Asked why the terrorists chose to kill people instead of kidnapping them in Mumbai, Adrian Levy, co-author of “The Siege: Three Days of Terror Inside the Taj”, said the event made it to the “global headlines”.
“The fourth largest city in the world was hijacked on television for three days,” he said.
“This grabbed worldwide headlines. Lashkar-e-Taiba succeeded in everything they wanted to do,” he added.
A total of 166 people, including 26 foreigners, were killed in the around 60 hours of mayhem.
Levy also felt the terror attack was a “watershed” moment for India and a benchmark for the next government to safeguard its people.
“It wasn’t just any other event in the history of India, it was a watershed moment.
“And looking at the state of affairs now, I would say India hasn’t learnt from this attack,” he added.
Levy, along with co-author Cathy Scott-Clark, interviewed over 1,000 people for their book and married powerful narrative with facts and observations.
During the conversations, they could sense the “frustration” of Indian security personnel.
“There is a feeling of huge frustration and anger among security personnel in India. There has to be some structuring in the system because what outside perception is doesn’t really match with the reality.”
Levy also discussed in detail about 26/11 planner David Headley’s initial struggle to join hands with the LeT as he was an “unsuitable candidate”.
“You just can’t be a part of LeT as they follow a certain procedure. They have enormous control over education and teaching their ideology, and then comes military training.
“He was wriggling to get into LeT. But they had declared him an unsuitable candidate who was old,” he added.
But then he secured meetings with people who had a different agenda and slowly things fell in place.