In well co-ordinated and well-planned attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai Islamic militants calling themselves the Deccan Mujahideen have killed many including the anti-trerrorism leader and taken hostages in three buildings including a Jewish hospice in
India's financial centre has been devastated by the attacks at hotels and other places known to have high concentrations of westerners.
Apparently the terrorists examined their hostages passports to select western hostages, allowing Indian citizens to go free.
Several members of the European Parlaiment were safely evacuated during the shooting, in attacks that featured grenades, bombs and machine guns. The exact number of people killed or injured is unknown, but could be as high as 100 dead, several hundred wounded
with more than 100 thought to have been taken hostages.
This developement with passports being usd to single out victims is something the governments need to look at, along with an effective anti-terrorism plan. There isn't one at the moment.
There have been warnings of these and potentially other attacks on the US, UK, Australia, and others and their citizens in the run up to Christmas by identities associated with Osama Bin Laden. New York is currently on higher alert.
One of the major potential threats comes from a new tactic of using smaller, easily manufactured 'sticky' bombs which can easily be placed on cars, buildings, buses and trains etc, and detonated by a mobile telephone call.
I don't think it's a good idea to have a passport system which allows identifying potential victims and I have a few ideas about the mobile part of the terrorist equation. I'd probably give the powers that be a call but I think they assume everyone is in
the 'tin-hat' brigade, because when I emailed the appropriate authorites in regard to another issue of what I thought to be a serious potential risk for London, no-one bothered to answer. I won't mention it here for obvious reasons.
I am very concerned for the people who have been either killed, wounded or lost someone close to them and my prayers are with the families.
Perhaps it's time we did something about it. There are two sides and it will take a little give and take to win hearts and minds, and will only succeed if there is a good plan to discourage potential participants and it should include much better prevention,
without depriving the rest of us of our rights.
We'll have to retake the moral high ground first.