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At Least 3 Dead, 130 Injured After Bombs Explode At Boston

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At least 130 people are injured and three dead after
two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday
afternoon. The injuries include dismemberment, witnesses said, and local
hospitals say they are treating shrapnel wounds, open fractures and
limb injuries. An eight-year-old boy is one of the three known dead,
multiple news outlets reported, and several of the injured are also

At a Monday night press conference, Gov. Deval Patrick urged
Bostonians to be vigilant on their morning commute Tuesday, and to
report any suspicious packages to the police. The FBI has officially
taken over the investigation, and is treating it as a potential
terrorist attack.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis stressed that the police had no
suspect in custody yet. "I'm not prepared to say we are at ease at this
time," Davis said, when asked if the area was safe.

"This cowardly act will not be taken in stride," Davis said. "We will turn over every rock to find out who is responsible.''

Davis said Boston police were not aware of any specific threat to the
marathon before it began. Police said they had no one in custody and no
suspects, but the Boston Globe reported that a "person of interest" who
was injured in the blast was being questioned at Brigham and Woman's Hospital Monday night.

[Related: Full coverage of the Boston marathon explosions]

Two large explosions, just 50 yards apart, went off at 2:50 p.m. ET,
more than four hours into the race. One of the explosions happened near
the entrance of the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Copley Square. The blast
scattered hundreds of onlookers and runners, and left a bloody scene of
injured spectators, including children. Local news reporter Jackie Bruno
wrote that she saw some people with their limbs blown off.
The Boston Police Department said it is looking for video footage taken
from the finish line as part of its investigation. Video footage shows
first responders and bystanders rushing to the scene of the blast to
help the wounded.

Boston Medical Center took in 20 patients, including two children,
most of whom are being treated for "lower leg injuries," a spokeswoman
said. A spokeswoman for Tufts Medical Center said the hospital is
treating nine patients for conditions such as shrapnel wounds, ruptured
ear drums, and "serious orthopedic and neuromuscular trauma to the lower
legs." At least one patient was as young as three years old.

President Barack Obama warned Americans in a brief statement Monday
evening not to jump to conclusions before authorities find out who
committed the crime. "We will find out who did this," Obama said in an
appearance in the White House briefing room. "Any responsible
individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of
justice." A White House official said the incident is being treated as
an act of terror.

NBC News, citing anonymous law enforcement sources, reported Monday
that a "small homemade bomb" is believed to be responsible for the
explosion. The FAA created a no-fly zone around the area. Cell phone
service was shut down in the area, the AP reported, to prevent any
remote detonations. Family and friends of marathon runners or spectators
can call 617-635-4500 for information on their loved ones.

This video from the Boston Globe shows the moment the bomb went off, and the paper has also pulled together dramatic photos from the aftermath. According to marathon officials, several thousand runners had not finished the race when the explosions detonated.

Police have evacuated the area on
Boylston Street to continue sweeping for more devices. Runners who had
not yet finished the race were stopped at mile 25 and directed to Boston
Common. The Boston Police Department called in all off duty officers in
the city. This New York Times map shows where on the route the explosions took place.

[Related: Photos from the scene of the Boston Marathon explosions]

Patrick called it a "horrific day in Boston" in a statement.

The New York Police Department is stepping up security around the
city in response to the explosion. At the White House, yellow police
tape was used to block off Pennsylvania Avenue from pedestrians in front
of the White House's north gates and secret service were positioned
along the perimeter. Credentialed pass holders continued to be permitted
entry and exit from both the White House and the Executive Office

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Who's behind the Boston Marathon bombings? 4 theories By Peter Weber | The Week – 10 hrs ago

More than half a day after the explosions in Boston, police still have few answers. That hasn't quieted the speculation.

Law enforcement officials don't have any official suspects in Monday's twin bombings
at the finish line of the Boston marathon. And President Obama
specifically urged people not to speculate on who's behind the attack,
which killed at least three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and
wounded more than 100 others, including several amputations.

"We still don't know who did this or why," Obama said
Monday night. "People should not jump to conclusions before we have all
the facts. But make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this. We
will find out who did this. We will find out why they did this. Any
individual or responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice."

