Tags: taj | hotel | tata

Taj Mahal Hotel Owner: We Had Warning

Saturday, 29 Nov 2008 09:58 PM

The owner of the Taj Mahal hotel says the Mumbai hotel had been warned of a possible terrorist attack prior to this week's deadly terror assault.

Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata would not provide details about the warning or the security measures that were enacted as a result, but he told CNN that they were eased in the days before gunmen entered the hotel.

Tata also told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that even if the security precautions had still been in place, they wouldn't have stopped the gunmen because they entered the building through a rear door that does not have a metal detector.

"If I look at what we had ... it could not have stopped what took place," Tata said. "It's ironic that we did have such a warning, and we did have some measures. People couldn't park their cars in the portico, where you had to go through a metal detector. They knew what they were doing, and they did not go through the front. All of our arrangements are in the front. They planned everything," he said of the attackers. "I believe the first thing they did, they shot a sniffer dog and his handler. They went through the kitchen."

Tata said the terrorists were very organized and moved with detailed precision.

"They seemed to know [the hotel] in the night or in the daytime. They seemed to have planned their moves quite well, and there seem to have been a lot of pre-planning."

The terrorists attacked nine sites in Mumbai in a 60-hour assault that left at least 195 people dead.

The Tata Group is the largest private corporate group in India. It has interests in steel, automobiles, information technology, communication, power, tea and hotels.

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