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Remembering Mumbai Attacks

Aired November 26, 2009 - 12:00   ET


STAN GRANT, CNN INT'L. ANCHOR, PRISM (voice over): One year later, residents remember the attacks.

And in our "Prism Segment" Indian authorities improve and change their security but is it enough to prevent a repeat of the terror?

Plus, decades of abuse, an expert commission delivers a 700-page report to Ireland. In it details about who is to blame for covering up the exploitation of children.

(On camera): From CNN Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates, this is PRISM, where we take a story and look at it from multiple perspectives. I'm Stan Grant.

A year after the deadly terror attacks in Mumbai, the city marked the occasion with mourning and ceremony. No one there will forget November 26, 2008, when a small army of terrorists besieged the city for a day and a half. When it was over at least 160 people were dead and Mumbai was forever changed by this specter of terrorism.

Now, as the memorial ceremonies come to an end we go now to Sara Sidner, who is standing by now, in Mumbai to give us a sense of what people there are feeling now.

So, paint that picture for us, Sara. A year on, just how is this being commemorated?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Well, just last year at this time the Taj behind me was on fire and the siege was underway and things are quite different today, as you mentioned. The memorial, right next to the Taj, right in front of the Gateway of India, here in Mumbai.

And there were people from several different faiths who were expressing their solidarity, who were expressing their sorrow for those who lost their lives during those attacks. But this wasn't the only place where there was a memorial going on, a remembrance going on. Across many of the 10 different places that were terrorized that night, there was something going on. People wanted to show that they want to remember, but also that they can get past it. That they can move on. That Mumbai can move forward.

And certainly, the city is buzzing like it always has. Nothing has stopped here. But people have taken a moment to remember and to give their respects to those who lost their lives that day on November 26, 2008, Stan.

GRANT: Sarah, thank you very much for that.

Now, a little later in our "Prism Segment", we'll go back to Sarah Sidner in Mumbai. We'll take a look at what changes Indian authorities have made to improve security since last year's attacks.

Now, we go to the Philippines and a high-profile arrest in connection with Monday's massacre. A local mayor has been charged with multiple counts of murder. Andal Ampatuan, Jr., is a member of a prominent political family with ties to the Philippine president. He denies involvement. At least 57 people were killed when armed gunmen attacked a convoy carrying family members, journalists, and supporters of a rival politician. They were on their way to file paperwork for next year's governor's race. Earlier we spoke to journalist Steve Lunt, from Manila.


STEVE LUNT, JOURNALIST IN PHILIPPINES: The governor and municipal mayor in Maguindanao have been relieved of their command of the police forces and there are hundreds of militiamen in that area that have also been disarmed. But many of the suspects who are responsible for this massacre have disappeared into the mountains. It is mountainous region down there. And the police are saying that they are still pursuing a number of people they believe were responsible for the attack.


GRANT: The killings are being called the worst politically motivated violence in recent Philippine history.

Two newly freed journalists are leaving Somalia today for the first time in 15 months. Canadian Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brenan of Australia were released Wednesday. They were kidnapped by militia men in August of 2008, just days after arriving in Somalia. Reports indicate a ransom was paid for their release.

Germany's top military man has lost his job over a September NATO air strike in Afghanistan that killed civilians. General Wolfgang Schneiderhan resigned after a report that he knew innocents could be killed when a field commander ordered an air strike in Kunduz Province, November 4. NATO has acknowledged that dozens of civilians were killed in that air strike.

A new report says the Roman Catholic Church in Dublin covered up decades of child abuse by priests in order to protect the reputation of the church. Atika Shubert joins us now from CNN London, with the details.

Atika, this report finding that the protection and safety of children was not a priority, how has it been received?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: No, it is in fact being received well by some, that say it is good that it has finally become public. But victims say it is not enough. That those who covered up for these alleged abuses should be brought to justice, as well as the perpetrators of that abuse.

Basically, the report lays out - looks at 46 sample cases of priests allegedly who were abusers and looks at how the church responded to that, particularly the Archdiocese of Dublin. And over the last three decades, basically, church officials covered up and lied about these allegations of abuse; either ignoring these allegations or failing to report it to authorities, or in some cases, even simply moving accusing priests on to another parish, giving them the opportunity to abuse a new group of children. So, it really is a very damaging report.

