Technology the Linchpin in Mumbai Attacks

They used GPS and satellite maps, phones
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2008 1:54 PM CST
Sumita Batra and her daughter Maya receive text messages from a friend in Mumbai on Nov. 27, 2008. The Batras live in Artesia, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – The Mumbai terrorists relied on advanced technology to carry out their attacks, and Indian security forces had trouble keeping up, the Washington Post reports. GPS devices enabled the non-sailors to get to Mumbai; satellite maps gave them "a good feel for the city's streets and buildings," said a terrorism expert. BlackBerry-bearing gunmen also watched TV to track the progress of commandos.

Mumbai's police chief said they "try to keep pace" with technological advances, but analysts, who reference the country's use of World War II-era rifles, are skeptical. "They are a generation behind in understanding the technology that the terrorists used," the director of New Delhi's Institute for Conflict Management said. Indian forces didn't have the necessary equipment to find people in the besieged hotels, and "when they finally got there, they had no floor layouts."