Feds arrest ricin suspect – no word on relation to Boston Marathon bombing, if any

Boston Marathon Bombing

8:44pm ET They’ve arrested a suspect in the ricin mailings to Congress and to President Obama.  The moron seems to have used his real initials in the letter (for the most part).

Good point regarding what “no arrests have been made” means. You could have someone in custody who hasn’t been “arrested” yet. Also, they could be lying – maybe they think he has an accomplice and don’t want the accomplice to know. Or they simply have no one.

2:34PM DOJ tells CNN no arrests have been made, as far as they know.

2:28pm CNN says two new sources say no one arrested, no one in custody, no one identified.

2:21pm Still not clear if they do or don’t have anyone in custody:

2:14PM CNN says the video of the man running from the scene appears to be one of the videos that helped the police find the suspect. What’s odd about the video is that you see the guy running immediately after the blast, while most people around him are in shock, not moving at all, other than huddling, grabbing their ears.

suspect

2:09PM AP is supposedly saying a suspect has been brought to the court house.

2:07PM CNN is still saying they think the guy was arrested. NBC isn’t so sure.

1:56pm Conflicting claims:

1:49pm CNN: Federal law enforcement source says arrest has been made based on two videos showing suspect at bombing site.  One may actually show the placement of the bomb. They hope to have much more info later in the day.  They clearly identified an individual suspect from video recorded by the Lord & Taylor department store near the second explosion.  Also, video from a Boston TV station helped – they enhanced that and clearly saw the suspect dropping a black bag.

12:06pm – Obama received a suspicious letter with a suspicious suspense as well.

11:21AM – Yankees fans sing Sweet Caroline to honor Boston.

10:52 AM – The lid to one of the pressure cooker bombs was found on a nearby roof.  Smart as hell to check the roofs, I might not have thought of that.

10:52 AM – Federal prosecutors are preparing to execute more search warrants, not clear for what or where.

10:50AM – Author wrote fictional account of a Boston Marathon bombing in 2002.

10:37AM – Images of the pressure cookers used as bombs:

pressure-cooker-bombs

April 17, 2013 – 9:55amET – ABC: Feds Race to Trace Boston Marathon Pressure Cooker Bomb

Bombers who killed three people at the Boston Marathon Monday used a pressure cooker pot that’s widely available for as little as $140 from major retail stores to house at least one of the explosives, officials told ABC News.

Investigators said Tuesday they had recovered a mangled Fagor brand pressure cooker pot, shrapnel, a circuit board and wiring from what they said was a partially exploded device near the finish line. The evidence has been sent to FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia, where law enforcement sources said the parts could provide a break in the case.

Investigators will use every clue, from the pressure cooker’s manufacturer and retailers to the types of nails used in the shrapnel, to try and find out from where the bomb parts were purchased and by whom, the sources said.

______

10:16pm ET 7 News in Boston has received photos that may show one of the explosives before the blast – see the video below:

WHDH-TV 7News Boston

7:52 PM ET Senator Wicker, who received the reported Ricin, was one of 16 GOP Senators to vote to end the NRA-backed filibuster of the background check bill.

7:32pm ET Outside experts are starting to say that the Boston Marathon bombing doesn’t seem like the work of a homegrown American anti-government group.  National Journal:

In Monday’s case, though, the target was not a federal building or the IRS. This bombing at the Boston Marathon, experts say, doesn’t fit with the previous attacks from Patriot Movement types.

“When you think about it, the target is not clear,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. “What the target was not was the government, or the IRS, or a minority group—black people, gay people, Muslims, immigrants, Latinos, and so on. It wasn’t targeted at any sort of specific subgroup.”

Mark Pitcavage, the director of investigative research for the Anti-Defamation League, agreed, saying this target didn’t feel like the work of extreme right-wing terrorists since it had no clear connection to the government.

7:13PM Multiple news outlets are reporting that an envelope containing the poison Ricin was sent to GOP US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, an odd choice of targets as he’s not exactly well known nationally. The poison was caught at a mail screening facility. Unknown if this is related to the Boston bombings.

Ricin is the poison the Soviets liked to put at the tip of pointy umbrellas and then prick people in order to kill them.

One interesting fact would be too look at when the envelope was sent – it’s unlikely it was sent after yesterday afternoon’s bombing if it was already at the mail screening facility – thus it’s likely not a copycat crime. And hard to believe it’s a coincidence, if the test for Ricin was accurate. The Washington Post has more – I’m still wondering if it isn’t a false positive.

6:38 PM ET Boston Globe, Source: Investigators recover circuit board believed used to detonate Boston Marathon blasts.
3:57PM ET Gay police officer appears in iconic photo from Boston Marathon bombing – it’s the photo of the multiple cops, wearing their bright yellow-green vests,, scrambling, with the 78 year old runner laying on the ground. One of the officers is gay.
3:41PM ET Why Boston Bombings Might Be Scarier Than 9/11, by Ron Fournier at National Journal:

From the nation’s founding, America has had two sharply delineated lives: one public and one private. The latter is meant to be safe and sacrosanct, part of what Thomas Jefferson called “the pursuit of Happiness.” The public life is rowdy and partisan, even violent as reflected in the Civil War. “What happened in Boston,” said Meg Mott, professor of politics at Marlboro College in Vermont, “is that the private life got blown up and hit deep in the heart of our bifurcated American lives. The lines were blurred, and that’s scary.”

They targeted life. They targeted liberty. Now somebody has attacked pursuit of happiness.

3:27PM ET More on pressure-cooker bombs from Gawker.
Video of a pressure-cooker IED.
3:25 PM ET: Tea Party Congressman Uses Boston Marathon Bombing To Justify Opposing Immigration Reform
3:15PM ET: The Boston Marathon’s Final Mile Was Dedicated to Newtown Victims
3:14PM ET: FAA shrinks Boston restricted flight area
3:11PM ET: Militia Groups Denounce Boston Marathon Attack, by Ruby Cramer at BuzzFeed:

Early speculation that militias were behind the bombings are “totally off-base,” says one leader. “This was a target of civilians, which is reprehensible by every measure of what we hold to our values.”

3:10pm ET: Let’s not be terrorized, by Alex Pareene, Salon:

Tragedies amplify the human tendencies toward both selflessness and assholishness. From a distance, watching horrible things happen (and happen, and happen) on TV, it can be much easier to see the assholishness. Yesterday an asshole planted bombs at the Boston Marathon — the Boston Marathon, for chrissakes — and today three people are confirmed dead with many, many more injured, in some cases horrifically.

That horrible situation, though, led to a great deal of examples of how Boston, and much of the U.S., is a pretty damn nice place full of impressive and great people. There was amazing journalism from Boston journalists, and a heroic response from Boston first responders, paramedics, doctors and surgeons. Boston blood banks filled up immediately and the Red Cross and Google both helped people find their loved ones. The Internet and the press even acquitted themselves reasonably well. It was amazing to see, within hours of the attack, eyewitness video from amateurs and professionals. The live stream of WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, was compelling, restrained and informative. Fox News’ Shepard Smith was incredibly composed and also very careful not to speculate irresponsibly. The Boston Globe dropped its pay wall and put its heartbreaking and useful liveblog on the front page.

It wasn’t all good. There was no reason for Neil Cavuto to interview Joe Arpaio, at any point yesterday, and yet that happened. This was a particularly obnoxious reminder that Fox News can only turn off its shtick when a grown-up, like Shepard Smith, is running the show. (Smith returned to anchor coverage later, thankfully.

4/16/13 1:14pm ET – CBS: Bombs were in pressure cookers inside black duffel bags:

A person briefed on the Boston Marathon investigation says the explosives were in 6-liter pressure cookers and placed in black duffel bags.

Only two unexploded explosive devices were found yesterday, per press conference taking place right now.

(Forbes) Boston Bombing: How Google, Social Media And Cloud Bring Hope Amid Tragedy.

The significance of Patriot’s Day, by Abby Ohlheiser, Slatest:

A quick primer on Patriot’s Day: It commemorates the opening battles of the American Revolutionary War, the battles of Lexington and Concord, both held on April 19, 1775. The holiday has become best known for the marathon and is in fact also referred to as “Marathon Monday.” (Patriot’s Day, we should note, should not be confused with Patriot Day, established on Sept. 11 to mark the World Trade Center attacks.)

So why were people so quick to speculate about the holiday’s possible significance? Undoubtedly because they were inspired by the fact that this week does contain a number of unhappy anniversaries: the Oklahoma City Bombing (April 19, 1995), the Waco assault (April 19, 1993), the Columbine School Shooting (April 20, 1999), and the Virginia Tech massacre (April 16, 2007), for starters. Two of those tragedies—the Virginia Tech massacre and the Waco assault—were on Monday, the Patriot’s Day of those years.

In the immediate aftermath of September 11, I get why people freaked out. It wasn’t right, but I get it – I freaked out too. But I’d hoped we’d grown since then:

 

Boston-Globe-front-page

IRS giving Bostonians tax filing extension.

A marathoner shoots video from the race just as the first bomb went off:

NYT:

The official said that the devices appeared to have been made with black powder and ball bearings, but that investigators were unsure how the two that exploded had been set off.

AP:

Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when he heard the explosions.

“I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor,” he said. “We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. … At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing.”

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Brothers watching Boston Marathon each lose a leg, Boston Globe:

Liz Norden, a mother of five, had just finished hauling groceries into her Wakefield home Monday afternoon when her cellphone rang….

Within the next two hours, amid frantic phone calls and a panicked drive into Boston, Norden pieced together the horrific truth that will forever change her two sons’ lives — and her own. Each of the brothers lost a leg, from the knee down. One was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess, while the other was at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Horribly sad story of the guy in the cowboy hat.

Boston Marathon bombing: Newtown bears witness to another tragedy as runners, attendees honoring Sandy Hook victims narrowly escape attacks at finish line, NY Daily News.

Person of interest’s apartment searched, Politico:

Authorities searched a suburban-Boston apartment Monday night into early Tuesday morning in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings which left at least three dead and more than 140 injured, according to reports….

The New York Post reported that the apartment was in the hometown of the 20-year-old Saudi national man hospitalized at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

by-default-2013-04-16-at-7.34.44-AM

A look at the 78 year old in the bright shorts who fell in front of the cops in the now-iconic photo.

Record number of anti-government militias in USA, USA Today:

Radical anti-government “patriot” groups and militias, galvanized against gun control, will continue to grow even as the number of groups operating in the USAreached an all-time high in 2012, a report Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center finds.

The center tracked 1,360 radical militias and anti-government groups in 2012, an eightfold increase over 2008, when it recorded 149 such groups. The explosive growth began four years ago, sparked by the election of President Obama and anger about the poor economy, the center says. That growth is likely to continue as the groups recruit more members with a pro-gun message, the center’s senior fellow Mark Potok said.

Cities to be placed on high alert Tuesday, The Hill:

“Local, state and federal law enforcement are putting most urban cities on high alert because we want to make sure this is not a pattern like 9/11, so you’re going to see law enforcement and dogs who can sniff out explosives in a lot of areas throughout the country — especially here in Washington D.C — whether it be in train stations, ports, federal buildings, especially the Capitol and this area,” said Ruppersberger to reporters Monday evening.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • HolyMoly

    And now there’s been an explosion in WACO, TEXAS of all places…at a FERTILIZER PLANT of all places. Could be a coincidence, but what a coincidence. Leads me to be concerned about the 19th coming up.

  • The lack of any terrorist organization — foreign or domestic — credibly claiming responsibility or any sort of announced cause or published manifesto continues to lead me to believe this was probably the act of either an individual or else a very small group, as was the case with McVeigh and Nichols.

    In the last few years here in America, we’ve seen a spate of disturbed individuals — mostly disaffected young-ish white males, although not exclusively — looking to make the biggest splash possible. Many of them seem to want to be caught — like Loughner in Arizona. Or probably figured on an ending of ‘suicide by self or by police’, like Holmes in Aurora CO, or Klebold and Harris in Littleton, or Lanza in Newton CT. In every case, they clearly did not expect to survive.

    What differs in typical bombing cases in the U.S. however is the domestic bomber(s) usually seem to want to live — and to continue the attacks. Kaczynski, McVeigh and Nichols, Rudolph, Harpham, etc.

    I’ve a feeling this one won’t be any different, in that whoever this is, they have a message of some kind, however heinous or bizarre. But being new to the scene and, again most likely in my opinion, not part of a larger or established terrorist organization, they don’t have any kind of apparatus in place for announcing their reasons for the Boston Marathon massacre.

  • Naja pallida

    Edward R. Murrow never made any money
    Informing the world about crazy Joe McCarthy
    And sometimes I despair the world will never see
    Another man like him. ;)

  • Some of us are old enough to remember real journalism….and I haven’t seen much of it in decades.

  • nicho

    Ditto

  • OneBostonNEB

    Whoever posted the photo highlighting the individual above with a caption “possible suspect” needs to leave these things to the professionals. They obviously are not wearing a cap or sweatshirt. People like you have no business sharing your opinion as all you do is cause additional chaos.

  • MyrddinWilt

    The thing that is odd here is that the attack was designed to cause the maximum number of casualties and the target itself was pretty much devoid of political symbolism. That is not the usual pattern for a terrorist group. If the bombs had been planted slightly higher then the ball bearings might well have hit people in the chest rather than the legs and we would be looking at 30+ fatalities rather than 30+ amputations. Whoever did this wanted to kill large numbers of people.

    The three largest terrorist attacks on land were 9/11 on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Capitol, the Oklahoma City Bomb and the Bologna Station bombing. The first two had obvious political symbolism to the perpetrators. The Bologna station bombing was a complete puzzle until it was realized that it was actually a false flag attack by a group of right wing fascists trying to create a pretext for martial law.

    It seems most likely to me that the perpetrators will be some sort of authoritarian group as terrorists are almost always authoritarians under the skin. Timothy McVeigh was an authoritarian libertarian: Like the NRA he worshiped he was going to make sure you had liberty his way or death. The only difference being that he would do the actual killing if necessary. I really don’t see much difference between McVeigh, Bin Laden, Andreas Baader or the rest. They were all authoritarians who rather liked killing people and found a convenient ideological pretext for doing so. Drugs certainly played a part in McVeigh’s mental state and given Bin Laden’s career as a drug trafficker, I suspect that despite all the hogwash about Islam, he fried his brain with drugs as well.

    But there is another possibility: It could be someone who is really pissed off about US drone attacks, lost a loved one in an attack and is out for revenge.

  • Naja pallida

    Just another day in our 24 hour “news” cycle. To hell with journalism and investigative reporting. No need for facts or evidence. Just jump the gun as soon as it seems convenient, and hope you’re right… because being first is always more important than getting the story correct.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Oh come on. It’s widely known that America is exceptional, and nearly every other nation on earth is generally chickensh!t. They took a survey of Americans and 85% agreed.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    some experts are saying those other experts are poopy-pants

  • …regardless of guilt or innocence.

  • Mike Meyer

    Send that suspect to GITMO. Guaranteed to get a confession of guilt within 10 years, guaranteed!

  • Naja pallida

    I too am hoping that it is not a foreign group. I’d have to have to go through invading Iraq all over again.

  • Just a suggestion, John, but this could probably use a new thread the next time there’s a major update. This one is getting really long and takes quite a while to load.

  • cole3244

    please america, wait before becoming a mob and taking the law into your own hands, those that are guilty might just be your neighbor.

  • Although experts are saying it’s not a “Patriot” type homegrown bomber, it still could be a homegrown conservative nutcase like Eric Rudolph that bombed Olympic Park or the completely insane Aurora, Colorado theater shooter.

  • MyrddinWilt

    It certainly wasn’t C4, that is smokeless (but could stir up dust making it look like smoke.) If someone had C4 then why not blow up a building?

    Given the description ‘home made’, black powder or fertilizer/oil seem most likely. Black powder would be easiest to obtain because the gun nuts make it freely available.

    One of the things that has been puzzling me is the huge number of leg injuries relative to the fatalities. Seems that the material was ejected in a flat disk a foot or two off the ground. So the fatalities were likely standing right next to the bomb. That would be consistent with a pressure cooker failing at the lid/body seal.

    Certainly sounds like a Timothy McVeigh type to me. I bet the sicko is a NRA member who is trying to ‘prove’ a point about gun control by killing a large number of people without a gun, just using explosives that are only available because the US does not have gun control.

  • goulo

    From the link about militias indignantly denying involvement:

    One of the cofounders of the Militia of Montana, Dave Trochmann, said
    the explosions in Boston had “nothing to do with militias — that’s a
    bunch of bullshit. It was probably a raghead.”

    Poe’s Law in action!

  • Are we
    safe? This question is haunting each of us. With the violence continuing
    all around the world and growing, people are still asking as to why
    this violence and when will it stop and what do they want?

