Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Boston bombing points to domestic origins

Two days after the Boston Massacre of 2013, no arrests have been made, and investigators are revealing few details of their findings. After some early hints that Islamic terrorists might be involved (a Saudi national questioned, a swarthy-looking man seen running away, etc.), it now appears that this might be a case of home-grown terrorism.

The bombs that exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killed three and mutilated others have been described as "crude" — not likely to be the work of well-organized international terrorists. The bomb type reportedly has been used by al-Qaida terrorists, but the recipe for such bombs are widely available. Anyone could have put these bombs together.

One intriguing aspect of the incident is the choice of date and location — Boston, birthplace of the American Revolution, and Patriot's Day, celebrating the Boston-area heroes of the Revolution. This suggests a possible right-wing perpetrator, someone who wanted to do harm in the name of his own distorted ideology. In other words, a Timothy McVeigh type. Most runners in the Boston Marathon are not right-wingers. They're health nuts and fitness fanatics. They're liberal-leaners who drive Volvos and drink expensive coffee. They're what the Appalachian State students used to call "granolas." Good targets for right wing terrorists.

This supposition might be all wrong. I hope we'll know soon. I hope the FBI solves the mystery and makes an arrest, whoever is responsible. The fact that there has been no claim of responsibility, such as is common in Islamist terrorist strikes, suggests that this incident might have nothing to do with the "war on terror." After some initial accounts that people were seen running from the scene of the blasts, it now appears that this might be the work of one or two deranged individuals, working alone and using crude, readily available materials — no great conspiracy, no international connections, just a few domestic terrorists trying to make a point about ... something.


No comments: