the coastal areas and several helicopters for the same purpose. It also planned to create an anti-terror force called "Force One" and upgrade all the weapons that Mumbai police currently have.[160] Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on an all-party conference declared that legal framework would be strengthened in the battle against terrorism and a federal anti-terrorist intelligence and investigation agency, like the FBI, will be set up soon to coordinate action against terrorism.[161] The government strengthened anti-terror laws with UAPA 2008, and the federal National Investigation Agency was formed.

The attacks further strained India's slowly recovering relationship with Pakistan. India's then External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee (presently President of India) declared that India may indulge in military strikes against terror camps in Pakistan to protect its territorial integrity. There were also after-effects on the United States's relationships with both countries,[162] the US-led NATO war in Afghanistan,[163] and on the Global War on Terror.[164] FBI chief Robert Mueller praised the "unprecedented cooperation" between American and Indian intelligence agencies over Mumbai terror attack probe.[165] Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble indicated Indian intelligence agencies did not share any information with them.[166]

Movement of troops[edit | edit source]

Pakistan moved troops towards the border with India voicing concerns about the Indian government's possible plans to launch attacks on Pakistani soil if it did not cooperate. After days of talks, the Pakistan government, however, decided to start moving troops away from the border.[167]

Reactions[edit | edit source]

Main article: Reactions to the 2008 Mumbai attacks
File:3 December 2008 Gateway protest march 4.jpg

Candlelight vigils at the Gateway of India in Mumbai

Indians criticised their political leaders after the attacks, saying that their ineptness was partly responsible. The Times of India commented on its front page that "Our politicians fiddle as innocents die."[168] Political reactions in Mumbai and India included a range of resignations and political changes, including the resignations of Minister for Home Affairs Shivraj Patil,[169] Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh[170] and Deputy Chief Minister R. R. Patil[171] for controversial reactions to the attack including taking the former's son and Bollywood director Ram Gopal Verma to tour the damaged Taj Mahal and the latters remarks that the attacks were not a big deal in such a large city. Prominent Muslim personalities such as Bollywood actor Aamir Khan appealed to their community members in the country to observe Eid al-Adha as a day of mourning on 9 December.[172] The business establishment also reacted, with changes to transport, and requests for an increase in self-defense capabilities.[173] The attacks also triggered a chain of citizens' movements across India such as the India Today Group's "War Against Terror" campaign. There were vigils held across all of India with candles and placards commemorating the victims of the attacks.[174] The NSG commandos based in Delhi also met criticism for taking 10 hours to reach the 3 sites under attack.[175][176]

File:Mumbai Terror Protest.JPG

Citizens gather outside the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel demanding the government takes action.

International reaction for the attacks was widespread, with many countries and international organisations condemning the attacks and expressing their condolences to the civilian victims. Many important personalities around the world also condemned the attacks.[177]

Media coverage highlighted the use of social media and Internet social networking tools, including Twitter and Flickr, in spreading information about the attacks. In addition, many Indian bloggers and Wikipedia offered live textual coverage of the attacks.[178] A map of the attacks was set up by a web journalist using Google Maps.[179][180] The New York Times, in July 2009, described the event as "what may be the most well-documented terrorist attack anywhere."[181]

In November 2010, families of American victims of the attacks filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn, New York, naming Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, chief of the I.S.I., as being complicit in the Mumbai attacks. On 22 September 2011, the attack on the American Embassy in Afghanistan, was attributed to Pakistan via cell phone records identical to the attacks in Mumbai, also linked to Pakistan. The investigation is on-going.[109]

Trials[edit | edit source]

Kasab's trial[edit | edit source]

Kasab's trial was delayed due to legal issues, as many Indian lawyers were unwilling to represent him. A Mumbai Bar Association passed a resolution proclaiming that none of its members would represent Kasab. However, the Chief Justice of India stated that Kasab needed a lawyer for a fair trial. A lawyer for Kasab was eventually found, but was replaced due to a conflict of interest. On 25 February 2009, Indian investigators filed an 11,000-page chargesheet, formally charging Kasab with murder, conspiracy, and waging war against India among other charges.

Kasab's trial began on 6 May 2009. He initially pleaded not guilty, but later admitted his guilt on 20 July 2009. He initially apologised for the attacks and claimed that he deserved the death penalty for his crimes, but later retracted these claims, saying that he had been tortured by police to force his confession, and that he had been arrested while roaming the beach. The court had accepted his plea, but due to the lack of completeness within his admittance, the judge had deemed that many of the 86 charges were not addressed and therefore the trial continued.