It is also interesting to note, that the report specifically blames four archbishops for mishandling these cases of alleged child abuse.

And the Archdiocese of Dublin has just in the last few minutes now released a statement from Cardinal Desmond Connell, the predecessor archbishop, before, that says he bitterly regrets any failings he committed and has apologized from his heart for the mistakes made while he was archbishop in Dublin.

GRANT: Atika, thank you very much for that. Atika Shubert joining us live there from London.

Now, the world's leading producer of greenhouse gases is promising to cut the carbon. China vows to reduce carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 percent to 45 percent, compared with its 2005 level, over the next decade. Because of economic growth, total emissions will still likely grow. Chinese Premier Wen Jaibao will also attend next month's U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagan.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Mr. Wen's attendance will, quote, "fully demonstrate the great importance the Chinese government attaches to the issue.

A security breach at the White House is making headlines in the U.S. A couple from Northern Virginia somehow crashed Tuesday night's state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Tareq and Michaela Salahi, then posted the pictures to prove it on Facebook. They slipped past a Secret Service checkpoint to rub elbows with the White House chief of staff and even the vice president.


ROXANNE ROBERTS, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": They are not at all political. So to see them walk in there, I thought to myself, oh, my goodness, I wonder how they snagged an invitation to the most exclusive state dinner and the first of the Obama administration?


GRANT: Now the Secret Service confirmed it is investigating the breach. A spokeswoman for the couple says the pair had full clearance to attend the dinner.

Preventing another terror attack is on top of everyone's mind in Mumbai. In tonight's "Prism Segment" we'll look at the changes Indian authorities have made to improve security and ask whether the country is indeed safer.

And the cooling rains are gone, now Muslim pilgrims are dealing with a different obstacle, on one of the holiest days of the Hajj.


GRANT: Welcome back.

Our top story, India is remembering 26/11, the terror attacks in Mumbai, one year ago. One question people are asking, is the country safer one year later? In our "Prism Segment" today we take a look at some of the many answers to that question. Sara Sidner, now, with some perspective.


SIDNER (voice over): These are the machines, men, and weapons Mumbai now has the next time terror descends on the city. But on November 26, 2008, Mumbai police were outgunned by 10 men, with one plan, to bring the city to its knees.


The gunmen spread out, some stole a police vehicle, spraying bullets from the windows as they headed for their final destinations. That night, Sub Inspector Tukara Omble was on duty. After watching the unnerving scenes on television his daughter had given him this advice.

VISHALI OMBLE, DAUGHTER OF VICTIM: When I spoke to him last, I told him not to charge ahead, and not to be brave, she says. He said, OK.

SIDNER (On camera): But he did just the opposite. Right here, under this Mumbai underpass, Assistant Sub Inspector Omble, armed with only a stick, charged terror suspect Ajmal Kasab, who was inside of a car, armed with an AK-47.

"He had only a stick," says his colleague, who was with him the night it all went down.

In India only police above a certain rank carry arms.

He and our team had one goal, which was to keep the terrorists from getting past our barricades. To stop them. He jumped on the terrorists, with only a stick. And because of his actions, we were all saved and Kasab was captured alive.

Kasab turned out to be the only suspect captured alive.

This grainy closed-circuit TV video shows pictures of the day Assistant Sub Inspector Omble did his duty and died for it. Police say he managed to grab Kasab, but eventually the suspect emptied all the bullets left in his AK-47 into Omble. That made it possible for the other officers on the scene to capture Kasab, and hail Omble a hero.

My youngest sister says, God should send him back, because he did such a brave thing. When she realizes that this cannot happen she just keeps crying. So, instead, the family clings to what they have left, his badge, the awards for his actions, and all the memories, but none of that can fill the emptiness of his absence.


GRANT: Sara Sidner joins us live now, from Mumbai.

Sara, just looking at your story there, you mentioned a couple of things. Police were outgunned last year, but also looking at the bravery of some police.

In that past year, what has been done to better train, better equip police to deal with an attack like this?

SIDNER: There have been several things done on several fronts. One, you saw some of those vehicles there, at the very beginning of the story. And that was from today and yesterday. And Mumbai police were showing off some the items that they have purchased, that they now have, such as armored cars. They also have some boats that they purchased here, and that have been in the water, actually, outside of the events today, as well as weapons.

