What the Mumbai Attacks Say About the City and Travel Security

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  12.01.08 | 12:15 PM ET

imagePhoto of Taj Mahal Palace by Laertes via Flickr,  (Creative Commons).

Like everyone, I spent the last few days following updates on the horrible terrorist attacks that killed nearly 200 people, including 18 foreigners, in Mumbai. A couple of articles published in recent days have struck me. In an op-ed in the New York Times, Suketu Mehta explained why Mumbai, of all Indian cities, is an appealing target for terrorists.

“Mumbai is all about dhandha, or transaction,” Mehta writes. “From the street food vendor squatting on a sidewalk, fiercely guarding his little business, to the tycoons and their dreams of acquiring Hollywood, this city understands money and has no guilt about the getting and spending of it.”

It’s odd, I know, but the piece brought to mind these Mumbai-meets-West sneakers I saw earlier this year in London. Something tells me the terrorists wouldn’t approve.

Another particularly noteworthy piece, I thought, was this look at what the attacks mean for luxury hotels around the world. They’ve become key targets, writes Keith Bradsher, and the prognosis isn’t good:

“[H]otel executives and security experts say that little can be done to stop extensively trained gunmen with military assault rifles and grenades who launch attacks.”

2 Comments for What the Mumbai Attacks Say About the City and Travel Security

Jack from eyeflare travel tips 12.01.08 | 2:00 PM ET

This attack in particular, even more so than Bali or the ones in Egypt a while back, worries me. Those experts are unfortunately correct, there’s not much that can be done about dedicated military style assaults like this. I suppose that traveling more covertly, and blending in, will be more important now than it’s ever been. One thing’s for sure, India’s economy will be hurt by it, and its image even more so.

Grizzly Bear Mom 12.02.08 | 2:37 PM ET

The images of the ?Indian? nanny risking her life to save the Rabbi’s son brings both the herorism and the horror of this tragedy to a fine point.  For those who say Muslims don’t speak against such atrocities please see the statement from Imam Shabir Ally http://www.shmuley.com/articles.php?id=804

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