Kasab was convicted of all 86 charges on 3 May 2010. He was found guilty of murder for directly killing seven people, conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of the 166 people killed in the three-day terror siege, waging war against India, causing terror, and of conspiracy to murder two high-ranking police officers. On 6 May 2010, he was sentenced to death by hanging.[23] [182] [183][184] However, he appealed his sentence at high court. On 21 February 2011, the Bombay High Court upheld the death sentence of Kasab, dismissing his appeal.[24]

On 29 August 2012, the Indian Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Kasab. The court stated, "We are left with no option but to award death penalty. The primary and foremost offence committed by Kasab is waging war against the Government of India.”[185] The verdict followed 10 weeks of appeal hearings, and was decided by a two-judge Supreme Court panel, which was led by Judge Aftab Alam. The panel rejected arguments that Kasab was denied a free and fair trial.[25]

Trials in Pakistan[edit | edit source]

Indian and Pakistani police have exchanged DNA evidence, photographs and items found with the attackers to piece together a detailed portrait of the Mumbai plot. Police in Pakistan have arrested seven people, including Hammad Amin Sadiq, a homoeopathic pharmacist, who arranged bank accounts and secured supplies. Sadiq and six others begin their formal trial on 3 October 2009 in Pakistan, though Indian authorities say the prosecution stops well short of top Lashkar leaders.[186] In November 2009, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Pakistan has not done enough to bring the perpetrators of the attacks to justice.[187]

On the eve of the first anniversary of 26/11, a Pakistani anti-terror court formally charged seven accused, including LeT operations commander Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi. However the actual trial started on 5th may 2012. The Pakistani court conducting trial of Mumbai attacks accused, reserved its judgement on the applicaion filed by Lakhvi, challenging the report of the judicial panel, to 17 July 2012.[188] On 17 July 2012, the court refused to take the findings of the Pakistani judicial commission as part of the evidence. It however, ruled that if a new agreement that allows panel's examination of witnesses, is reached, the prosecution may move an application for sending the panel to Mumbai.[189] The Indian Government upset over the court ruling, however,contended that evidence collected by the Pakistani judicial panel has evidential value to punish all those involved in the attack.[190] In August 2012, Pakistan has asked the Indian Government to allow second visit of their judicial commission for cross examination of witnesses of 26/11 case for gathering evidence against seven accused, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. The Indian Government will be taking a decision on the request after getting the ruling of the Pakistan Court examined by legal experts.[191]

Trials in the United States[edit | edit source]

The LeT operative David Headley (born Daood Sayed Gilani) in his testimony before a Chicago federal court during co-accused Tahawwur Rana's trial revealed that Mumbai Chabad House was added to the list of targets for surveillance given by his Inter Services Intelligence handler Major Iqbal, though the Oberoi hotel, one of the sites attacked, was not originally on the list.[192] On 10 June 2011, Tahawwur Rana was acquitted of plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks, but was held guilty on two other charges.[193]

Locations[edit | edit source]


All the incidents except the explosion at Vile Parle took place in downtown South Mumbai.

Memorials[edit | edit source]

On the first anniversary of the event, the state paid homage to the victims of the attack. Force One—a new security force created by the Maharashtra government—staged a parade from Nariman Point to Chowpatty. Other memorials and candlelight vigils were also organised at the various locations where the attacks occurred.[194]

On the second anniversary of the event, homage was again paid to the victims.[195] Security forces were also displayed from Nariman Point.

On the evening of 27 November 2011, a flash mob surfaced at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The mob consisting of a group of 200 people danced to the Rang De Basanti title soundtrack with the intention of paying tribute to the victims of the attacks.[196][197]

See also[edit | edit source]

[[File:Template:Portal/Images/Default|32x28px|alt=Portal icon]] Terrorism portal
[[File:Template:Portal/Images/Default|32x28px|alt=Portal icon]] Mumbai portal

References[edit | edit source]

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ar:هجمات مومباي الإرهابية 2008 bn:২০০৮ মুম্বই জঙ্গি হামলা cs:Teroristické útoky v Bombaji v listopadu 2008 da:Terrorangrebet i Mumbai 2008 de:Anschläge am 26. November 2008 in Mumbai es:Atentados de Bombay de 2008 fa:حملات نوامبر ۲۰۰۸ در بمبئی fr:Attaques de novembre 2008 à Bombay ko:2008년 뭄바이 폭탄테러 hi:२६ नवंबर २००८ मुंबई में श्रेणीबद्ध गोलीबारी id:Serangan teroris Mumbai November 2008 it:Attentati del 26 novembre 2008 a Mumbai he:מתקפת הטרור במומבאי (2008) li:Aonsleeg in Bombay vaan november 2008 hu:2008. november 26-ai mumbai terrortámadás ml:2008 നവംബറിലെ മുംബൈ ഭീകരാക്രമണ പരമ്പര mr:२६ नोव्हेंबर २००८ चा मुंबईवरील दहशतवादी हल्ला ms:Serangan Mumbai 26 November 2008 nl:Aanslagen in Bombay van november 2008 ja:ムンバイ同時多発テロ no:Terrorangrepene i Mumbai 26. november 2008 pl:Zamach terrorystyczny w Mumbaju w 2008 roku pt:Atentados de 26 de novembro de 2008 em Bombaim ksh:Anschlääch ä Bombei am 26. November 2008 ro:Atacurile din 26 noiembrie 2008 de la Mumbai ru:Атака на Мумбаи simple:November 2008 Mumbai attacks sr:Напади у Мумбају 26. новембра 2008. fi:Mumbain terrori-iskut 2008 sv:Terroristattackerna i Bombay 2008 ta:26 நவம்பர் 2008 மும்பாய் தாக்குதல்கள் te:26/11 ముంబై పై దాడి ur:26 نومبر 2008ء ممبئی میں دہشت گردی کی کاروائیاں vi:Cuộc tấn công Mumbai 2008 yi:טעראר אטאקע אין מומביי (2008) zh-yue:2008年孟買連環恐怖襲擊 zh:2008年孟買連環恐怖襲擊

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