New Castle News

April 17, 2013

Our Opinion: The Boston Marathon targeted with deadly bombs

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The finish line of a foot race is not where one would expect a terrorist attack.

But perhaps that was a key factor in the setting of two bombs Monday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Terrorism strives to spread fear and uncertainty by unexpected attacks.

At this point, we don’t know who was behind the deadly bombing at one of America’s premier events for runners. Investigators have released few details. No one has claimed responsibility, and it appears authorities have no specific suspects at this point.

But we don’t expect the mystery to last. Remnants of the bombs will provide clues. Law enforcement is poring over photos and video of the scene, in an effort to identify suspects. Although it may take time, we have confidence the culprit or culprits will be found.

Whenever a bombing such as this occurs, likely suspects include al-Qaida and its allies overseas. And, indeed, the shrapnel-type bombs employed are reportedly similar to ones used in Iraq, Afghanistan and other unstable regions.

With the Internet, however, any would-be terrorist — regardless of motive — can learn to make similar devices. The sad reality is that bombs and their components are not particularly difficult to acquire.

Because of that, domestic terrorism cannot be discounted here. That’s particularly true because of the date it occurred. Monday was Patriots Day, the third Monday in March, which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord. They marked the first official clashes of the American Revolution in 1775.

Patriots Day was the date chosen by Timothy McVeigh for his attack in 1995 on the federal building in Oklahoma City. Authorities said McVeigh believed his bombing would launch an anti-government revolt in America. It didn’t, but there are still people out there who think along the same lines.

And Boston effectively served as the cradle of the American Revolution. Not only were Lexington and Concord nearby towns, but the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and other major events related to the revolution are tied to that city.

In the mind of a deranged anti-government zealot, a terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon — which is always run on Patriots Day — might seem like a logical move. Investigators must sort all that out.

But no matter the reason behind Monday’s attack, the goal was to instill fear in the American people. This is the tactic terrorists employ, because they are unable to make their points intellectually or through other legitimate means.

So the best way to defeat terrorism is to challenge it and to refuse to be victimized by it.