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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Boston Marathon’

Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Boston Marathon Bomber

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused of last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, faces the death penalty, according to a recommendation made last year by federal prosecutors’  but not  made public until Thursday. He was indicted last June 27.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, including using a weapon for mass destruction. Three people were killed and another 260 wounded in the massacre. Of those injured, 16 lost their legs after Tsarnaev allegedly left homemade bombs in crowds near the finish line of the race.

The decision to request the death penalty, as recommended by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, was announced by the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen Oritz, who wrote that Tsarnaev “committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel, and depraved manner.”

Policed shot and captured Tsarnaev last April, days after the murders. He had hidden in a  boat where he allegedly scrawled in his own blood such statements as, “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians. Can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished.

“We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all. Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said [unintelligible] it is allowed. Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”

The day before he was arrested, Tsarnaev’s older brother Tamerlan, who also was sought for the massacre, died from gunshot and other wounds during a car chase by police.

He admitted to authorities that Tamerlan was infuriated by the  United States, in particular for what he believed was its attacks on Islam through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, naturalized as an American citizen in September 2012, was a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, with a major in marine biology.

 

Giffords accepts JFK award in Boston

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in Boston on Sunday for pushing for policy changes aimed at reducing gun violence.

Giffords, Arizona’s first Jewish representative in Congress, has become an advocate for stricter gun control after being shot in the head in 2011.

Earlier this year, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, founded Americans for Responsible Gun Ownership, an organization that is lobbying for stricter gun control laws.

“Today we honor a woman who inspires the entire world,” said Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, which gives the award. She commended Giffords for turning a personal tragedy into a movement for political change.

“When others would have withdrawn from public life, she has challenged us all to reengage in the political process,” Kennedy said.

“I believe we all have courage inside,” Giffords said at the ceremony. “I just wish there was more courage in Congress,” she added, alluding to the defeat by the U.S. Senate in April of a gun control bill that would have toughened background checks for gun purchasers.

“It’s been a hard two years for me,” Giffords said, “but I want to make the world a better place more than ever.”

While in Boston, Giffords and Kelly visited victims of the Boston Marathon bombings at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center.

Is Fear of Blaming Islam Greater than a Need to Fight Terrorism?

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

“The lights are going out in the enlightenment” Professor Barry Rubin told The Jewish Press in an interview this week.  “Too many reporters have no interest in reporting accurately, too many professors have no interest in speaking accurately, and too many policy makers have no interest in promulgating responsible policy.”

Rubin was talking about the reluctance to name revolutionary Islamism – Rubin calls this the “mysterious motivation,” and he refuses to be cowed into playing that avoidance game.

Rubin wrote a very important article about this after he watched the mainstream media and Western politicos twist themselves into pretzels in an effort to avoid the obvious. Rubin explains that the West seems to believe that if we admit the ideology and movement of  Islamism threatens Western society, that will have radical implications for our worldview.

As a result, Rubin points out, most current policy makers and opinion shapers prefer to avoid any policy that considering Islamism as the motive for terrorism would necessitate.  The fear of short term pain is indulged at the expense of preventing the real danger that will follow.  And we are being lied to – “albeit for virtuous reasons” – by the politicians and the mainstream press.

What is the fear which leads to the conclusion that “doing nothing has become better than doing anything”? The fear is that speaking the truth: that the Tsarnaev brothers acted in accordance with their (or at least the older brother’s) understanding, as well as that of many Muslims, of what Islam requires will lead to disaster.  It will cause widespread hatred of Muslims to be unleashed, the specter of Islamophobia to spread, racism will again become rampant, and all the things that a hoped-for post-racist America tried to put behind it will again spread throughout the land.

But the failure to take Islam into consideration might be the very reason why, despite the warning the U.S. was given by Russia that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was “a radical Muslim and a strong believer” the U.S. nonetheless watched Tsarnaev leave the country for Russia and allowed the case file on him to expire during the time Tsarnaev was in a heavily radicalized Muslim territory of Russia, and why other terrorists have also been able to launch attacks.

In a telephone interview from his home in Tel Aviv, The Jewish Press spoke with Rubin, the director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.  Rubin is the author of more than two dozen books on topics including terrorism, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, the PLO, Israel, the Middle East and Islam, which have been published by the most esteemed publishing houses including the Oxford, Yale, Harvard and Cambridge University presses.

First Rubin lists off and explains the many ways the Tsarnaev brothers’ “mysterious motive” to maim and murder Americans has been and continues to be aggressively obfuscated. The list includes fingers pointed at a troubled youth; the Chechen code of honor; immigrants’ malaise; and unemployment.  Read his article, it is well worth seeing how he lays out this case.

Rubin then flips to the other side, and explores the justifications used to avoid saying Islamic extremism is a motivating factor in terrorism generally, and was so in the Boston Marathon Bombings specifically.

These reasons fall primarily into two groups; the first, that by linking the act of terrorism with Islam, even the movement of Islamism, it will unleash a wave of Islamophobic violence, and two, that such attacks are really our (that is, that of the U.S. and of the West) fault.

Rubin, an honest-to-goodness liberal (not “progressive”) finds these lists of false motivations and obviously flawed self-blame theories not just foolish, but dangerous.

