It is simply too early to make any significant assumptions about the bombings in Boston as there are conflicting reports and no information from law enforcement, rightly, will become public anytime soon. But we can make a reasonable set of assumptions based on what we have seen.
The perpetrator or perpetrators are likely relative amateurs; self radicalized or arriving here in a radicalized state of mind. The bombs while devastating to those in the area were not empirically strong explosive devices as the range of impact seemed to be limited to 20 – 30 yards. It is likely that these bombs were ‘kitchen chemical’ explosives and it is further likely that there was not a significant cell involved in the attack as a significant cell would have generated stronger explosions with a high probability of suicide attacks as a part of the planning. Nearly anyone can make a bomb, however, to make a devastating one requires specific training and experience. The timing of the two explosions also points to amateurs. If the first bomb was intended to drive people toward the second the second would have exploded more than the 12 – 15 seconds we see on film, the second bomb was, considering the location of the finish line, in the wrong spot to create maximum carnage. Multiple devices is a standard al Qaeda technique but in the past, more effectively applied and timed.
Having lived in and around Boston for many years there was not a significant, radicalized Right Wing presence in the area. That does not exclude the potential for domestic terrorism as a variety of anniversaries of prior domestic incidents surround this date and it is ‘tax day’, but the probabilities are low. The Pakistani Taliban has already distanced themselves from the bombing, making one wonder what they know and why they would feel the need to separate themselves from the event?
Al Qaeda has long called for lone wolf attacks as the degree of difficulty associated with 9/11 style attacks increases. The first edition of Inspire Magazine, an English language Jihadist publication out of Yemen had, as a lead article; “How to make a bomb in your Mom’s kitchen”. Reza Kahlili a former CIA informant in Iran has reported, since December, that Iranian based operatives have been dispatched to the U.S.
The unfortunate reality, as we saw in Mumbai, is that to fully protect soft targets is nearly impossible. What we can do is aggressively reject those who by word, deed and dollars support radicalized ideologies. There are many domestic organizations that have been proven to be involved in material support for terrorism. Many have access to our political leaders, including the White House. They reject the very idea of cooperation with law enforcement officials and maintain an ideology foreign to mainstream American values and history.
We can reject those who reject our values, we can do it aggressively! We can deny them the political correctness they depend on for cover! We can demand that word and deed agree! We can focus on the incredible body of factual information we have related to terror and terror support as opposed to ‘feel good’ standards of moral equivalency!!!
The enemy has no such problems with moral equivalency!!!