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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘boston bombings’

Boston Bombing Suspect Arrested

Friday, April 19th, 2013

UPDATE, 8:25 PM  Sat. night Israel Time: Federal terrorism charges against Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev could be filed soon, even as he remains hospitalized, a Justice Department official told CNN on Saturday. The 19-year-old could also face murder charges at the state level.

UPDATE 7:12 pm ET Reports that suspect was hiding in boat, under tarp, behind a house in Watertown.

7:06 pm ET shots heard, police cars moving back into the area in Watertown.  There is an ambulance being backed up into a driveway.  Police in SWAT vehicles roaring out of Boston towards Watertown. Some reports, “suspect down.”

6:11 pm ET final scheduled press conference of the day Massachusetts State Police Colonel Timothy Alben explained that many leads were followed up on and were “not fruitful.”  The police and military presence will be reduced, although still a substantial presence will remain in place until probably Monday.  ”We are committed to seeing a conclusion in this case.”

Gov. Deval Patrick said the MBTA (mass transit) system is being re-opened.  The “stay indoors” requirement has been lifted, but everyone is being encouraged to “remain vigilant.”

Mayor Menino: Thanks everyone, there are many leads still being pursued.

Watertown Mayor: We will continue to have a “saturated presence.”  The designated crime scene over a large 20 square block area in Watertown will be taken down in the next few hours.

Everyone is being asked to continue to call in any possible sightings of Dzokhar Tsarnaev.

The officials are being asked, “how can it be that the lockdown is being lifted, yet an armed and very dangerous individual is still on the loose?”  Excellent question, although because the officials are reluctant to discuss the details of the investigation, it could indicate that  - this is pure speculation – the suspect is either in custody or is known to be severely injured.  Col. Alber said he is “confident” that the suspect remains in Massachusetts, and the reason he gave is because “all of his ties are here.”  However, we already know the suspect has an aunt in Canada, a sister in West New York, New Jersey and an uncle in Maryland.

 

2:45 pm ET It was just announced that the missing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, became a naturalized U.S. citizen on September 11, 2012.

2:15 pm ET press conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry coming up.

1:25 pm Emily Long, next door neighbor to the Tsarnaev family for a year and a half, said they were “very polite, helpful” and “sweet.”  Tamarlin was the oldest, then two sisters, and the youngest is Dzhokhar.  The parents had been lawyers in Russia.  Their father had, according to Long, been beaten badly by the KGB, and that was why they were given political asylum in the United States.  Note, this is information given by a neighbor, it is unconfirmed thus far.

1:18 pm ET According to Fox News, the older Tsarnaev brother had social media accounts praising allah and Chechen separatism, and also a YouTube account containing violent videos, and he spent approximately 6 months abroad last year.  He was arrested in 2011 for assaulting his girlfriend.

A noon press conference given by Massachusetts, Boston and Watertown political leaders had nothing new to reveal, but implored people to stay inside and not to open their doors to anyone other than uniformed police officers.  Watertown mayor thanked everyone for their cooperation, but insisted they “need more time.”

Airspace over Boston area is closed indefinitely.

A controlled detonation took place in Cambridge this afternoon.  The Tsarnaev brothers lived in an apartment in Cambridge.

11:00 am ET: Ruslan Tsarnaev, uncle of the two suspects gave a press conference Friday morning outside his home in Montgomery Village, Maryland.  The uncle, who said he had not seen the boys in many years, was visibly agitated.

According to the uncle of the suspects, the brothers are not what he calls “Chechens,” whom he said are “peaceful people.”  The uncle said neither boy was born in Chechnya, although the younger boy was born in Dhagastan, which borders on Chechnya.

When asked what he wants to tell his nephew, Ruslan Tsarnaev said:

If you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured.  We are ashamed, you have put shame on the entire [Chechen] ethnicity.  Turn yourself in!

 

The suspect still living, 19 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is known to be registered as a student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.  That school is closed today and is in the process of being evacuated.

FBI Releases Pictures of Two Marathon Bomb Suspects

Friday, April 19th, 2013

The FBI released on Thursday two fuzzy pictures of suspects in the Boston marathon bombings that killed at least three people and maimed and wounded 176 others.

Both men were pictures wearing backpacks, which authorities think contained the bombs that were detonated at the finish line, not far from where the two young suspects were photographed in a crowd on a sidewalk. One wore a white cap backwards and was seen putting his backpack on the ground. The other suspect wore a dark baseball cap.

“Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members of the suspects,” Richard DesLauriers, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s special agent in charge in Boston, told a news conference. “Though it may be difficult, the nation is counting on those with information to come forward and provide it to us.”

The longer the attack remains a mystery, the more theories have cropped up, ranging from an Al Qaeda-linked cell to a domestic plot with an infinite number of motives.

The FBI was extra careful before releasing the pictures. At least two people have been falsely suspected as the terrorists, One of them is a Saudi student who others have been false suspected, one of them questioned in the hospital where he was being treated for burns from an explosion and the other being a teenager who was singled out Internet uses and whose image was published on social media.

Comedian Jon Stewart skewed CNN for its report that the FBI had arrested a suspect. He ridiculed network for having become the “human centipede of news.”

VLOG: Yishai in Boston With Message of Solidarity Against Terror

Friday, April 19th, 2013

As providence would have it, I came to Boston in just “the right time” in the sense that I got to to give strength to some of the people here in the immediate aftermath of the awful terror attack on Monday.

The following is a short video message that I recorded in the streets of Boston right in the area of the attack. You can see behind me the press corp and the police working hard. Also I am including some pictures that I took on Wed as I walked around the area of the marathon which is still closed off.

A young Russian Jewish American who was running the marathon – and was, in fact, right in between the bomb blasts – and spared from from injury. She asked me how did I cope with being injured in Lebanon by a roadside bomb and did I have any advice for her. I told her that the goal of bombers was to have those shock waves go into our body and cause damage to our internal organs. But if we can take that shock wave and let it pass through us and change that blast energy into something positive – so that the energy of the blast is converted through our bodies into a healing energy and into a building energy – then we will have thwarted the efforts of the bomber.

They want to destroy us – they want us to be full of fear – but we will use that blast energy to remind us that life is precious and that we are here on this world for a short time in order to build and make the world a better place. We will not grant staisfaction to the bombers – we will take their very evil energy and convert it into a renewable source of life. The dead and the injured should not suffer the double fate of having the paid in blood and having that blood be meaningless. We will take that blood and make it meaningfull we will take that blast and harness its energy. We will deny the terrorists their satisfaction and instead we will ensure that the great research and knowledge that comes from Boston will continue to emanate, and the amazing spirit that comes from Jerusalem will light up the world.

Let us pray that all those who were injured will have a speedy recovery and may this terror attack inspire us to band together and fight for a better future for mankind.

Army jeeps in the streets of Boston

Army jeeps in the streets of Boston

Police huddle at Marathon site

Police huddle at Marathon site

Memorial for Boston Marathon victims

Memorial for Boston Marathon victims

Saudi Nat’l First Questioned in Boston Bombing to Be Deported

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Steve Emerson broke the shocking news last night that the Saudi national, Abdul al-Harbi, who was first questioned in the Boston bombing, is going to be deported on ”national security grounds.” He is from a very powerful Saudi family with many terrorist ties. Abdul al-Harbi is a devout Muslim from Medina.

I said that it takes longer than 15 hours to investigate all of Abdul al-Harbi’s relatives, friends, acquaintances, and business and school friends.

Perhaps a quick look at the Arabic sources should raise the eyebrows of every American relative to the extent of the problem at hand. Many from Al-Harbi’s clan are steeped in terrorism and are members of Al-Qaeda. Out of a list of 85 terrorists listed by the Saudi government shows several of Al-Harbi clan to have been active fighters in Al-Qaeda[.]

When I heard he was from a very powerful Saudi family, I worried about this kind of thing happening.

Secretary of State Kerry’s meeting with the Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal was abruptly closedto the press the day Abdul al-Harbi was being questioned. There is no doubt in my mind that this was discussed.

Today’s embarassing display of rolling incompetence and badly mangled leaks led to numerous cancellations of press conferences, mis-identified suspects, promises of imminent arrest, walking back the arrest announcement, and more. They said they would release a statement and then said they wouldn’t.

Very smelly.

Visit Atlas Shrugs.

In Hebrew: ‘Bittersweet’

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

מָתוֹק-מָרִיר Though the mood was great yesterday here as the political nation of Israel celebrated 65 years of existence and prosperity, there’s a bittersweet element as well, as we remember the people of Boston who have experienced an event this week that we in Israel know all too well.

The Hebrew term for bittersweet combines the words for sweetמָתוֹק and bitter – מָרִיר- yielding מָתוֹק-מָרִיר.

