Could Terrorists Launch a Mumbai-Style Attack in the United States?
“Recently, I was asked to prepare testimony for a congressional hearing examining the possibility that an armed terrorist attack – similar to the 2008 attack that killed 162 people in Mumbai – could happen in the United States.
As I was preparing my remarks, a 23-year-old man dressed in black and carrying high-powered weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition was engaged in a deadly shooting spree at Santa Monica College, just blocks from my office. Five people died.
The event provided the latest evidence that the means of an armed terrorist attack are certainly available in the United States. We’ve seen it over and over again, in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; on the campus of Virginia Tech, to name just a few.
Although these killings involved a single shooter without a terror agenda, they demonstrate that one person, with little or no training, can acquire and effectively use firearms to achieve high body counts. A review of the most deadly mass killings in the United States, going back to the Columbine High School murders in 1999, show that an average of 15 people died per attack. That’s close to what each of the trained terrorist teams achieved in Mumbai.”