Paris attack similar to 26/11 Mumbai attacks: Experts

RSTV Bureau

Mumbai_terrorAnalysing the dastardly attacks in Paris on Friday night which killed more than 120 people and left nearly 200 wounded, the experts have begun drawing parallels with the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Several experts are claiming that looking at the “low-cost” of resources and the level of sophistication, the two deadly attacks looked similar. 164 people were killed and more than 300 were injured when 10 gunmen had attacked and took hostages in Mumbai in November 26, 2008.

John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism of the New York Police Department told CNN that the Paris attack resembles the Mumbai terrorist attack in terms of low-cost and low resources and it carried the various features of the 26/11.

Bruce Hoffman, head of the national security programme at Georgetown University, referred to a call given by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden five years ago to carry Mumbai-type attack across Europe.

“The attacks show a level of sophistication we really haven’t seen in an urban area since 2008 in the attack in Mumbai,” Michael Leiter, former director National Counterterrorism Center, was quoted as saying by NBC News adding, “This will be a game changer for how the West looks at this threat.”

Calling the Paris violence as “certainly a terrorist attack”, Retired Air Force General Michael Hayden went on to claim that “our fears have been realised” because the assaults greatly mirror the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai that killed at least 166 people, including six Americans.

Paris: Investigating police officers work outside the Stade de France stadium after an explosion and after international friendly soccer match between France and Germany, in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, Nov 13, 2015. Photo – AP/PTI

Paris: Investigating police officers work outside the Stade de France stadium after an explosion and after international friendly soccer match between France and Germany, in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, Nov 13, 2015. Photo – AP/PTI

After the Mumbai attack, carried out by Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, intelligence agencies around the world had studied the carnage to prevent a repetition of such incidents.

“We had great fear that we would see copycat versions of that attack and now, I fear that our fears have been realised, and we’re seeing that carried out tonight in Paris,” Mr. Hayden said adding, “It shows the fragility of free societies. It shows the great danger that international terrorism presents to all of us.”

Brian Michael Jenkins from RAND Corporation told The Press Enterprise newspaper that the Paris attacks were reminiscent of the November 2008 assault given the population density of the city targeted.

“These sorts of attacks are a matter of determination and the ability to acquire weapons,” Jenkins said.

“In some of these European countries, anyone with criminal connections can acquire an AK-47. It doesn’t require a great deal of skill to shoot diners at a restaurant or spectators at a rock concert. You don’t need to go through training,” he said.

“What happened in Paris on Friday night is exactly what Europe’s security services have long feared, and tried to foil. Simultaneous, rolling attacks, with automatic weapons and suicide bombers in the heart of a major European city, targeting multiple, crowded public locations,” the BBC in its commentry said.

“The tactics have been used before, in Mumbai and elsewhere,” it added.

(With inputs from the PTI/Agencies)