Magazine article National Defense

U.S. Cities Vulnerable to Mumbai-Like Attacks, Experts Say

Magazine article National Defense

U.S. Cities Vulnerable to Mumbai-Like Attacks, Experts Say

Article excerpt

U.S. cities might be "partially vulnerable" to Mumbai-like attacks, said a recent study.

One reason is that hotels and other public building are largely unprotected. Another potential weakness is a command-and-control structure that would prevent local authorities from being able to take immediate action, said Jeffrey K. Beatty, anti-terrorism expert and special advisor to TSSI, a security services firm.

In November 2008, a Pakistani based militant organization, possibly with the aid of Indian militants, infiltrated Mumbai by sea and attacked landmarks in the city.

The assailants used small arms tire along with grenades and bombs, which left 179 dead and more than 300 wounded. According to a TSSI study, it appears the attackers were using drugs to stay awake, which enabled them to carry out their mission with fewer men.

"The same group is believed capable of operations within the United States," said the TSSI study. "The vulnerable sectors in the U.S. are the hotels and other public locations."

The remedy, suggests TSSI, is to upgrade hotel and public sector action plans and integrate them with law enforcement responses as has been done in cities such as New York and Las Vegas. …

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