Visit Ktzat Ivrit.

Finding the Culprit: The Race to be Wrong

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Someone tweeted yesterday that “the race to be wrong first has begun in earnest.” And that is so — we’ve seen wild media reports that there were 12 people killed (so far there are 3, with about 150 injured), that two Saudi nationals were in custody (the police talked to a Saudi student who was injured in the bombing), and more. But there are some things that are known and can serve as a basis for speculation.

First, the bombs were in backpacks placed against buildings behind the spectators on the sidewalk, and most of the victims were on the sidewalk. So the intent was to kill and injure as many people as possible, at random.

Second, the bombs were homemade using non-military explosives, built into pressure cookers. They contained ball bearings and possibly other items in order to increase their effectiveness as anti-personnel weapons. They were detonated by either a timer or a remote control device, which could have been a cellphone or other radio receiver.

The authorities will pick up every fragment they can, examine explosive residue to determine how it was made, look for parts of the control device, etc. Then they will deploy the huge amount of manpower at their disposal to try to determine where the pressure cookers and backpacks were purchased, as well as the control devices and the chemicals used to make the explosives.

They will look at the massive quantity of security camera video, photos and videos made by spectators, news footage, etc. to try to spot whoever placed the bombs. They will check hundreds, maybe thousands of leads that they will be given by witnesses.

They will consider Islamic terrorism, right- and left-wing anti-government terrorism, and terrorism by mentally disturbed individuals. They will consider terrorist organizations here and abroad and they will consider “lone-wolf” operations.

Rather than too little evidence, there will be too much. It will take time, but I think they will be successful.

So what do I think they will discover?

Does the viciously random nature of the bombing give a clue to the motive? It was directed at people, including children, who would be expected to be among the spectators. Most terrorists pick targets that embody or symbolize their enemies, as Timothy McVeigh chose the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Anti-government terrorists often see themselves as champions of “the people,” and would be unlikely to want to randomly kill ordinary citizens (McVeigh claimed that he was not aware of the day care center in the Murrah building).

Ted Kacyznski, the Unabomber, targeted universities, airlines, etc., symbols of the technology that he hated. Even George Metesky, the Mad Bomber of Manhattan, placed devices in public places only after his attempts to draw attention to his grievance against Consolidated Edison by bombing its installations was ignored.

On the other, hand, anti-government terrorist Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympics, did so to protest abortion and the “homosexual agenda.” Rudolph also bombed abortion clinics and a lesbian bar, but it would have been difficult to deduce his motives from the Olympics bombing alone.

Islamic terrorists often (but not always) perpetrate acts of terrorism aimed at the U.S. in general and its people. Examples include the Times Square bombing attempt, the two World Trade Center bombings, attempted bombings of the Sears Tower, airports, etc. In Israel, of course, mass murder attempts are frequent. The common factor is that the Islamic terrorist sees his enemy as the nation as a whole, and public institutions or citizens as legitimate targets.

Al- Qaeda’s Inspire magazine, which tells how to “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”

What about the bombs? The pressure cooker bomb was described in a DHS bulletin as “[a] technique commonly taught in Afghan terrorist training camps.” A description of such a bomb also appeared in al-Qaeda’s English-language “Inspire” magazine. The use of pressure cookers for bombs dates back at least to 2001, so it is certainly possible that the technique is widely known.

All We Know for Sure is that Boston Will Rise

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

It’s too much to say we don’t know squat yet about the bombing at the Boston Marathon yesterday, but it’s still pretty close.

It was clarified at the press conference yesterday with government officials that there were no additional unexploded devices found near the finish line of the marathon.  The only devices known about so far are the two that exploded, 13 seconds apart, just before 3:00 PM EDT.

The officials were did not expand on the visit of law enforcement to the apartment building in Revere, M.A. late last night.  We already knew that the young Saudi national who was being questioned yesterday was determined to have nothing to do with the bombing. (He is reportedly no longer a focus of investigation).

According to television reports, explosives were made using pressure cookers loaded with ball bearings.  Fox’s Catherine Herridge spoke about the use of triacetone peroxide (TATP) as the explosive agent. The character of the explosions was consistent with TATP.  These readily available materials don’t tell us much right now about who might have been responsible.  They may in the coming days, if the point of sale or commercial manufacturer can be established.

The bombs were effective, which is something.  But a quick search of the internet turns up multiple sites offering general information on what it takes to put together a TATP device.  The bomb’s characteristics don’t automatically finger anyone or rule out any particular group.