A variant of the “you can’t link Islam to terrorism” problem is to insist that the only kind of Islamist strategic threat dangerous to the United States is the one that emanates from al Qaeda.

“If it isn’t al Qaeda, it supposedly isn’t our problem,” is how Rubin described to The Jewish Press this refusal to look directly at the problem.  “In Syria, for example, up to three dozen radical Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have received arms due to U.S. supported policies but only one – the direct affiliate to al Qaeda – is barred from this program,” Rubin said.

The connection between Islamism and terrorism has to be dealt with forthrightly – sometimes the motivation for a terrorist act will be Islamist terrorism, and sometimes it won’t be, but when it is and we avoid naming it, we are setting ourselves up for a continuation, a metastases of the problem.

AMERICAN MUSLIMS AREN’T COWED

A Muslim Perspective: Boston’s Tragedy Must Not Generate More Hate

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

First and foremost, my prayers go out to the victims and their families in Boston. Just like we have a hard time understanding psychologically unhealthy people, we cannot understand what kind of man can be at war with innocents. History has witnessed many sick people leading others to commit atrocities, but there is one thing for certain; whatever the perpetrator or perpetrators might profess as a religion, they are not believers. If someone is capable of killing innocent people without so much as blinking an eye, then they are murderers with no fear of God. That is indisputable.

However, whenever there is a bombing or a mass shooting in public places like the atrocity in Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, or the Aurora, Colorado massacre, or the 2011 Norway massacre, and many more, the worlds’ collective gaze shifts to “Muslims,” and some begin to express hateful sentiments even before the perpetuators are announced.

Just as it has become reflexive reaction in the Western world, to associate any attacks on civilians with Muslims, Muslims also hurry up to denounce the violence and want to make clear to the whole world that it is a violation of Islam, in case the murderer happens to have a Muslim identity.

Since these are times when emotions are high and people want quick justice, they sometimes seek targets to direct their anger. But inciting hatred, raising conflict and enmity, hatemongering, engaging in one-sided, aggressive propaganda and creating a climate of hysteria, or using the internet to incite a lynch mob, are also crimes.

As we have witnessed in the latest attack, while some react with common sense, others pour out words of hate targeting all Arabs and labeling all Muslims as potential murderers. For instance, a Fox News contributor—whether seriously or as satire—had the audacity to state that Muslims “…are evil…Let’s kill them all.” And I read a good many comments suggesting the extermination of Muslims.

But even if these voices are merely the ones being highlighted, these are still the voices of a minority, and very extreme examples at that. Some act this way because of pain and fear; others lack dignity and or even humanity in their soul – they are simply psychopaths.

While I say this, I also would like to strongly criticize those who express joy at the sight of horror in America, just because they think the American government’s foreign policies are wrong. On the other hand, I watched an Egyptian “cleric” saying this attack was definitely a jihad by mujahideen, adding that their execution was amateurish, and so it could not have been an Al-Qaida operation.

This chilling mindset is as horrifying to me, as a devout Muslim, as it is to any Westerner. The use of the concept of “jihad” for acts of aggression against innocent people is a great distortion of the true meaning of the term. Jihad—meaning to strive, to show an effort—is about telling people about Islam with knowledge, culture, love, affection and compassion; and to tell people the truth kindly, to treat them warmly, to respect their ideas, not to be ruthless toward them or shed blood, kill or hurt people or kill oneself.

I gave these two extreme examples because they do not represent the majority, and those who expressed them had no right to manipulate public feelings or opinion. Hatred and anger are likely to prevent people from thinking soundly and making just decisions. People can be inclined to injustice and cannot conduct themselves rationally when they let their anger guide their actions and words. So let us not accuse innocent people of acts they have never committed, or bear false witness against them. Let us keep some common sense, maintain our balance, and let us not give people the grounds to provoke. Even if they raise their voices, let us not permit them to misuse horrific atrocities to spread their poisonous and malicious propaganda.

Marathon Suspect #1 Caught

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Boston Marathon Suspect #1, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was caught on Friday night. He was hiding under the tarp of a boat in the backyard of a Watertown home. A local resident saw blood on the rope of the tarp covering his boat, in his backyard.

The owner called the police who evacuated the couple, and swarmed the yard.

There was an exchange of gunfire, but police managed to capture Suspect #1 alive.

His brother, Suspect #2, Tamerlan Tsarnaev Was killed earlier on Friday, in a shootout with police.

Boston was effectively locked down on Friday as police launched the largest manhunt in the cities history to find the terrorists who blew up the Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and wounding 170.

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.”

Peres Consoles Obama over ‘Heinous’ Terrorist Attack

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

“I was shocked to receive the news of the heinous terror attack near the finish line of the Boston marathon in which innocent civilians lost their lives,” President Shimon Peres wrote President Barack Obama.

Addressing him as “Mr. President, Dear Friend,” President Peres continued, “In my name and on behalf of the people of Israel, I want to extend my sincere condolences to the families of the victims and my good wishes for a full and speedy recovery to the wounded.

“This murderous act perpetrated against innocent people and children underscores yet again the indiscriminate inhumanity of these attacks that cause so much suffering.

“Our prayers are with you, and out hearts go out to the people of the city of Boston and of the United States at large in this time of mourning.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/peres-consoles-obama-over-heinous-terrorist-attack/2013/04/17/

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