Mumbai's big lesson

There are important lessons to be learned from Mumbai. In a county as large and open as the United States, I think it would be relatively easy for similar  killers to strike at malls, movie theaters, train stations, and supermarkets and schools across the country if they chose to.

Like the Indians, we do not guard all these places in the way public buildings are guarded in Israel. We do not have surveillance cameras on every street corner as they do in London.  We do not send snoops into the mosques to eavesdrop on the imams passing on their poisonous wrath, as they do in France.

Our homeland security apparatus (airline screening) is designed to stop the last attacks, not the next ones.  If attacks, such as the ones I describe above, hit America, then people will be screaming about why we were not better prepared, and why we did not know the attacks were coming.

I would suggest they begin by asking those who do not believe in wiretapping or tracking the bad guys, plenty of whom are undoubtedly already here.  If you think about what one lunatic did at Virginia Tech, then consider the havoc that an organized, ideologically committed group of killers could do on a wider scale here.

Amos Harel of Haaritz writes about the implications Israelis are facing in coping with the scale of the attack:

The war against terror has changed. The new scenario poses totally different challenges to anti-terror units. Until now the military assumed that after stabilizing the situation, it will have quantitative and intelligence superiority over the enemy. But as soon as large areas such as hotels are attacks, the challenge becomes incalculably more complex. Anti-terror experts say that just securing one floor of a hotel where terrorists are holding hostages would take an entire unit. Even Israel does not have enough units capable of handling a few hostage-taking and other attacks simultaneously.

After 9/11, Americans were horrified, but most did not think such  things could hit their communities -- that it will always be New York or DC that gets hit.  They are wrong.