    Read more: http://www.21articles.com/boston-bombing-what-does-this-community-want/#ixzz2Qi2oyWv5

  • Interesting. I was wondering about this: was it really ricin per se or just some castor bean powder? Without knowing the full truth I suspect that there might be lower-tech ways to obtain a ricin-rich fraction from castor beans (fractional precipitation with ammonium sulfate is a goid old-fashioned way for partial separation of proteins) but if even that much was done I’d be surprised.

  • Asterix

    Extremely doubtful it was really ricin, given the FBI track record on identifying the stuff.

    For a different look, see Goerge Smith’s post on it over at Dick Destiny:

    http://dickdestiny.com/blog1/2013/04/16/do-not-succumb-to-ricin-hysteria/

  • It’s just amazing how the CIA attaches itself to domestic tragedies to stir up the dust and fear. I bet this means we get to attack Syria or some other vulnerable country.

  • Phil

    No rocket science here folks. Date: April 15 (tax deadline), location: Boston, MA (the Boston Tea Party took place here), also known as Patriot’s Day locally, venue: Boston Marathon – lots of victims concentrated in a small space media present, big impact on the country psychologically.

    I find it REALLY hard to believe this was some vast leftist conspiracy. More likely it was the Tim McVeigh/Eric Rudolph branch of the right.

    I can’t remember who said it, but “Tyranny will come to the United States carrying a bible and wrapped in a flag” seems to eerily ring true.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  • nicho

    They probably are related in the sense that there are people who benefit from having Americans as frightened as possible. Over the short term, no one will complain when police agencies install cameras anywhere and everywhere, until we’re all under surveillance all the time. People will stop protesting “stop and frisk” programs. If only they can amp up the fear.

  • Mighty

    People have got to calm down. Lets be very careful to not jump to conclusions. This may or may not be related. It could be someone taking advantage of a situation or something else entirely.

  • lynchie

    No it sounds foreign. No metric for us don’t you know.,

  • goulo

    I understood TheOriginalLiz’s statement (“I am all for showing them the truth of the saying “those who live by the sword, die by the sword”.”) differently from you, evidently; it certainly sounded to me like that was a desire that they be killed. If that’s not what was meant, I’m not sure what was meant, but oh well, it’s not the first time miscommunication occurred in brief Internet comments…

    You’ve clarified your own thoughts more clearly, thanks for that!

  • I’m a little bothered by the knee-jerk patriotic jingoism… but at least people don’t seem to be melting down into pants-wetting cowards as happened after 9/11.

  • Maybe it was the owners of fox?

  • Drew2u

    I found it interesting and disturbing that all the descriptions of the one-two bombing was described as something other countries did, and not that the U.S. would ever drone-strike first responders or funerals.

  • “Any redneck might have a pressure cooker on hand” Dang right, They call um stills.

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    Well, we’ve been teaching other folks around the world NOT to do this, because sometimes there’s a second drone strike following on the heels of the first one.

    “Double-tap”, they call it.
    War crime, everyone else calls it.

  • nicho

    Naw. April 15 in Mass. is the one day when you can dress up in Teabagger drag without being laughed at.

  • nicho

    I was thinking the same thing, and people in a lot of other countries have had a lot more practice, especially when US bombs are dropped by the US and/or its surrogates on innocent people.

  • Indigo

    I think so too, the likelihood of another home-grown terrorist of the biblebelt fundie mind set is likely. How strange that the devices were in “six liter’ pressure cookers. WTF is six liters? Any redneck might have a pressure cooker on hand or can get one mighty quick, but it’d be two gallons at most, whatever the “six liter” chatter is supposed to mean. I’m guessing somebody who should be working for the New York Post came up with that because it sounds so sophistimacated. (ahem) But ultimately, yes, this bombing smells like the local crackpots at work.

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    I, for one, eagerly await Wayne LaPierre of the NRA telling us that the only way to fight a bad man with a pressure-cooker bomb is a good man with a pressure-cooker bomb.

