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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Griper Blade: The Pointlessness of Spinning an Event Like the Boston Bombings

Police investigate bombing scene
I saw the article yesterday, but I kind of set it aside. In it, the Boston Globe reported that the Boston Marathon bombing has all the earmarks of a domestic terror attack.  I bookmarked it and tagged it for later, thinking that maybe it would be better reference from a historical standpoint than from a predictive one. After all, rightwing bloggers have been using baseless speculation to cover themselves in clown paint and I wasn't eager to emulate their failures. I thought the article would better serve as a "clues were there" reference (or "clues were misleading," as the case might be). The article describes the bombs as "crudely made" and suggest that the death toll indicates they weren't as effective as the bomber would've hoped, "making it unlikely that they were the work of a foreign government or global terrorist group, such as Al ­Qaeda." Besides, Islamic terrorist organizations always claim credit for bombings -- that is, after all, the point: to spread terror -- and we're now approaching the end of the 72 hour window in which those claims usually are issued. In incidents of attacks by lone domestic terrorists, it's generally the case that no one takes credit, because the perpetrator doesn't want to risk providing more evidence. In these cases, the purpose of the attack isn't to spread terror, but to "strike a blow" against a perceived enemy from the perspective of their own lives (i.e., the DC Sniper, the Olympic Park bombing, or Oklahoma City). Sophisticated terrorists try to perceive their attacks from the eyes of the media and the populace. From the Globe article:

Juliette N. Kayyem, a Globe columnist and lecturer at ­Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government who has spent years working on counter­terrorism and homeland security, said she thought the bombing was probably the work of a terrorist in the ­Boston area who would appreciate the race’s importance to the local culture.

“It is probably home-grown, someone with a political cause from the right or the left,” said Kayyem, “someone who knows how appealing the Boston ­Marathon is to citizens here.”

“Even though it’s an international event, it is still a local event,” she said.
Of course, none of this is to say it isn't an Islamic terror attack -- which was why I approached the piece with a healthy amount of caution and a grain of salt. What people surmise and what people know are two entirely different things...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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