A Conversation With: Author Adrian Levy

Majid Maqbool interviews Adrian Levy, co-author of “The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel”: NYT

adrian_cathyIn 9/11 and 7/11 [the July 11, 2006, train bombings in Mumbai] much was known. The protagonists, some of them, were being tailed. And yet both calamities occurred. Knowing and preventing are two different things. But the lack of care is palpable. There was inadequate development of intelligence, certainly, and the police, when they tried, in July 2008, were positively lambasted and stymied.

There are other more worrying disasters. The police could have gone in early and caught out the gunmen on the sixth and then fifth floors. The fidayeens quad had made a tactical error in bedding down in two rooms, first on the sixth and then the floor below. Here they could have been shut down before they acclimatized to the Taj. However, the police commissioner declined to allow the operation despite the protests of his men inside the hotel. Instead, he ordered the men stand down until the N.S.G. [National Security Guard] arrived, which, as we now know, was 12 hours later.

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