It's a holy war, I tell ya. Pious Muslims celebrate worldwide.
Mumbai, 27 Nov. (AKI) - Al-Qaeda websites on Thursday were swamped with messages from people who were celebrating the devastating Mumbai attacks which have left over 100 people dead and 281 injured. "Oh Allah, destroy the Hindus and do it in the worst of ways," was one of the comments that appeared on Islamist forums on the Internet immediately after the attacks.
"The battle that is underway in Mumbai is a battle for Allah between its servants and the infidels," said another message published on the al-Falluja forum.
Several Al-Qaeda sites also posted several pictures of the victims in Mumbai and provocative statements.
The Legacy of Jihad in India Andrew Bostom
Mumbai gunmen were British Jihadwatch
- British-born Pakistanis among arrested violent muslims
- Commandos storm strongholds to rescue hostages
- Siege continues at Taj hotel as bystanders wounded
- Death toll rises as another 24 bodies found in hotel
- At least five dead hostages found in Jewish Centre
Calm: One of the young gunmen with his weapon, looking for more victims. Indian authorities say two of the arrested militants were British-born Pakistanis
Loss: Bollywood actor Ashish Chaudhary is consoled outside Mumbai's Trident-Oberoi Hotel after learning about his sister's death
Gone: US citizen Alan Scherr and daughter Naomi, pictured with his wife Kia, were killed in Mumbai's Oberoi hotel. They were in India with religious group Synchronicity Foundation, which was hosting a meditation program at the hotel
Mumbai officials say more than 155 people in total have now died in the attacks. Another 370 were wounded.
Terror: Indian special forces prepare to take back the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai
The tragic figures include the bodies of another five hostages who were found dead inside the Nariman House Jewish Centre this afternoon after commandos finally secured the building.
Two militants were also killed. It is not known whether the Rabbi and his wife who were believed to be among the hostages are dead or alive.
Around 20 masked officers had raided the centre this morning, dropping from helicopters onto the roof, in an operation dubbed Operation Black Tornado.
Hours of heavy fighting ensued as they moved from floor after floor. As dusk fell, there was a massive explosion and it appeared to be over.
Air rescue: A commando drops to the roof of Mumbai's Jewish centre and below, officers span out ready to storm the building
Across the city at the Oberoi Hotel, the siege ended when two militants were shot dead.
Rescued: A British man is led to safety from the Oberoi Trident Hotel today and below, another guest emerges clutching a tiny baby
Foreigners from Japan, Australia, Italy and Germany and one Briton - tycoon Andreas Liveras - have already been confirmed as among the victims.
At least eight Britons were injured and there are fears the British toll could yet rise further as more and more buildings are made stable and searched.
Earlier, one commando revealed he had seen around 50 bodies littering the Taj hotel floor after special officers stormed the building and rescued hundreds of guests.
Clad in black, with a mask covering his face, the unit chief said: 'There was blood all over the bodies. The bodies were strewn here and there and we had to be careful as we entered the building to avoid further bloodshed of innocent civilians.'
The terrorists had seemed like young, ordinary men but had clearly been very well trained, he said.
'They were wearing T-shirts, just ordinary looking, but they have definitely been trained to use weapons. There is no way they could handle such weapons without being taught how to.'
Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were believed to be inside the Jewish centre where the bodies of five hostages were found
It is thought they gained entrance to the hotels by pretending to be staff and hotel guests, according to reports.
Indian commandos have recovered credit cards and the militants' ID cards as well as seizing a vast arsenal of grenades, AK-47 magazines, shells and knives.
Desperate: A hostage at the Oberoi peeks out of his window during the siege
There has been speculation that a British Al Qaeda suspect reportedly killed by a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan last weekend may have helped plot the attacks.
Rashid Rauf was among five killed in a missile attack in a tribal area in North Waziristan on Saturday.
Security sources believe that at the time of his death Rauf had been planning a major attack on Western targets.
On the hunt: Two muslims brandishing automatic weapons and below, the scene of carnage they left behind at the main train station
The bloody drama which began on Wednesday night has now lasted more than two days. The targets across the city were:
- The Oberoi Hotel, in the commercial district. Its restaurant was bustling with diners, many of them tourists;
- Also attacked was the Leopold restaurant, a haunt of the city's art crowd.
As the fanatics sprayed the packed cafe, diners fled in terror;
- Some of the worst scenes were at the major railway station. As they entered
the Gothic Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, once named after Queen Victoria, the
gunmen were smiling. With an astonishing air of casualness, the terrorists
started to shoot. Within seconds the concourse was a bloodbath. People lay
screaming on the floor;
- A further prestigious target was the 105-year-old Taj Mahal Palace and Tower
- More hostages were taken at the nearby Chabad House, headquarters for an ultra-orthodox Jewish group. A rabbi was among those held.
About 15 police officers were killed, including the head of Mumbai's anti-terrorism unit.
The attack on the train station had echoes of previous terror outrages.
In July 2006 more than 180 people were killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai that were blamed on Islamist militants.