Mumbai Attacks: Bombay First Conference @ The Trident - Tape 4
Duration: 00:52:04; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 9.900; Saturation: 0.133; Lightness: 0.268; Volume: 0.139; Cuts per Minute: 4.360; Words per Minute: 91.382
Summary: Two months after the terrible attacks on our city, a gathering of businessmen, security experts, and politicos meet at the same hotel where gunmen had created havoc.
In the quickly renovated chambers of the Regal Room in The Trident, a 6 hour session takes place where much is discussed - terrorism, surveillance, National ID Cards, higher spending on security and tighter centralization of information gathering networks. The Panel of Experts included the deputy mayor of London, a member of the US 9/11 Commission, a US Dept. of Homeland Security advisor, the head of Security for Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific, a former member of NATO Security, and several counter-terrorism experts. From India, it brought together politicians, a former NSG commando, faces from corporate India, and from the media - Gerson DaCunha and Burkha Dutt. The audience included prominent Indian businessmen, heads of security companies, a member of the Shin Bet, and people from 'concerned civil society'.
Such meetings are usually held in five-star hotels behind close doors with members of the public not having a chance to interact with or interrogate arguments made. We see putting this footage in pad.ma as a way to open up arguments and trajectories, moving away from a totalizing discourse around 'terrorism'... annotations are welcome because slowing down the pace of the discourse and examining it in detail and critically might be our only answer to the media juggernaut.
Trident Hotel, Nariman Point
Mr. Chandra: ...So many companies in India have something to contribute.
Michael was talking about evacuation drills, etc. - we were affected in 9/11 and now we have been running drills religiously every year to ensure a future event is taken care of.
Richard Barnes: In London, two examples - one was intelligence, the other ordinary people.
Second was outside a nightclub in London called tiger-Tiger - a Mercedes was parked outside. It was full of gas canisters, etc. It was a mobile bomb. An ambulance man saw what he thought was smoke coming out. He saw the gas canisters, called the police, and the police saw that and another one just down the road.
There are these two, and many others.
Mr. Chandra: These practices exist, within the corporate world but we need to share them - with implementation, we can't take our foot off the pedal. NY had a terrible event, and they have not had an event like that again - kudos to them. Yesterday there was a plane that crashed into the Hudson River and co-ordianted response services across various arms of the federal and state govt, were there within 7 minutes, and not a life was lost, which is amazing.
Mr. Chandra: We must force the govt. to run drills as corporate citizens and actively participate in them. If we raise the level of dialogue, it will get respect - police, fire-fighters, public health workers, are treated as second-class citizens, and we have ourselves to blame for that. If we all come forward and have an active dialogue, we will see change.
Anil Dharker: Question to Richard and Emily - who should take the lead in co-ordinating different sectors, who sustains this getting together, and puts a system in place?
Richard: What we've instituted in London is a number of structures where there is a chief person - in London we have 32 burroughs - the chief executives of the London burroughs are responsible for what happens within their own area.
Richard Barnes: However, when there is an incident, it is very clear that the person in charge is the Commisioner of Police for London, not the mayor. He is the one who takes active operational decisions for responding to the incident. Everyone else under him - we call silver or bronze, depending where they are - he is in charge. He must ensure that he doesn't overplay his hand and be the constant lead for everything.
Richard Barnes: On 7/7, at about 10:30am, the commissioner had a big press conference and the advice he gave to everybody at that time was - Go in, stay in, tune in. Listen to the radio, watch the television, it'll give you the advice to what's happening. That advice was run at 5:30, 6 in the afternoon, because the commissioner of police had given that advice, therefore only he could change it. At 2 in the afternoon, schools closed and all children aged 5 to 16 were sent home, while their parents were at work. So children were roaming the streets of London.
Richard Barnes: The real clarity of decision making was also absent then. We have emergency laws enacted by the govt. - it mentions the Salvation Army 96 times - it doesn't mention the Mayor once. I'm sure the mayor would want to play the Guiliani role, the voice of calm, the voice of confidance, the voice of pulling the people together in an event. On 7/7, the mayor was in Singapore and there wasn't a natural replacement for the mayor. Once we have the operational clarity, we don't have the figurehead clarity yet.
Emily: I think in the US it varies by city as to who's in control and how it works. Obviously, the cities that have the biggest risk for an all-hazard situation or terror attack have their stories together better than other cities. In corporate circles, the processes are more formalized. Particularly in the financial sector, different groups coming together, they have a protocol among themselves - security officers from companies get information from federal and state authorities in very organized, defined protocol, because the communication is really quite critical. Mike, do you want to add ..?