  • TuxedoCartman

    The strawman yields, the strawman yields! Whoo, you sure knocked the stuffing right out of that one! Now, how about you point out where either myself or TheOriginalLiz said they should “just be killed”? I advocated nothing of the such. I WILL advocate police crackdowns on these loonies of a magnitude at least on par with how they treat a recreational marijuana smoker: no-knock warrants, busted doors, and tazers and batons to the head for good measure. (No, I’m not normally an advocate of such police measures, but seeing as how 99.9% of the “Don’t Tread On Me” lifestyle is macho posturing to compensate for their male insecurities, then in this case I approve of law enforcement going in and making them their bitch). Try them in court, and convict them of incitement to violence, sedition, and all the other laws civilized countries would convict armed separatists living within their borders of. And if they want to exec rices their second amendment rights on the doorstep when SWAT arrives, then fine; that’s what “live by the sword, die by the sword” means.

  • Drew2u

    Is anyone else disturbed by commentators/pundits saying something along the lines of, “Hurrah! When faced with a deadly danger, us Americans run straight at it to help save lives!” as if the U.S.A. is the only country on the planet that has its citizens rush to aid?
    I get it; you want to be proud of the people who are helping, but it isn’t a uniquely American thing, it’s a species-thing. (I wanted to write “it’s a human thing” but aiding the suffering is not just present in homo sapiens, but other life-forms as well).

  • I suspect the more significant date to consider when the truth comes out is April 15th is Tax Day. It’s gonna be a Teabag crazy trying to make a point that there should be no taxes.

  • HolyMoly

    After the OK City bombing, the news media was irresponsibly reporting that the attack had “foreign (read: Arab) terrorist” written all over it. All day, every day, they were pushing this meme.

    The result? A pregnant Iranian-American was holed up in her house while an angry mob threw rocks and bricks through her windows. The event was so traumatic for her that she ended up miscarrying.

    And then we find out that it’s a white guy from the US of A.

    That’s what happens when the public gets out ahead of law enforcement, with nothing but emotion-filled rumors to guide them. I understand the natural desire to find out immediately who’s responsible and bring them to justice, but I’d rather get it RIGHT than to get it NOW. And I’d rather have the professionals take care of it rather than a mob.

  • I know. As of today, they still haven’t taken down or corrected their false reporting from yesterday claiming there are 12 dead and that a Saudi man was in custody. Neither of these is true.

  • Zorba

    Unfortunately, no, the attackers were not punished, Eve. The parents did call the police, but the boys all lied and stood together, “no, it was an accident, yada, yada.”
    My feeling was that, since the parents were “foreigners” and had accents, the police didn’t try very hard.
    We also have Sikh friends who have been harassed, as well. The man wears the traditional Sikh turban, so obviously, he must be perceived as some kind of “danger.”
    {{Sigh}}. People can be so parochial and ignorant. I would have hoped that we would have gotten beyond this type of narrow-minded provincialism and prejudice by now (after all, it is the 21st Century!), but sadly, I was wrong.

  • emjayay

    Anyone who has ever seen an actual copy of the Post would know to ignore anything they report.

  • When I saw the large amount of white smoke, my first thought was “black powder.” When the doctors were saying BBs and/or ball-bearings, my second thought was “homemade pipe-bombs.” Which, by the way, are easy to make, but not so easy to set off reliably.

    And on the heels of that, “Domestic terrorist. Probably militia or sympathizer.” It’s just my guess, but I have a feeling at the end of this investigation, we’re going to find another Timothy McVeigh.

    BTW, I’d take absolutely anything the NY Post says with a boulder of salt. They kept posting a bunch of totally wrong things yesterday, and right now, misinformation is the height of irresponsible journalism.

  • that’s disgusting. I hope the kids who attacked her were punished and made an example of. I teach ESL and have heard so many horror stories from my Middle Eastern and North African students about indefinite detentions at airports and being shadowed by police in public and in malls by rent-a-cops. If we really want to show our resilience and patriotism, we won’t allow attacks like this to turn us into animals.

  • Zorba

    Yes. We have friends who are Arab Christians. During Operation Desert Storm (the First Gulf War), one of their daughters was physically attacked and beaten up by a bunch of high school boys, who broke her hand, because she was “an Arab.” Never mind that she was born in the United States, and that her parents had fled the Middle East because it was becoming increasingly untenable for Christians, even back then.
    People are small-minded idiots.

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    See? This is what happens when you don’t do “enhanced interrogation” on Terry Nichols, to root his co-conspirators out of their spider-holes.

    By now, of course, the treason has spread, and you’d have to waterboard the entire RNC.