SEE MORE: Where to find helpful information about the Boston Marathon explosions

Of course, plenty of people are speeding by the president's advice and
jumping to conclusions, or at least jumping to theories. "We all wonder
first who did this," says Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast.
And, Tomasky says, a little careful speculation isn't such a bad thing.
Here are four groups that are the focus of early (and — let us be clear
— sometimes baseless) finger-pointing in the Boston attack:

1. Islamist jihadists
theory was inevitable in the worst attack on U.S. soil since the Sept.
11, 2001 attacks, and it gained some initial credence from a New York Post report
that a 20-year-old Saudi national had been picked up as a "person of
interest." Police quickly threw cold water on that report, but then
Boston TV station WABC reported
that police are "searching for a darker skinned or black male with a
black backpack and black sweatshirt, possibly foreign national from the
accent of the individual."

SEE MORE: Boston is more than a marathon. It embodies the American spirit.

Another anonymous law enforcement official "notes that the manner of the
attack suggests it may have been Al Qaeda inspired — if not Al Qaeda
directed," says Christopher Dickey at The Daily Beast.
That's because the construction of the bombs — gunpowder with
ball-bearings and other shrapnel to maximize the damage — is similar to a
bomb recipe shared by Al Qaeda "on its internet manuals for terrorist

Of course, not everyone is convinced. "Horrific as this obviously was,
it doesn't seem big enough" for an attack by Arab terrorists, says The Daily Beast's Tomasky. "Everything we know about their m.o. — the 1993 WTC bombing, the 2000 LAX plot, and 9-11 — suggests that they aim bigger."

SEE MORE: The Boston Marathon explosions: 7 heartwrenching images

2. Right-wing militia types
theory, too, was inevitable. And most proponents point to the date —
Patriots' Day — as a clue. Residents of Massachusetts and Maine
celebrate Patriots' Day by taking the day off of work and re-enacting
the first battles of the American Revolution, says Sommer Mathis at The Atlantic Cities.
"But in recent years, Second Amendment activists and anti-government
modern-day militia members have tried to co-opt the holiday, which also
roughly marks the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing."

It's also "wise in these cases to remember that the 1995 bombing of the
Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the bombing at the Atlanta
Olympics in 1996 were carried out by Americans who espoused extreme
right-wing causes," says The Daily Beast's Dickey.

SEE MORE: What the Boston Marathon means to a Bostonian

There's also the fact that the Boston Marathon fell on tax day this
year, and the last mile of the race "was dedicated to Newtown victims," says Tomasky.


"But man you would have to be a really 100 percent out-there sicko to
think that this was how you wanted to make a political statement about
gun rights. I think there are dangerous extremists among that group, but
I don't think even they would do or approve of doing something like
this." [Daily Beast]

3. The government
flag" attack proponents wasted no time blaming the government for
staging the Boston explosions to achieve their own ends, says Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon.
First out of the gate was Alex Jones, who tweeted: "Our hearts go out
to those that are hurt or killed #Boston marathon – but this thing
stinks to high heaven #falseflag."

SEE MORE: The Boston bombing: fact and fiction

Then "Dan Bidondi, a 'reporter/analyist' (sic) for Alex Jones's InfoWars, managed to ask Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick the very first question in a nationally televised press conference," notes Slate's David Weigel:


Why were the loud speakers telling people in the audience to be calm
moments before the bombs went off? Is this another false flag staged
attack to take our civil liberties and promote homeland security while
sticking their hands down our pants on the streets? [Via Slate]

"Patrick, looking on with a mixture of rage and pity, said 'no,' surely
aware that he couldn't halt this guy's incipient Internet fame," says Weigel.
But the inevitable Boston marathon "truthers" will have a hard time
with this conspiracy theory. There were too many cameras and witnesses
to "concoct a really compelling conspiracy theory," and the real-time
fact-checking on Twitter has decimated the bad information that
conspiracies need to thrive. For example, those "loud speakers" urging
calm never happened.

SEE MORE: Will Marco Rubio save immigration reform — or kill it?

4. A criminally insane lone wolf
There's also the possibility that this attack was perpetrated by some "local nutcase," says Tomasky at The Daily Beast.
"I guess I am right now leaning in that least conspiratorial
direction." Unfortunately, in our "open and free society," people can
cause massive destruction with a few well-placed bombs. There's a decent
chance the Boston marathon attackers were "motivated by simple revenge
of some kind, or by nothing but the disease in someone's brain."