Michael Berkowitz: That's right, in the US, it varies - NY has an advantage - Mayor of New York has 5 burroughs, and has very strong command and control. I'd like to go back just to this idea of taking initiative or 2 and actually making it happen. Biting off a little piece. Clearly there is a lot to work on. Maybe we should challenge ourselves right here to implement an info-sharing program - both within the pvt. sector and with the police. I would like to see it - South Mumbai is an okay place to start, but so many people come from the suburbs - so many offices are in Andheri, Saki Naka.
Michael Berkowitz: Security directors now do share information, but in a very ad-hoc way. If we say we're going to have this in place in a couple of months, this is not particularly difficult. All of you corporate leaders out there support your security or continuity people to get involved in this. You can start small and share information but as you get more advanced, you strengthen the protocols so it gets better and better - we expect the police to feed us some info, and us feed the police some information. Maybe Bombay First should co-ordinate this.
D. M. Sukhtankar: A stray thought came to my mind - we've been having the marathon every year with the co-operation of the govt, society, corporates, etc. I don't want to make it a ritual, but some kind of event or some kind of movement on a particular day with participation of all stake-holders in the city where you devote yourself to create and sustain awareness amongst the people about dealing with emergency, a sense of preparedness and maybe some drills you can have in your respective organization. This will sustain momentum, year after year, and make it part of our system. This was just a stray thought that came to my mind.
D. M. Sukhtankar: Second point is that you already have something like a task force - the state govt. has also setup a citizens council of some sort with 65 people. There is a need for some kind of forum or institutional mechanism where people from different walks of life come together and sit across from people in govt. and take a review of short-term, medium, and long-term measures and progress made in implementation. That forum has got to be made more active and not to be just one meeting in six months or a year. Generally one meeting is held and thereafter that meetings don't take place. This has to become part of the system, a regular exercise, where the citizens also know and there ism ore information sharing and more pooling of resources for actually implementing the agenda decided upon.
Anil Dharker: Thank you lady and gentlemen, and I think it is time for lunch.
Siddharth Bhatia: For the first time I felt the citizenry arose, spontaneously - this was not synchronized - one person saying lets do something. This was each person saying let's do something. Facebook groups, SMS campaigns, morchas, etc - that was an upsurge of citizen grief, anger and frustration. Initiatives that are going on and I hope will continue to go on. What i felt since morning is many of these things we have gone through, others have also gone through and learned from. India is no stranger to terrorism, but, the follow-ups, some of which were shared - in some ways are new to us. The idea that there will be sharing on a continuous basis, and then an action plan. This session is called Enough is Enough and its not a slogan, its a sentiment.
Siddharth Bhatia: One thing that stayed with me is preparedness. Mental, physical and infrastructural preparedness. Yes, we need the laws, and we need the judicial system to follow up on those laws. Yes, we need the well equipped police, but unless at every level - I don't know how many schools for example conduct fire-drills regularly - a small thing, but it inculcates a culture of safety and preparedness from a young age. If there was this culture, who knows how the fishermen would have responded, how the system would have clicked into place and how certain things could have been prevented.
Siddharth Bhatia: Its a question of having a culture across the country, where citizens participate as much as govts., corporates, civil society. I'm glad politicians are here - we need answers. The morning speeches were interesting - it took 9/11 families 2 years to get the govt. to agree to an investigation. Though it does show that beaurocracy tends to stall, my apologies for the beaurocrats and politicians here. ...I'll hand over, but questions are welcome - Brett has a question or two for the audience.
Siddharth Bhatia: David, you have seen his credentials, very impressive, please, go ahead...
David M. Olive: Thank you for inviting me to be here - I am typically one of the people asked to speak immediately after lunch - not sure if that's because the audienc will be asleep or that I can keep them awake. One of the things I'd like to talk about in the Enough is Enough panel - is that often we can come from across the world and discuss how you did it somewhere else and we can sit here and think isn't that interesting and walk away fromt his conference and tomorrow, have no difference in our actions. 30 years ago I gave a speech to a high school graduation class - I may know what a cricket bat it,how it is made, how much it weighs, the angles, but knowledge is not enough if I don't know how to use it.
