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Context of 'October 2008: Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai Receives Warning of Possible Attack, Increases Security'

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The Taj Majal Palace & Towers hotel in Mumbai is warned about the possibility of an attack, according to Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, which owns the hotel. The hotel takes the warning seriously and heightens security measures. Tata will state, “People couldn’t park their cars in the portico where you had to go through a metal detector.” Tata will also minimize the usefulness of the warning received, saying: “[I]f I look at what we had—which all of us complained about—it could not have stopped what took place. They didn’t come through that entrance.” [CNN, 11/30/2008]
Other Witness to Heightened Security States It Will Be Lowered before Attacks - A. Vaidyanathan, an economist and member of the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India who is a frequent guest at the hotel, stays there this month and will be there when the attacks begin on November 26 (see November 26-29, 2008). Following the attacks, Vaidyanathan will tell the The Hindu newspaper: “The last time I went, last month, there was very tight security. You could not get into the [Taj] Palace. There is an entrance there, which is closed. At the entrance to the tower, they had two-level security. First, when you enter the open parking, where the cars are parked, you had a very heavy metal frame, your baggage was searched.… At the entrance of the foyer, there was another metal detector and you were personally searched and so on.” He will return in November (see Before November 26, 2008) and notice these security measures are no longer in place: “This time I noticed it had gone. We could go straight to the Palace,” he will later recall. [The Hindu, 11/29/2008]

Entity Tags: Tata Group, A. Vaidyanathan, Ratan Tata

Timeline Tags: 2008 Mumbai Attacks

Security is lowered at the Taj Majal Palace & Towers hotel in Mumbai shortly before attacks occur there. According to a frequent guest of the hotel, economist and member of the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India A. Vaidyanathan, security was tightened during the time he was a guest at the hotel in October (see October 2008), but is relaxed when he returns shortly before the attacks, which begin on November 26 (see November 26-29, 2008). Vaidyanathan will tell The Hindu newspaper that when he arrives at the hotel for his November stay, the heightened security measures he noticed in October are gone. These measures had included restrictions on parking in front of the hotel, metal detectors, and searches of baggage and persons. Ratan Tata, chairman of the company that owns the hotel, will say the hotel had received a warning about a possible attack, and had increased security in response (see October 2008). [The Hindu, 11/29/2008]

Entity Tags: A. Vaidyanathan, Tata Group, Ratan Tata

Timeline Tags: 2008 Mumbai Attacks

Terrorists associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba attack 11 different locations in Mumbai, India, including eight in South Mumbai: the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace & Towers hotel, the Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Nariman House Jewish community centre, the Metro Cinema, a street behind the Times of India building, and St. Xavier’s College. The attackers continue their assault over a three-day period, taking some hostages after shooting many outright and setting off explosive devices. [FoxNews.com, 11/26/2008; Times of India, 11/29/2008] Over 160 people are killed and close to 300 are wounded. [Bloomberg, 12/6/2008]

Entity Tags: Lashkar-e-Taiba

Timeline Tags: 2008 Mumbai Attacks

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