Critics Warn India Still At Risk of Terrorist Attacks
Location of November 26, 2008 Mumbai Bombings by Lashkar-e-Taiba. Via WashingtonPost.
A year after the terrorist attacks that killed 165 people in Mumbai, India is assessing its measures to keep a similar attack from occurring. Experts are calling for more to be done to improve security in both the city and around the country. Following the attacks, India created an action plan on internal security that saw the construction of a National Investigation Agency to spearhead terrorism cases, an increase in $2 to $4 billion dollars on infrastructure improvements and equipment, and the establishment of four new anti-terror National Security Guard hubs.
Additionally, many changes have taken place in Mumbai. Force One, Maharashtra’s own elite counter terror unit became operational today. According to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Force One will help other security agencies in the city as well as acting as an independent counter-terrorism unit. The unit was formed to reduce the response time in case of terrorist attacks, as it took the National Security Guard nine hours to secure the attack sites during November 26.
However, not everyone is convinced that Mumbai has become safer. Critics have blamed the failure to beef up national security on the corrupt government, citing the fact that authorities stopped 13 Islamist terror cells in India since last year’s attacks, right in line with the average since 1998. Public outrage has not ceased, stating there is still a big gap between what India’s government promises about beefed-up security and what it is actually able to deliver.