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Boston Marathon explosions: Pakistan Taliban says it was not behind bombs

The Pakistan Taliban has denied responsibility for the bomb attacks which
killed three people and wounded more than 100 in Boston.


"The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
(TTP) wasn't involved in carrying out the Boston attacks," Ehsanullah
Ehsan, a spokesman for the group told The Daily Telegraph. " We will
issue a fuller statement only when those who have done this make any claim."

He also told the AFP news agency that the TTP supported attacks on the US.

The group claimed it was behind the botched 2010 attack on Times Square and
has close ties with al-Qaeda.

Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas remain a haven for militant groups, including
the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, which launch attacks on
international forces in Afghanistan.

The training camps have also been used to plot attacks on the West and to
equip British-born Jihadis with basic bomb making and field craft.

video released by the TTP claimed responsibility for a car bomb attempt in
New York’s Times Square on May 1, 2010, for which Pakistani-American Faisal
Shahzad was jailed for life.

The video showed Shahzad embracing Hakimullah Mehsud, the movement’s leader.

Last year the TTP said it was behind the attempt to murder Malala Yousafzai, a
15-year-old girl and education campaigner.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack in Boston and US leaders
have tried to avoid pointing the finger at Jihadi groups before more facts
are known.

As well as home-grown American extremists, suspicion is also likely to fall on
al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Its Inspire magazine has serialised the writings of Abu Mus’ab Al-Suri,
calling on American Muslims to launch lone wolf attacks against places where
large numbers of civilians gather, such as sporting events.

In an issue last year, he wrote: “The type of attack, which repels states and
topples governments, is mass slaughter of the population. This is done by
targeting human crowds in order to inflict maximum human losses.

“This is very easy since there are numerous such targets such as crowded
sports arenas, annual social events, large international exhibitions,
crowded marketplaces, sky-scrapers, crowded buildings… etc."



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Obama said this was a heinous and cowardly act.


Mr Obama- many in Pakistan who fall victim to your drone attacks would say the same.

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Interesting read.

We will always be stuck in the situation of never knowing the truth to countless attacks around the world.

Today the media is informing us the suspected bombers were from Chechen ethnicity- one is dead whilst the other is on the run.

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While following the Boston tragedy, which affected and deeply touched all of us, one cannot avoid comparing between a country that is in total shock because of 3 civilian deaths, and a massive manhunt by joint forces of police. swat, fbi and army for 1 single teenager  and between Syria, where an average of 150-200 civilian women and children get killed everyday for the last 2 years (70,000 so far, and counting..)! while the whole civilized world is watching, doing absolutely nothing, and the US busy sending drones thousands of miles away, randomly killing hundreds of women and children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


Aren't we all humans? or should you be an American to get all the attention?

Today, your life value is determined not by broadly being part of the human race, but by your specific nationality!

What a cruel world we live in! subhan Allah.

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Good article from Glen Greewald- kind of reflects what you say Dot.


Personally, I think the reason attacks in USA/UK get so much coverage is because these are rare- of course, life is life and murder of innocents is one of the worst acts a person can do.

But may be people have become almost resistant to hearing the daily killings/bombings we see in the middle east and likewise.

It doesn't shock like it should because its been going on for decades.

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Thanks for the link. Very good article indeed.




The Boston bombing produces familiar and revealing reactions

As usual, the limits of selective empathy, the rush to blame Muslims, and the exploitation of fear all instantly emerge

Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race Photograph: Stringer/REUTERS

(updated below [Wed.])

There's not much to say about Monday's Boston Marathon attack because there is virtually no known evidence regarding who did it or why. There are, however, several points to be made about some of the widespread reactions to this incident. Much of that reaction is all-too-familiar and quite revealing in important ways:


(1) The widespread compassion for yesterday's victims and the intense anger over the attacks was obviously authentic and thus good to witness. But it was really hard not to find oneself wishing that just a fraction of that compassion and anger be devoted to attacks that the US perpetrates rather than suffers. These are exactly the kinds of horrific, civilian-slaughtering attacks that the US has been bringing to countries in the Muslim world over and over and over again for the last decade, with very little attention paid. My Guardian colleague Gary Younge put this best on Twitter this morning:


Juan Cole this morning makes a similar point about violence elsewhere. Indeed, just yesterday in Iraq, at least 42 people were killed and more than 250 injured by a series of car bombs, the enduring result of the US invasion and destruction of that country. Somehow the deep compassion and anger felt in the US when it is attacked never translates to understanding the effects of our own aggression against others.

