The late November commando attack on Mumbai India is a great demonstration of the state of the art in "urban takedowns." Essentially, an urban takedown is an attempt by a small group of attackers to overwhelm a city and force it into a prolonged shutdown (see the site, Naxalite Rage for an excellent exploration of the incident). The attack consisted of:
- A nautical assault (coup de main). Several boats. laden with explosives and commandos armed to the teeth, gained entry to the city via the port. This allowed maximal entry velocity into the city's center. However, a rapid response by the Indian naval units in the area closed off the water as an escape route.
- Swarm of the city using autonomous "buddy pairs." Each pair had their own routes, minimizing the potential for fratricide. While the initial dispersion of the group was concentrated, the deployment was the opposite (this is an inversion of the formula for animal pack hunters and U-boat swarming). The pair teams shot/blew up targets en route to maximize confusion/fear.
- Use of the city's infrastructure for movement and coordination. The city's transportation infrastructure was leveraged, travel by roads and the acquisition of vehicles. Cell phone communication for coordination (not confirmed yet)?
- Hostage drama at international hotels. Some of the buddy pairs were able to assault international hotels, which allowed them to focus on killing foreigners. These assaults became prolonged hostage dramas when the government's forces arrived.