Committee on Homeland Security Looks to Draw Lessons from Mumbai Terrorist Attacks
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing to examine the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks and determine what lessons can be learned from the event to help bolster American efforts to confront the threat of global terrorism.
In his opening remarks before the Committee, United States Senator Michael Bennet urged intelligence and law enforcement officials at all levels of government to work together to meet the evolving threat of global terrorism and keep Americans safe from future terrorist attacks.
The full text of Senator Bennet's opening remarks, as prepared for delivery, are included below:
"Good morning. Thank you, Chairman Lieberman and Ranking Member Collins for holding this hearing. I respect the leadership you both have exercised over this committee, and I am honored to be its newest member. In addition, I'd like to thank our witnesses for being here today for this second hearing on the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
"I would first like to offer my condolences to the families of all 172 victims of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. As someone who spent some time in India during my youth, I was particularly troubled by these senseless attacks, and I sympathize with all those who have been affected by these acts of terrorism.
"The attacks on Mumbai involved new tactics and new technology designed to inflict maximum damage on the public. We have learned that the attacks employed uniquely coordinated teams of attackers, targeting multiple and changing locations - a departure from past suicide bomber attacks. They used cell phones and GPS, and, throughout the 62-hour ordeal, the attackers remained in contact with remote ‘handlers.' In addition, the attackers targeted hotels and other public locations-‘soft targets' known for tourism and commerce.
"As we examine what happened in Mumbai, we know that we cannot sit back and simply hope it will never happen again. It is the unfortunate reality of our time that groups of extremists are bent on destroying the safety, security, and ideals America and her partners hold dear.
"Armed with the hope that we will one day defeat these terrorists, we must do everything we can to keep our country safe. As we study the trends used in the attack in Mumbai and elsewhere, I hope we can help develop a set of best practices for intelligence authorities, local law enforcement officials, and private businesses in the U.S., India, and other countries that will help us make the world a safer place."