The FBI and Boston Police have disclosed nothing about the ongoing investigation, which is understandable.  As far as we know, no one has taken credit for the attack, and we don’t know of any prior warnings that were issued about it (e.g., like bomber Eric Rudolph’s call to police before his bomb went off at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta in 1996, killing one woman, leading to the death of a man from a heart attack, and injuring 111).

So we simply don’t know, and can’t guess right now, who did this.  We can say that the bombing was relatively small in scope.  The explosions were horrific for those in their immediate vicinity, but the bombs were not big ones, and there were only two.  With each hour that passes, it becomes more evident that there is no larger plot requiring a group of terrorists of significant size.

Based on what we know so far, the overall nature of the attack is most similar to Eric Rudolph’s in Atlanta in 1996.  That doesn’t tell us much, given all the things we don’t know yet.  But we can say some things for certain, such as that this was not an attack on a government facility, like the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995, nor (contra MSNBC hysteric Chris Matthews) was it mounted on April 19th – the actual date of the OKC bombing and the Waco compound assault. (The mass shooting at Columbine high school was on 20 April 1999).

Certainly, the size of the bombs in Boston was nothing like that of the bomb used by Timothy McVeigh to kill 168 people and injure hundreds more, completely destroying the Murrah Federal Building in the process.  McVeigh’s bomb had an explosive effect more powerful than the 2,000-pound warheads used by the U.S. Air Force and Navy.  It had to be transported to the Murrah Building in downtown Oklahoma City in a moving van.

The smaller-bombing M.O. doesn’t rule out Islamist radicals either.  Faizal Shahad, a naturalized U.S. citizen who had trained with terrorists in Pakistan, tried to detonate a single car bomb in Times Square on 1 May 2010.  As with the Atlanta bombing and the Boston Marathon attack, Shahad was targeting an area with a lot of people in it: going for mass casualties rather than attacking particular buildings.  The list of known foiled attacks in the U.S. since 9/11 indicates that Islamist cells plan attacks in different sizes.  They aren’t all envisioned as huge attacks that will bring buildings down.

See hereherehere, and here for the associations of Hezbollah as well as Al Qaeda in the New York and Boston areas.  If it turned out to be the work of Islamist radicals, this bombing would probably have been launched by fewer than a handful in a loosely connected cell, rather than as a coordinated operation overseen by terror-group leadership.

One possibility, of course, is that the bomber(s) don’t live in the Boston area, and may not even live in New England.  Getting the two relatively small bombs to the attack site would not have required living quarters in the vicinity, or other preparations more traceable than the apparent placement of the bombs in trash cans as recorded on CCTV cameras.  It would have been quite possible to ride the trains and/or buses to the attack site, and disappear quietly after detonating the bombs.  (Doing it this way would have required more than one person, in my judgment – at least while riding the public transportation.)

Where to look for a terrorist who has this in mind, and doesn’t plan to take credit for political purposes, is not clear.  The M.O. would be somewhat reminiscent of McVeigh, however, who sought to hide out after the Oklahoma City attack.

There is much that is similar to others in any given bombing attack.  It is not obvious that any group or type of person in particular mounted this one, nor can any be ruled out.  The law-enforcement authorities have their work cut out for them.

(An aside: an official at Massachusetts General Hospital yesterday credited training done two years ago with Israelis for their preparedness to deal with the casualties flooding the hospital after the bombing.  Law enforcement officials would probably benefit from consulting with the Israelis on their manhunt for the bomber(s).)

In the meantime, our hearts go out to the victims and their families, including the family of little Martin Richard, who at eight years old has so far been the youngest fatality.

We can pray that the doctors and nurses will continue to be fit and energetic as they deal with the awful gore and human pain dealt out by this attack.  I saw a comment on Twitter stating that this attack is a reminder of how important the “injuries” are from such an event, even when the death toll seems small.  So many people will have to finish their lives without the limbs we all rely on for simple normality.  Some were fortunate to have received only superficial wounds; too many will see their lives changed forever by what they have lost.  May God’s grace enfold them all.

But Boston will rise.  Rise to the occasion, rise above the pain and loss, rise beyond where she was 24 hours ago, peaceful under the cool spring sun, enjoying Patriots Day, and waiting for the last runners to get to the finish line.

Originally published at The Optimistic Conservative.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/all-we-know-for-sure-is-that-boston-will-rise/2013/04/17/

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