Monday, November 23, 2015

How Paris Attack Was Fore-shadowed in Bombay India Hotel Attack in '08

Cities and states are taking a new look at how to defend from a Paris-style attack where teams attack multiple targets using assault weapons and home-made bombs.  

They should take a lesson from the attacks on a hotel I once stayed in Bombay (now Mumbai), India that occurred in 2008.  Men fanned out across Mumbai and hit the five star hotel, the Taj Mahal, where I had regularly stayed on prior trips to India (as told in my book "Better Times Ahead April Fool").

No longer is  terrorism conducted just a one-target attack using airplanes that require pilot-training. That's so slow in today's world where the same fear can be instilled with a few people with powerful weapons in big cities.

In Texas recently one lawmaker exclaimed "We can't let Syrians into Texas. Our gun laws make it too easy to get a weapon."  Imagine that. Well, that's true. The NRA has opposed legislation that would prevent people who are on the "no fly" list from buying a gun! Tell me what common sense is in that position?  If you are on the no fly list, its because you are considered a threat. Also, a potential terrorist can easily buy a gun at a gun show without a background check. 

Terrorists love the NRA. It makes their job simple, unlike in Europe where guns are controlled and gun smuggling is harder. In fact, the group that hit Paris had the guns smuggled in Belgium, which has a crazy hodgepodge of departments that do not coordinate. Brussels alone has six different police jurisdictions!  

Striking cities by small groups with access to military weapons will continue to be a threat. But consider this, in America 92% of ALL MASS SHOOTING have been by WHITE extremists. Less than 8% are connected to Islamist extremists.  The Sandy Hook shooter, school shooters, Charleston shooter --ALL were WHITE MALES in their 20's. Are we making them wear an I.D.? Are we excluding them from buying assault weapons?

That means the irrational fear of Syrian moms and dads who are fleeing ISIS shooting them on one side and President Assad shooting them on the other side is....irrational. They didn't leave the country to kill, but to avoid being killed by butchers. For 4 years their kids can't go to school or even cross a street without being shot at by one side or the other. The moderates are squeezed in between.

Keep this in mind. The United States has the smallest number of citizens who have gone to Syria to fight - less than 150 according to some experts. Compare that to the thousands of citizens in Europe and 150 countries worldwide who have gone to Syria to fight.

Our problem is not Syrian refugees. Our problem is American citizens with extremist ideas having easy access to military-grade weapons.  And that won't be fixed until the NRA stops supporting laws that allow terrorists to get those weapons. 

Why does it matter? It mattered to the tourists trapped in the Taj Mahal in Bombay. It mattered to those shot in Paris. It mattered to those bombed in Beirut, and it mattered to the Russians on the MetroJet brought down by an ISIS bomb in the Sinai, Egypt.  It will matter to Americans if we arm our own potential terroirsts who are able to buy a gun despite being on a no fly list.

Think about that...

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