One particularly illustrative example I happened to see yesterday was a re-tweet from Washington Examiner columnist David Freddoso, proclaiming:

I don't disagree with that sentiment. But I'd bet a good amount of money that the person saying it - and the vast majority of other Americans - have no clue that targeting rescuers with "double-tap" attacks is precisely what the US now does with its drone program and other forms of militarism. If most Americans knew their government and military were doing this, would they react the same way as they did to yesterday's Boston attack: "Idea of secondary bombs designed to kill the first responders is just sick. How does anyone become that evil?" That's highly doubtful, and that's the point.


Idea of secondary bombs designed to kill the first responders is just sick. How does anyone become that evil?"

There's nothing wrong per se with paying more attention to tragedy and violence that happens relatively nearby and in familiar places. Whether wrong or not, it's probably human nature, or at least human instinct, to do that, and that happens all over the world. I'm not criticizing that. But one wishes that the empathy for victims and outrage over the ending of innocent human life that instantly arises when the US is targeted by this sort of violence would at least translate into similar concern when the US is perpetrating it, as it so often does (far, far more often than it is targeted by such violence).

Regardless of your views of justification and intent: whatever rage you're feeling toward the perpetrator of this Boston attack, that's the rage in sustained form that people across the world feel toward the US for killing innocent people in their countries. Whatever sadness you feel for yesterday's victims, the same level of sadness is warranted for the innocent people whose lives are ended by American bombs. However profound a loss you recognize the parents and family members of these victims to have suffered, that's the same loss experienced by victims of US violence. It's natural that it won't be felt as intensely when the victims are far away and mostly invisible, but applying these reactions to those acts of US aggression would go a long way toward better understanding what they are and the outcomes they generate.


(2) The rush, one might say the eagerness, to conclude that the attackers were Muslim was palpable and unseemly, even without any real evidence. The New York Post quickly claimed that the prime suspect was a Saudi national (while also inaccurately reporting that 12 people had been confirmed dead). The Post's insinuation of responsibility was alsosuggested on CNN by Former Bush Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend ("We know that there is one Saudi national who was wounded in the leg who is being spoken to"). Former Democratic Rep. Jane Harmanwent on CNN to grossly speculate that Muslim groups were behind the attack. Anti-Muslim bigots like Pam Geller predictably announced that this was "Jihad in America". Expressions of hatred for Muslims, and a desire to do violence, were then spewing forth all over Twitter (some particularly unscrupulous partisan Democrat types were identically suggesting with zero evidence that the attackers were right-wing extremists).

Obviously, it's possible that the perpetrator(s) will turn out to be Muslim, just like it's possible they will turn out to be extremist right-wing activists, or left-wing agitators, or Muslim-fearing Anders-Breivik types, or lone individuals driven by apolitical mental illness. But the rush to proclaim the guilty party to be Muslim is seen in particular over and over with such events. Recall that on the day of the 2011 Oslo massacre by a right-wing, Muslim-hating extremist, the New York Times spent virtually the entire day strongly suggesting in its headlines that an Islamic extremist group was responsible, a claim other major news outlets (including the BBC andWashington Post) then repeated as fact. The same thing happened with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, when most major US media outlets strongly suggested that the perpetrators were Muslims. As FAIR documented back then:

This lesson is never learned because, it seems, many people don't want to learn it. Even when it turns out not to have been Muslims who perpetrated the attack but rather right-wing, white Christians, the damage from this relentless and reflexive blame-pinning endures.


"In the wake of the explosion that destroyed the Murrah Federal Office Building, the media rushed — almost en masse — to the assumption that the bombing was the work of Muslim extremists. 'The betting here is on Middle East terrorists,' declared CBS News' Jim Stewart just hours after the blast (4/19/95). 'The fact that it was such a powerful bomb in Oklahoma City immediately drew investigators to consider deadly parallels that all have roots in the Middle East,' ABC's John McWethy proclaimed the same day.

