For most Hedgehog readers, Chabad may only mean the guys with the black hats and beards who hold the telethon every year. However, there are "CHABAD Houses" all over the world, tending to the religious needs of Jewish tourists and young Israelis who are touring the world following their army service. The largest Passover Seder in the world is held by Chabad every year in Katmandu, typically attended by some 1500 people, mostly young Israelis.
Mumbai also boasts a Chabad House, run by Rabbi Gabriel and Rivki Holtzberg, pictured above. Incredibly, it was one of the targets of the terrorist attacks yesterday. The terrorists reported took 8 people hostage, including the Holtzbergs. Their two-year old boy, Moshe, was rescued by a courageous Chabad House employee, Sandra Samuel, who told reporters, "I just grabbed the baby and ran." (Photo below.) She and Moshe were the only persons in the Chabad House who escaped capture by the terrorists.
The most recent press reports (unconfirmed at this time) indicate that, please God it should be true, Indian anti-terrorists commandos have succeeded in freeing the hostages at Chabad House, as well as the hostages at the two hotels. Honor is due the brave Indian soldiers.
As for the identity of the perpetrators, the fact that they chose American, British and Jewish targets fairly shouts Al Qaeda, in my non-expert opinion. It was obviously a well-planned, coordinated attack, based on intelligence gathered by the perpetrators on sites frequented by American and British tourists and business visitors, to say nothing of the location of the Chabad House in a Mumbai apartment building.
UPDATE 2:00 PM PST from YNET: The previous reports of the release of 8 hostages from the Chabad House in Mumbai turned out to be incorrect. The 8 persons seen Thursday night were from a neigboring building. Indian commandos are apparently preparing to launch an operation to attempt to free the Chabad House hostages. A loud explosion has been heard from the Chabad House.