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    Just wait ’til they find out that the Friends of Hamas have taken responsibility

  • nicho

    Also, the timing was wrong for a sophisticated bomber. Two hours earlier, that area would have been absolutely jammed as people waited for the front runners to cross the finish line. At the time of the bombing, it was just ordinary folk waiting for their spouses, children, friends, roommates, whatever to cross the line — four hours plus into the race..

    Moreover, the bombs were placed within a few feet of the medical tent with scores of doctors, nurses, medics, etc. who were able to respond in seconds. There are places along the route that are just as crowded and less accessible for emergency responders. Of course, the finish line almost ensured total TV coverage.

    It will be interesting to see who they come up with as a suspect. It could be just about anyone, and it’s silly to speculate. However, I wouldn’t expect it to be a sophisticated outfit. Al Qaeda would go for much more mayhem — better timing, more potent explosives, etc.

  • thanks again for the excellent coverage yesterday.

  • on 9-11, a Sikh man commuting home was attacked by a mob and arrested in the Providence train station as he disembarked a train. This country went insane a while ago; it just goes into remission until tragedies like this go down.

  • goulo

    I’m nonplussed. Usually we progressives tend to complement ourselves on not seeing the world in simplistic dichotomies like many right-wingers do. Are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that you see no other choice than simply tolerating terrorist attacks and simply killing people suspected of committing them?

    This kind of sarcastic “talking with paranoid violent gun nuts has worked SOOOO well up to this point” is the exact same rhetoric used to justify invading Arabic and Muslim countries (“you can’t reason with them, they hate our freedom!”, “we have no choice but to kill them because you can’t reason with them!”, “what are we supposed to do, just hold hands and sing kumbayah?”, etc).

    I have no magic answer other than, yeah, talking and education and trying to build bridges and personal contacts/friendships is going to work better than vengeful killing and extreme stereotyping and villainizing back and forth.

    And if someone commits a criminal act, arrest them and try them in an honest court of law. Don’t simply kill them. At least this is supposedly what the US is supposed to be about. The US seems to forget that every time there’s a big terrorist attack, and then I start seeing lots of internet comments about how we should kill all the X people, where X = the hypothesized villains.

  • HolyMoly

    A foreign terrorist would likely have set the second bomb as near to the first bomb as possible, like directly across the street or within a few yards of the first one. And it would have been timed to go off maybe a minute or two later, so that there’s enough time for police, fire, EMTS, and good samaritans to walk INTO the blast zone so they can become victims as well. If they spread the bombs out, there might have been 3, 4, or more positioned concentrically in all directions to kill those who panicked and ran away from the first. But the second one was way too far away and exploded way to soon after the first for that to have been the bomber’s intention.

    Foreign terrorists have been doing this sort of thing consistently for decades now. They’ve collected tons of post-attack intel to determine what’s most effective and what’s not. Their explosives are usually quite a bit more sophisticated and up-to-date.

    Maybe I underestimate the intelligence of domestic militia types, but I just picture a bunch of fat, ignorant good ol’ boys running around in the woods shooting at silhouettes of political figures they despise. These people may have some military background, but probably not at the command or non-com level, so they have no strategic/tactical sense.

  • HolyMoly

    I’m hoping that it’s not a foreign group involved as well. I think that if a group such as AQ or AQAP had been responsible, they would have gone public by now claiming responsibility. “We are responsible, and this is why we did it [insert reason here].”

    It seems like the domestic types, even if there is a political element to their attacks, they’re still not all that willing to go on the record claiming responsibility. They usually keep a very low profile and hope they get away with it. I don’t know if they do that out of fear of being caught, or if the mystery of who/what/why feeds public fear and uncertainty, or if they think of it as a “military” operation in some sort of ongoing war, but they don’t ever seem to issue any sort of statement.

    If it was a lone individual (domestic) who did this, you won’t hear a public claim to responsibility, unless it’s the UnaBomber, who I think is an exception to the rule.

    There could be examples out there, but I personally have never heard of any. Added to all the coincidences related to Patriots’ Day, Tax Day, Boston Tea Party, OK City bombings, etc., I think it’s definitely an angle that at least needs to be investigated, and I’m sure it is being investigated as a possibility.

  • TuxedoCartman

    What would you suggest, goulo? Talk reasonably with them? Maybe try and reach a modest compromise between protecting public safety and enabling their Red Dawn roleplaying fantasies? Yeah… because that’s worked SOOOO well up to this point.