David M. Olive: My question is what have you learned today that is going to make a difference to what you do tonight and tomorrow? Next week on Tuesday for the 44th time in the history of US, we will have a transition of power of our Executive - Obama will become President, over 2 million people will come to DC to witness this event. The security features for this event have been in the planning stages for several years, even not knowing who the President will be.
David M. Olive: The ability to handle the transport and incidents that may arise...
Every contingency is planned and thought out, there will still be surprises - there is no perfect security. If you truly want to lead Mumbai and the new India, is be willing to stand up and speak true to power - The minister used a phrase "How can we develop a foolproof system?" My answer is you cannot, there are too many fools in the world. Let us not delude ourselves into thinking we can create a foolproof system. The question is not whether another attack occurs, it is a question of when.
David M. Olive: You have to be willing to stand up and say I am responsible for my actions, responsible for my family, my business, community and country. Until you take the responsibility and propagate that attitude - there will be another incident, have another conference, write another report and no one will pay attention. How do we know this? When Hurricane Katrina hit the US, the most elaborate evacuation plan for New Orleans was sitting on a shelf and no one got it off the shelf and used it. It would be like having a cricket bat and putting it on a shelf, never learning how to use it.
David M. Olive: You must be responsible, and responsibility starts where you sit. Will you be responsible and will you convey that thought? You have heard us talk about preparedness and information sharing - what does that mean on an individual basis? When you see something, say something, maybe it is a slogan. In the US, a single photographer in New Jersey noticed something while developing photographs and landed up busting a terrorist group. That was not a policeman or govt official, it was a photoshop clerk who learned to tell someone about it when he saw something unusual.
David M. Olive: We must understand public officials are risk-averse. Public officials do not get re-elected by taking controversial positions.
My advice to you is to say Enough is Enough - it is more risky for them to do nothing than to do something. You start with yourself, with preparedness - keep planning until there are no surprises.
The other lesson we learned after 9/11 is you can be your own worst enemy, do not over-react or lay blame too easily. We became too myopic - we looked at middle-eastern radicalized Islamists and blamed all our troubles on them. Instead, if our officials had done that, we would have missed the threat from nature, as katrina showed - we would have missed the threat of radicalized blue-eyed blond Europeans or radicalized terrorists from south America. It is easy to place blame but if you become too focussed you will miss the greater threat. Don't just fix the blame, find a solution.
David M. Olive: The Minister this morning spoke about how the police did a good job and that we recognize the problem. But if there's going to be a report, it must make recommendations that fix the solution and not the problem. Finally you must take the long view and it is going to require you to put your dollars where your talk is. Until corporate citizens of Mumbai are willing to partner with the govt. and put their money where their mouth is, the only thing you will say after the next attack is that we had a very good seminar with brilliant speakers but the problem didn't get fixed.
David M. Olive: I ask you, as Obama did the millions of people who voted for him this year, when you face the challenge that you face today, will your answer going to be "they're going to do it" or "yes,we can do it" - I hope, I pray, your answer will be "Yes we can". And those of us from the US and UK are here to say we're together and together we can solve this problem.
Gerard McAtamney: First of all I'd like to say thank you for bringing us here.
My primary role at London First is creating relationships in two parts. We have a leadership program where we foster relationships between the police dept. and senior people from the pvt. sector so they can foster relations among themselves and help eachother for mutual benefit. We also run a security and resilience program for people from public and private sectors.
Gerard McAtamney: One of the main benefits of conferences like this is to foster relations between you so you can put your heads together toward issues to be solved. I was at NYU's Preparedness Summit - their issues are not so much about discussing pandemic flu or terrorism, but to bring together heads from pub. and pvt. sector, also international organizations like UN, Interpol, Euro commission. Their purpose is to build relations between these people in advance of a crisis, so when an attack happens, these people have personal relations. So heads of World Bank, Wal-Mart, etc. are able to call each other personally and decide how to look at the issues and solve problems they face together. Thanks again to Narendar and Roger for organizing this.
Siddharth Bhatia: Thank you Gerard. As the chairman of this session is shall exercise my prerogative and ask the first question.
Brett, you're a former policeman, is there a danger that in a knee-jerk type of response we tend to throw a lot of money at security. There's talk about not having enough CCTV - in England people say too many CCTV .. is there a danger we buy more guns, etc. and only look at security aspect.