But there are some issues still, Stan. There has been some training of police officers. There is a new task force that is here specifically to deal with any kind of terrorist attack. But in talking to some of the police officers family members, for example, the family we just highlighted, basically they were saying they wish that some of this money would have been spent before and that officers would have had the tools they needed to fight terror. So that they didn't have to die for it, Stan.

GRANT: Sara, speaking to ordinary people, obviously this is still very fresh in their minds. Do you get the sense that people believe that they are safer, that the police would be able to protect them in case of an attack like this again?

SIDNER: I think there is a sense of hope there. They hope that the police will be able to protect them in the event of another attack. But I think there is also a sense of skepticism. People know that at any given moment something can happen and there isn't all that much communication, for example, between the departments. That still needs to happen. A lot of bureaucracy that goes on here, and it goes on in other countries, as well. This is absolutely not an exception.

But I think people feel like they are hoping that if there is ever an event like this, again, that police would be better armed, be better trained, and able to deal with it. But still a little bit of skepticism there, as well, Stan.

GRANT: Sara, thank you very much for that. Sara Sidner, joining us live there, from Mumbai.

Now, Indian authorities say Mumbai has improved its security in the year since the attack, as you heard there from Sara.

According to "The New York Times" Maharashtra, the state where Mumbai is located, has spent about $28 million on new weapons, equipment and training for police. The city has added teams of heavily armed, highly trained commandos. It has created new procedures for police, for any future attacks. The government has also buying some 80 boats and planes and hiring 3,000 more people for the national coast guard.

India's prime minister speaking more broadly of the threat from terrorists, says, they will not succeed.


MANMOHAN SINGH, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA: The attack in Mumbai was a calculated attempt by forces outside of our country to destabilize our secular politic, create communal discord, and undermine the country's economic and social progress. Such forces should have no doubt that they will fail in their nefarious attacks.


GRANT: Now India and Pakistan, of course, have worked very closely on the investigation. And Pakistan has arrested some seven suspects connected with those attacks. Some critics, though, say despite the expenditures and resolve, India has not done enough. "The Hindu" newspaper reports "India does not have adequate number of experts in training special weapons and tactics units, as well as other emergency response teams."

"Nor does it have a national program to redress this capability deficit."

"The Times of India" in an editorial, writes, "There is an absence of comfort at how we might deal with another terrorist blitzkrieg." The opinion piece entitled, "Sitting Ducks" calls "The government's responses far from reassuring." And claims the "police force still remains ill- equipped and unfit to battle terror."

So, I want to know what you think. Is India safer one year on, could it better handle a terrorist attack? You can send me a Tweet, to StanGrantCNN.

Dubai World has made a stunning plea to its creditors and investors are worried. Could a crisis sink those famous man-made isles? We will hear from the host of "Marketplace Middle East".

And in New York, an American tradition on parade. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated.


GRANT: Nervous investors are keeping a close eye on Dubai. That is after a big sign of trouble from the company behind one of the most aggressive real estate developments in the world. For all the details on that we are joining in CNN London by the host of CNN "MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST" John Defterios.

John, we're talking about almost $60 billion of debt. They are looking for a delay on repayments of about six months. And some are actually talking, not delay, but default. Just how serious is this?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN ANCHOR, MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST: Well, Stan, I think you hit the nail on the head, here. There are two views of this situation. In Dubai, they were asking for a pause in the payments, for up to six months. And the definition in the international markets is that that raises the scope for a default.

So, we are looking at one entity, Dubai World and its property arm, Nakheel, which has been a primary player in Dubai for the last 10 years, in fact, the last 20 years in the development of Emirate, behind the Palm Jumeirah properties, behind the World properties, of course. And now, they are looking at a scope here of $3.5 billion payment that was due in mid December. That is not going to happen.

The market was very confused, Stan, because the Dubai government raised $5 billion just yesterday from two Abu Dhabi banks. And many thought that $5 billion would allocated to Dubai World. I think it is an effort by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to say let's separate the different entities right now. Let's really see what is at the bottom of their books and before we start going good money after bad, let's hit the pause button. The only problem is this was not translated to international investors and the reaction has been very poor indeed.

