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Forewarned is forearmed; oh, really?

The Associated Press is reporting this evening that India’s foreign intelligence agency knew as recently as September that Pakistan-based terrorists were plotting attacks in Mumbai. Although the information was relayed to domestic security agencies, their response, whatever it might have been, failed to prevent this week’s attacks. In the wake of the attacks, the prime minister has promised to strengthen security and look into the formation of a new federal agency to deal with future threats.

It’s eerily reminiscent of certain terror attacks that occurred back in 2001, when intelligence indicated impending attacks. When responses to the warnings were inadequate or nonexistent. When the terrorist plot succeeded. When the government responded, after the fact, that security measures were being stepped up and the formation of a new federal agency was being considered.

There the similarities end, because In India,

Already, the country’s top law enforcement official has resigned and two top state officials have offered to quit amid growing criticism that the attackers appeared better trained, better coordinated and better armed than police.

No high-level resignations were proffered after the 2001 attacks.

The ultimate irony in the story:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who will visit India later this week, said the perpetrators of attacks ‘must be brought to justice.’

Maybe if our government officials repeat that mantra often enough, it will happen someday.

Update:

Dec. 2 — AP is reporting now that the U.S. warned the Indian government in advance that the Mumbai attacks would come from the sea.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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