On Sunday's GPS, Fareed Zakaria talked about the HBO documentary that he narrated, Terror in Mumbai.
Today we are bringing you something truly extraordinary, a view of terrorism in 360 degrees. In the aftermath of most terrorism attacks you hear from the victims, or first responders, the police, just as we did with 9/11 and this month with Fort Hood. The question that reverberates after the attacks is, why? Why did they do it? Rarely do you hear the answer from the terrorists themselves. And you never hear from them while they are in the act of committing terror.
Today you will. Next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, here in the United States, marks the first anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks. The attacks were remarkable in just how devastating and just how simple they were. Ten young men from the Pakistani countryside, some assault weapons, a few explosives, and instructions simply to kill. That's all it took to completely paralyze and terrorize one of the world's great cities for 60 hours, to kill more than 170 people, and wound more than 300 others.
The 10 men spread out to hit multiple targets in mostly two-man teams. They slaughtered innocents of the city's main railway station, two five-star hotels, a Jewish center and a bar.
Those attacks hit home for me, literally. You see, Mumbai is my hometown. My mother still lives there and has an office in the Taj Hotel, site of the most spectacular attack. Luckily she was out of town for the entire siege. Earlier this year I took part in a remarkable HBO documentary "Terror in Mumbai." It will air this coming Thursday, November 19th, on [HBO].
The film takes us inside the mind of a terrorist. It does that because of a combination of good intelligence and sheer luck. You see, the Indian intelligence service had managed to sell some SIM cards, some phone cards, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terror group responsible for perpetrating the Mumbai attacks. The intelligence service was hoping to listen in on phone calls made by members of this up and coming terror organization, which is a sworn enemy of India.
During the first part of the program, Zakaria showed clips from the documentary and discussed it with Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA Director of Operations who concentrated on Islamic terror.
HBO's Terror in Mumbai debuts Thursday, November 19 at 8pm (ET/PT) on HBO.