Islamic State terrorists had “studied” the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and similar “active shooter scenarios” to maximise confusion and casualties before hitting multiple locations in Paris in November, UN member- states have said.
The 18th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team submitted to the UN Security Council’s 1267 ISIS, Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee said the modus operandi that IS operatives demonstrated while conducting multiple, nearly simultaneous attacks, such as in Paris and Brussels, presents particular problems in terms of security response.
“Member-States explained that that was a deliberate tactic in order to make it more difficult to mount coordinated and targeted responses to the most dangerous continuing threats,” the report said.
They said the November 13, 2015 terror attacks targeting a sports stadium, restaurants and a concert hall in Paris were fashioned on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack as well as on the Nairobi mall assault.
“The attacks in Paris in November 2015 were described by member-states as ‘optimised Mumbai-style attacks’ demonstrating that the terrorists had studied previous ‘active shooter scenarios’, such as the attacks in Mumbai, India, and at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, and learned lessons about how to maximise confusion and casualties,” it said.
At least 130 people were killed in the Paris attacks and hundreds wounded, while the Mumbai attacks, carried out by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba killed more than 160 people.
According to various member-states, given that during attacks such as that on the Bataclan theatre in Paris the perpetrators’ apparent aim was to cause fatalities as swiftly as possible, it is essential for security forces to take action quickly, the report said.
“Such a scenario is not, however, part of the standard response of some law enforcement agencies to hostage situations. Traditionally, security forces seek to buy time to negotiate with perpetrators to secure the release of hostages.
“Consequently, member-states pointed out that those in command and those providing policy approval should be briefed in advance on the limited options available to ensure that response teams are able to engage the terrorists quickly to halt the killing as soon as possible,” it said.
The report also said several leaders of the Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), including some of Indian- origin, are not listed under the UN as designated terrorists. Member-states assess the number of Al-Qaida operatives in Afghanistan with ties to AQIS could be as high as 300.
“The group consists mainly of militants from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Maldives,” it said.
According to member-states, supporters of Al-Qaida in Afghanistan joined AQIS, headed by Indian-origin Maulana Asim Umar, who is not listed.
Osama Mehmood, the group’s spokesperson, Umar Khattab, responsible for the region in the east of Waziristan in Pakistan and Umair Afzal Rana, head of media and propaganda are also not subject to asset and travel bans.
(With agency input)