Brett Lovegrove: There's a huge danger .. if people ask me, what does a city do first in a similar circumstance .. first, find out what you have now - I have found there is an enormous skill-set here, enormous amount of ideas - there has to be an audit of what you have - once you have an audit of the skill-base, organizations you have - then you have to make a plan how you use your assets, skills and ability to influence.
Brett Lovegrove: Unless you have a risk-assessment, you don't know the money you have to spend. Do you really need cameras? Could be what's good for London, which is CCTV, might not be good for Mumbai. Unless you assess what you have and then analyze what you need, set against the threats against you, thats when you start making a shopping list, bearing in mind, budget, skills available, etc.. and then move forward. No knee-jerk reaction - have to do this fairly quickly but there has to be that type of scoping.
Michael Berkowitz: Just to add .. we're going through this at Deutsche Bank, as i'm sure many of you are -- let's see what low-hanging fruit are out there, what holes we can plug right now - then put together an assessment and plan in place - there may be things we can identify quickly that we have to do today, but there may also be things that need further study.
Siddharth Bhatia: Floor is open - please keep question short, identify yourself...
Viren: I have a question - after terror attack in Mumbai - Importance should be given to one week of discussion - some assurance is given every time - one week of discussion and debate should make a difference.
A: That's going to be counter-productive. I talked to everyone about partnership - meaningful partnership - this takes place when you have a leader whether it be in the Govt., or in the business community who takes a lead and says We have to get people together - a partnership that embraces every part of the community, not just police, fire-men, and not just for a day or week, but a partnership that generates a cycle of action - unless that partnership is linked to deliverables and timelines its a nice conference lunch and that's all there is ... there's gotta be a real energy behind this.
Emily maybe you want to address this?
Emily Walker: Its critical some action happens. It could happen through the political system or through private enterprise. Somebody has to champion the issue. Pick one thing that you want to get done. Maybe Bombay First can do that with corporate backing. One thing I've been pushing for 7 years is standards of preparedness that people can follow, not because I thought a standard could solve the world's problem, but I thought that atleast if companies and individuals could look at the things they can do, there is something going on out there. But you have to start with something and push that something forward. You have to pick a champion, and follow it through, and consider that a start.
Brett Lovegrove: Is it a coincedence that tonight is Indian of the year - whoever wins, becomes an iconic viewpoint. Is there a future leader who takes the lead, much as Bombay First has done - David's asking an important question, as someone who would like to step forward and say this is what I'm going to do differently tomorrow from what I did today ..
Question: Point I would raise is how are you going to sensitise people at the lowest level? That is the most important level. Strength of chain is the weakest link - communication is a problem, particularly in the govt. how are you going to solve that?
Michael Berkowitz: I think education of the people - disaster education is an important thing, both in the UK & US, we spend a lot of time on it - extensive disaster campaigns launched before and after 9/11. Our best prepared communities are communities in chemical hazard areas, they launched their preparedness campaign after Bhopal. There's tie-ins - its something you have to follow through - you have to take every opportunity - we are all connected to everyone else's tragedies all the time - there will be ample opportunity to use tragedies around the world to say this is what you need to do to prepare yourself, family and business.
David M. Olive: I would suggest its not a linear answer - a->b->c - I would start teaching school children - if you see something, say something. Children have a very important mission to play with their parents.
Michael Berkowitz: If you see a suspicous package, an unattended bag, say something to authorities.
David M. Olive: Its put on bumper stickers, television...
David M. Olive: Step 2, I was reading about this cricket player who might get this massive contract if he switches teams. He needs to be the spokesperson, because his celebrity status will permeate all levels of society. We have done this in the US - when a famous basketball player got HIV, he went on public service announcements - he had an instant credibility that no politician would ever have. Take advantage of celebrity status. The film-makers in India are very good at conveying deep messages in small segments. An editorial writer, at the top of every page, would put "It has been 937 days since the Govt.promised to do this and nothing has been done.....938...939... " the pressure kept building till they decided to do something just to get it off the editorial page.
David M. Olive: The people of Mumbai are incredibly creative - use your creativity - about education, as employers, we have a captive audience - a lot of you researchers .....
Question, audience member (from Godrej Group): first appreciate the initiative by Bombay First - in terms of crisis management, my question is in terms of looking at it in another perspective - can we also learn from another mega-disaster which was destined to happen, but hasn't happened? Since 9/11, nothing has happened in the US - the security apparatus has made sure that nothing happened since.. were there any events which were averted? we could learn from these events which were averted, how? Those could be more learning in terms of preventive measures - if you could throw light on those.
