New York: Sensing that New York remains on
the terrorist hit-list, the city police simulated a
Mumbai-type attack to gauge its preparedness in the event of a
similar strike that killed 166 people in India`s financial hub
more than two years ago.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) was one of the few
which sent its team of investigators to Mumbai in the
immediate aftermath of the 26/11 attacks to learn lessons from
the terrorist strike in which ten gunmen went on a rampage.
Since then NYPD has taken several measures to prevent
such an attack and has held several real time exercises,
including the one which it conducted early this month.
"The Mumbai attack two years ago was a bit of a game
changer," Mitchell Silber, head of the NYPD`s intelligence
analysis division, told `The Wall Street Journal`.
"It was a model that most counter-terrorism practitioners
hadn`t really considered. The armed gunmen roaming around the
city taking hostages, that wasn`t something, we had seen by
any `jihadist` group. That was a real eye-opener," he said.
The police officer said the more NYPD officials learnt
about the Mumbai attacks "the more similarities we saw between
Mumbai city and New York City."
Both, he said, are financial centres; both are surrounded
by water on three sides; and both get intense media attention.
The latest simulation made additional sense, Silber said,
in the light of rumours this past fall that `jihadists` were
planning another `Mumbai-style` attack somewhere in Europe.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the simulation
exercise was held on December, 3 when more than 40 senior
commanders took part and a facilitator introduced "injects,"
or new complications, into the exercise.