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'Systemic failure' led to Mumbai attacks: Indian navy PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 December 2008

NEW DELHI, Dec 02 ( - The Indian navy said a "systemic failure" of security and intelligence services led to the Islamist militant attacks in Mumbai that killed 183 people, PTI news agency reported on Tuesday.

India's police, coast guard and intelligence communities are pointing fingers over whether information existed that could have been acted on to prevent the three-day rampage in the financial hub.

"There is perhaps a (gap) that exists and we will work to sort this out. There is a systemic failure which needs to be taken stock of," navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said at a press conference.

Intelligence sources told the NDTV news channel they had issued a series of warnings of a possible attack on Mumbai by sea in the months leading up to last week's strike.

The latest, warning that the "sea wing" of Pakistani-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was planning to attack, was issued just eight days before, the Indian TV channel said.

Mehta promised the government would give an adequate response to the militant attacks, adding the navy had not received any "actionable" information which could have prevented the attack, PTI reported.

Fishermen, who are sometimes seen as the eyes and ears of the coast guard in India, said the government had ignored their warnings four months ago about militants using sea routes to land RDX explosives in Mumbai with help from the city's underworld.

Many Indians have expressed anger at apparent intelligence lapses and a slow reaction by security forces to the attacks against Mumbai's two best-known luxury hotels and other landmarks in the city of 18 million.

Mehta called for better coordination among intelligence and security agencies, and said the government was aware of the public outcry and debate that followed the Mumbai attacks, PTI reported.

"We are fully conscious of it and the debate. The point is it is a serious issue ... a serious matter of security."


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