Outside of the obvious, where, when and what, little has been revealed about the bloody terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon. The most important piece of information, the who factor, remains a mystery. With so little known, at least publicly, even the media has yet to speculate. It is safe to assume that the perpetrators of this latest act of cowardice, either foreign or domestic, where motivated by an extreme political or religious ideology rooted in evil. But is it the evil of al–Qaeda or a Timothy McVeigh/Terry Nichols style lunatic? Was it Islamic terrorism or home grown hate?
While it offers no proof in this particular event, there is some reason to believe that this type of attack could be the direction al–Qaeda intends to go. Writing last year in the online al–Qaeda magazine, Inspire, known terrorist Abu Musab al-Suri, encouraged “Resistance fighters among the Muslims residing in America and the allied Western countries” to target civilians as an effective way to respond to “a brutal practice carried out by America and her allied forces.”
al-Suri believes that targeting sports arenas, annual social events, large exhibitions, crowded markets and large buildings will be an effective means to “inflict maximum human losses.”
While this vicious and immoral logic sounds typical of animals like Abu Musab al-Suri, the reality is it is not limited to Muslim extremists and their jihad. Any home grown crackpot, whether they sympathize with Islamic fanatics or hate America for their own reasons, can carry out the practice of performing smaller, deadly attacks anywhere, anytime.
In an interview with Newsmax following the Boston bombing, retired four star US Air Force General Michael Hayden explained that regardless of who committed the terrorist act yesterday in Boston, the fact is it could be a new direction for terrorists both domestic and foreign. The former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency Director described it as possibly, ‘the new normal.’
When you think back to 9/11, the amount of effort and planning that went into the attack now becomes unnecessary. By designing and executing smaller, deadly attacks on American soil, the impact can have ample affect. If enough of these attacks were to occur, it would eventually create a country wide concern that would impact the activities everyone has always thought of as safe to attend, engage in and enjoy.
It is impossible to put enough police officers at every entrance to every movie theater, restaurant, shopping mall and public event across America. That’s why they’re called soft targets. Until now the possibility of this tactic seemed remote. Yesterday may have changed the game.
The one undeniable truth is that Americans are tough. They stand up and fight back. Video coverage from immediately after the explosions in Boston shows ordinary citizens running into the scene to help. They did not run away and abandon their unknown brothers and sisters.
Being vigilant has been the norm for well over a decade. The good citizens of America know that when they see or hear something that isn’t quite right it is better to err on the side of caution and report it.
The truth will come out about this latest attack on innocents. Yesterday, President Obama promised that the perpetrators of the carnage in Boston will be hunted down and brought to justice.
It is a certainty that every American stands behind the president this time.