Monthly Archives: November 2008

Home Minister Shivraj Patil Resigns After Mumbai Attacks

It seemed inevitable anyway:

Prime Minister Singh accepted the resignation and immediately named Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to take over the Home Ministry post, according to a source in the prime minster’s office.

Singh will add the Finance Ministry to his responsibilities, the source said.

N. Ram, editor-in-chief of The Hindu — a major Indian newspaper — said Patil’s departure was overdue. “This man has been widely criticized for not being up to it and it was simply impossible that he could stay on after this,” Ram said.

The criticism of Patil was “that he has been very slow, that they haven’t delivered in the promise to improve intelligence.”

With general elections mandated by next May “this government is really fighting for its political life,” he said.

The political impact of this attack, within India, is going to be far-reaching and is unlikely to stop here. It will be interesting to see if this pushes them towards a post-9/11 style reorganization.

The Bush Legacy

President Bush on how he’d like to be seen:

“I’d like to be a President (known) as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace; that focused on individuals rather than process; that rallied people to serve their neighbor; that led an effort to help relieve HIV/AIDS and malaria on places like the continent of Africa; that helped elderly people get prescription drugs and Medicare as a part of the basic package; that came to Washington, D.C., with a set of political statements and worked as hard as I possibly could to do what I told the American people I would do,”

There’s more here. Unfortunately, there are very few people who can discuss this topic dispassionately at this time. So much of this is still in flux anyway. Only time will tell if opinions will shift – even slightly.

Penn Station Alert: Al Qaeda Targets Northeast Passenger Rail Systems

It’s not like we haven’t heard these warnings before but events in Mumbai, our economic situation, and this period of significant political transition may prove too tempting for Al Qaeda to pass up:

If Al Qaeda terrorists have their way there will be chaos and mayhem here this holiday season, a mass transit bomb plot that would probably affect all the subway and train lines at Penn and Grand Central stations.

“The threat is serious, the threat is significant, and it is plausible,” said Congressman Peter King, R-Long Island, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Uniformed officers, including this NYPD Counter Terrorism Squad members and Amtrak cops with M-16s, flooded Penn Station Wednesday after the FBI said it had received a “plausible but unsubstantiated” report that Al Qaeda operatives discussed a plan two months ago to bomb New York City’s mass transit system.

The report said: “These discussions reportedly involved the use of suicide bombers or explosives placed on subway/passenger rail systems.”

This warning is a bit unusual in that some information about the source has been released or leaked:

Police sources said the information came from a Pakistani citizen arrested overseas within the past week. Those sources said the target would have been trains arriving at Penn Station.

It’s going to be a long night, a long couple of days really, for our homeland security – public safety folks.