    I really want to know what you would suggest, goulo. There is a not negligible percentage of the population that live in a world where they’re bombarded daily with talk of “second amendment solutions,” “Obama wants to disarm you so he can put Christians in FEMA camps,” “the UN/ New World Order are taking our country and our rights away,” etc… Enough people believe this, and are hoarding ammunition in preparation for the “Second great American Revolution,” that police departments in parts of the country can’t even get the ammo they need for their jobs. That’s a lot of gun nuts. So if someone live in a world where they think they can save freedom, stop tyranny, and boot that Kenyan out of the WHITE *wink, wink* House, all with just a few drunk friends and an AR-15… how do you reach them, goulo? How do you have a civil discussion with that?

  • lynchie

    Most depressing note of the day was turning on tv this morning and seeing Morning Joe, Mika, Barnacle and crew set up on a street corner offering up their opinions. Why do the networks feel Morning Joe, Today, etc. have to be in Boston and even more important what the fuck do they know about anything. Yes this is horrible, yes I feel for the victims but let real reporters search out the facts and report them. Unfortunately there are no real reporters left. Tax day, Tea Party occurred here, unsophisticated bombs to me I am thinking home grown. No less ugly, no less tragic but foreign terrorists would make a bigger explosion, kill more. Reality is if someone wants to kill people we have malls, trains, football games, high school games, subways, buses, trains, the list is endless. As a country we have interfered in enough foreign countries to piss off half the planet and as these things go the result is the middle class and poor are the ones who get attacked. The 1% live in their gated community and have security guards, they own Congress, State officials, City officials and seldom are seen with us riff-raff.

  • nicho

    Passenger heard 2 men speaking Arabic on flight from Boston this am.
    Plane returned to gate, swept & cleared. Men rebooked. Nerves frayed

    Seriously??? Speaking Arabic is a threat that requires “sweeping” the airplane. So Arabic speakers — of which there are plenty in Boston — aren’t allowed to speak on airplanes? This, despite the fact that all evidence points toward the likelihood of a home-grown terrorist. The freaking country has gone insane.

  • TuxedoCartman

    I’m in agreement with Liz. Talk of “second amendment solutions,” and “second revolutionary wars” are one thing, but IF some right-wing whack job is actually ACTING on this by bombing a freakin’ marathon of all things, then the time for tolerance is ended. I will expect a thorough and crippling response from my government and law enforcement to all these Neanderthal fucks who refuse to give up the fantasy they live in the old west. Private militia groups, gun hoarders, even people just shit-stirring with hate speech… all of them need to either grow up and get civilized, or get their heads busted by police. And Democrats can either grow the necessary spine for this, or I will work my ass off to elect New Democrats for the job.

    That said, however, while playing armchair detective, it’s a crap shoot to me as to whether or not this is domestic right-wing terrorism, or the middle-eastern variety. Could go either way, though I REALLY hope it’s not the latter; not because I have any special love for the people in that part of the world, but rather because we were FINALLY making a little headway in getting our soldiers out of that region, and something like this would set that back indefinitely. (Side note: somehow, this doesn’t strike me as a “lone nut” type of act, the sort of thing a spree killer would do. There’s a political element to this, I think; just not sure where it’s coming from).

    Now, because this is a Disqus commenting system, bring on the trolls!

  • jankowitts

    SO surreal. Ive been keeping up with this at eyesopenreport.com and it just seems like a movie is playing out in front of my eyes.

  • goulo

    As if the only choices are tolerance or killing? No wonder the US is becoming so violent.

  • The cowboy hat man story is gut wrenching. I’m not sure MSNBC realized they were playing that dismembered man in the wheel chair over and over all night long. My first reaction when I read the initial reports that Sandy hook parents were there being honored….might be gun extremists involved…keeping in mind the DA murders in Texas and Dept. of Corrections head killed in CO.
    Who knows….will be weeks before we get facts since everything coming out now is speculation that is not fact checked.

  • TheOriginalLiz

    neither is continued tolerance.

  • “Gun nut’s” is a little too simplistic. The militias hate the government, guns and bombs are their tools. More hate isn’t the cure for tragedy.

  • TheOriginalLiz

    I like to think of myself as a peaceful woman, but if this is the work of f*cking gun nuts, I am all for showing them the truth of the saying “those who live by the sword, die by the sword”.

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