Emily Walker: I don't know the specifics - I should - there have been close to 7-10 major attacks prevented since 9/11 - one was at La Guardia airport where there's many gas-tanks near the airport and they were going to light them near the airport - it was people, intelligence - seeing things, that averted it ..
Sharing - I know the dept. of homeland security is sharing with people here -- so it is happening and it has happened.
Brett Lovegrove: Just one example for me - I have many, but they're all about information received from the community - in a fully engaged community who understands the threat and an empowerment to do something about it - we've had numerous intelligence which has disrupted a significant amount of attacks - about 15, which have been thwarted because people in the communities have come forward and said "you ought to take a look at this, its just a suspicion " - the power of the community is not to be underestimated.
David M. Olive: You ask about, have we averted things - every two years, since we organized our govt. to bring 22 different entities into the Dept. of Homeland Security, we have got all our officials in a planned 2-3 day exercise. We did an exersise about a hypothetical outbreak of Bubonic Plague. The then head of Homeland Security realized there was such a gap in understanding of biological attacks that he created a Dept. of Health Affairs whose job was to co-ordinate with health depts. Earlier this year, there was an outbreak of eColi in tomatoes and we didn't know where they were coming from. Earlier, no one would have clear responsibility - but now with a chief medical officer, we could easily identify the source, isolate that, and not affect the entire tomato industry - this was not a terror incident, but it had a dual benefit that we never foresaw. What I keep hearing today is there's a lot of discussion on what we ought to do, but no one is planning and putting this into action - and it may have great benefit that you did not foresee when you did the planning.
Question, audience member: My question is - we are talking about preparedness - in pub sector, pvt. sector - but in Mumbay, when a festival takes place, there's 1000's on the road and the entire police is caught up on that - if something goes wrong there, how will the situation take care of itself?
I totally understand the issue - my constituency is called Southall and 67% are Asian - we have Ganesh Festival, Krishna and they say "Lord Ganesha will take care of it.."
Richard Barnes: ...a cricket match on a saturday or sometimes in a test series, sometmies the public watching the test match, if its involved in India can be more boisterous...and we just have to learn to live with it and enjoy the moment.
Michael Berkowitz: I think the point that Mumbai is a difficult place to move around in, like New York. That is a limiting factor. You can only work with what you have - for example, shelter employees as opposed to evacuation, both our cities have worked on something coming out of chemical threat - close your windows, stay inside - it doesn't work for everything, but is something u can use when in a transportation challenged environment like all of our cities.
Question, audience member: Has been interesting so far and a number of good ideas. But essentially we seem to be concentrating on how to be better prepared. But are we pushing under the carpet, the question of how to prevent another attack? There can be a lot of co-ordination among people on the dias, but doesn't it require the co-ordination of policies on the political level, if we are to get to the root of this problem. One of you mentioned it is important to bring culprits to justice. One of the things is to increase the deterrence. How will that happen? Are there signs of this happening? People who only get information from media have the idea that people who are ready to give us operational assistance are not ready to give political support.
Richard Barnes: The reality is that it is the intelligence services who have to prevent. They are the ones working internationally, exchanging information - actively preventing. We, as citizens, as gatherers of information and intelligence - there is a difference between intelligence and information -- What we talk about preparedness - how prepared are you for recovery? How many businesses here have their security checks inside the building?
So you go into the front door, and there you are met by the arch.
Richard Barnes: 3 years ago Scotland Yard had its security checks inside the building. You could walk in with a bomb and explode it inside the building. Now they had to invest money to make sure that security check is outside. That is the responsibility of being prepared, being preventive. Not giving people the opportunity to come in to create an act of terrorism. That is preparedness and in some ways that is also prevention.
David M. Olive: In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, our govt. put almost all its efforts on prevention. We wanted to install detection equipment at airports, checked ladies on wheel-chairs, babies with bottles - we did everything - then Katrina came around and we realized you cannot prevent all kinds of problems. The best way we found to develop a balance is to create a layered system which layers technology on top of human intelligence and uses technology as a tool and not as a preventive measure.
David M. Olive: Eliminate as many single-points-of-failure as you can by creating as many layers of security, that changes with the threat, as possible - that's adaptable and flexible so you can identify your vulnerabilities and make it extremely difficult. There may be a time, no matter what you do, that lightning is going to come out of the sky .....