GRANT: John, you mentioned a word there, "confused". And I think that is how many people are seeing this. There wasn't enough warning. This announcement has come just before the four-day Eid holiday. And it really goes to confidence, doesn't it? People being confident enough in Dubai's future and being able to meet all of its debt?

DEFTERIOS: Yes, in fact, prior to this announcement, Stan, I would say it was all green lights for the last few months. Jus a month ago, Dubai put a bond offering on the market and it was two to three times over subscribed. And they were making the payments. So, everybody thought, basically, the next hurdle was going to be this mid-December payment. And that's not going to happen now. So, they have stumbled. And it is a game of confidence. But, again, as you say, you need to kind of lay the markers out and tell people what you are doing.

Sheikh Mohammed and a whole entourage was here in London this week, with Prime Minister Gordon Brown. And he was complimenting Sheikh Mohammed for dealing with the debt challenges and seeing the UEA recovery. And then literally 48 hours later you get this news. And people are like, whoa, hold on a second. We thought we were on the track, not only for the 2009 payments, but for 2010 as well. Don't forget between now and December 2010 they have some $15 billion of debt to service. And that is the big question mark now.

GRANT: Yes, OK, but right next door is Abu Dhabi, massive sovereign world fund. I think the biggest in the world. Big oil reserves. How much of a part will Abu Dhabi play in bailing out Dubai, if you want to see it that way? Supporting Dubai?

DEFTERIOS: OK, so far they have picked up the $10 billion bond offering in February 2009. They offered another $5 billion just yesterday to the Dubai government with the purchase of those bonds coming through two Abu Dhabi banks. What happened to the other $5 is still unclear right now. But you are correct. It is the largest sovereign fund in the world. Better than a trillion dollars. A little bit more if you add the other seven funds that they have put together in the last two years. But they, again, don't want to be pouring good money after bad. And I think that is the effort here, of Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai. To say, look, I'm going to go step by step. We have a global accounting and consultancy firm, Deloitte, looking at Dubai World's debt. It is $60 billion of our $80 billion. And before we throw more money at it, I'd like to get to the bottom of the pile and see what is there.

Again, the only problem is they want to string this together to make sure it is smooth sailing here, and not a number of question marks going into next year.

GRANT: So, basically wait and see. John, you always manage to shine light into this. It is a pleasure to speak to you, as always.


GRANT: You can see John Defterios this weekend for CNN's "MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST", Friday night 23:45, in Abu Dhabi. 20:45 in Central Europe.

Now, the Hajj has reached what many Muslims consider its spiritual climax. Throngs of faithful climbed Mount Arafat to pray where the Prophet Mohammed is believed to have delivered his final sermon. Next comes the Ritual Stoning of the Devil, on Friday.

Well pilgrims taking part in the Hajj in Saudi Arabia are dealing with some scorching heat. There was rain earlier. Let's to go Lola Martinez for a look at the global weather picture.

Hi, Lola.


Yes, indeed they dealt with a heavy rain. Now it is hot and humid conditions. Still a few sprinkles, in fact, across northern, northeastern parts of Saudi Arabia. We are seeing mainly the clouds, the rain. We are going to see about a 20 to 30 percent chance of scattered showers. But things are actually going to clearing out nicely. It is going to be the heat that will prevail throughout the weekend. We are going to see not much in terms of big changes.

If you are traveling in and out of the United States, we are seeing a rather pleasant Thanksgiving Day. Just a few trouble spots across parts of the Midwest. We saw some rain into the region, and into Chicago as well. But it is the Northeast, in fact, the Thanksgiving Macy's Parade, here in New York, so beautiful a day.

We can actually see it here. And I do want to end this segment with this. From a small band of Macy's employees gathered in 1924 to commemorate the holiday season, to a tradition that has delighted millions for generations. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York is an icon of American popular culture. And here is Santa Clause to end it all. Which is the unofficial sign of the beginning of the Christmas season.

Great weather, as you can see. And Happy Thanksgiving to all of those celebrating, Stan.

GRANT: Lola, thank you very much for that. It is all go.

And that's it for me, Stan Grant in Abu Dhabi. "VITAL SIGNS" coming up next, after we update the headlines.