"'It has every single earmark of the Islamic car-bombers of the Middle East,' wrote syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer (Chicago Tribune, 4/21/95). 'Whatever we are doing to destroy Mideast terrorism, the chief terrorist threat against Americans, has not been working,' declared the New York Times' A.M. Rosenthal (4/21/95). The Geyer and Rosenthal columns were filed after the FBI released sketches of two suspects who looked more like Midwestern frat boys than mujahideen."


(3) One continually encountered yesterday expressions of dread and fearfrom Arabs and Muslims around the world that the attacker would be either or both. That's because they know that all members of their religious or ethnic group will be blamed, or worse, if that turns out to be the case. That's true even though leading Muslim-American groups such as CAIRharshly condemned the attack (as they always do) and urged support for the victims, including blood donations. One tweeter, referencing the earthquake that hit Iran this morning, satirized this collective mindset by writing: "Please don't be a Muslim plate tectonic activity."

As understandable as it is, that's just sad to witness. No other group reacts with that level of fear to these kinds of incidents, because no other group has similar cause to fear that they will all be hated or targeted for the acts of isolated, unrepresentative individuals. A similar dynamic has long prevailed in the domestic crime context: when the perpetrators of notorious crimes turned out to be African-American, the entire community usually paid a collective price. But the unique and well-grounded dread that hundreds of millions of law-abiding, peaceful Muslims and Arabs around the world have about the prospect that this attack in Boston was perpetrated by a Muslim highlights the climate of fear that has been created for and imposed on them over the last decade.


(4) The reaction to the Boston attack underscored, yet again, the utter meaninglessness of the word "terrorism". News outlets were seemingly scandalized that President Obama, in his initial remarks, did not use the words "terrorist attack" to describe the bombing. In response, the White House ran to the media to assure them that they considered it "terrorism". Fox News' Ed Henry quoted a "senior administration official" as saying this: "When multiple (explosive) devices go off that's an act of terrorism."

Is that what "terrorism" is? "When multiple (explosive) devices go off"? If so, that encompasses a great many things, including what the US does in the world on a very regular basis. Of course, the quest to know whether this was "terrorism" is really code for: "was this done by Muslims"? That's because, in US political discourse, "terrorism" has no real meaning other than: violence perpetrated by Muslims against the west. The reason there was such confusion and uncertainty about whether this was "terrorism" is because there is no clear and consistently applied definition of the term. At this point, it's little more than a term of emotionally manipulative propaganda. That's been proven over and over, and it was again yesterday.


(5) The history of these types of attacks over the last decade has been clear and consistent: they are exploited to obtain new government powers, increase state surveillance, and take away individual liberties. On NBC with Brian Williams last night, Tom Brokaw decreed that this will happen again and instructed us that we must meekly submit it to it:

Last night on Chris Hayes' MSNBC show, an FBI agent discussed the fact that the US government has the right to arrest terrorism suspects and not provide them with Miranda warnings before questioning them. After seeing numerous people express surprise at this claim on Twitter, I pointed out that this happened when the Obama administration exploited the attempted underwear bombing over Detroit to radically reduce Miranda rights over what they had been for decades. That's what the US government (aided by the sham "terrorism expert" industry) does in every single one of these cases: exploits the resulting fear to increase its own power and decrease everyone else's rights, including privacy.


"Everyone has to understand tonight that, beginning tomorrow morning early, there are going to be much tougher security considerations all across the country, and however exhausted we may be by that, we're going to have to learn to live with them, and get along and go forward, and not let them bring us to our knees. You'll remember last summer, how unhappy we were with the security at the Democratic and Republic conventions. Now I don't think we can raise those complaints after what happened in Boston."

At the Atlantic, security expert Bruce Schneier has a short but compelling article on how urgent it is that we not react to this Boston attack irrationally or with exaggerated fear, and that we particularly remain vigilant against government attempts to exploit fear to impose all new rights-reducing measures. He notes in particular how the more unusual an event is (such as this sort of attack on US soil), the more our brains naturally exaggerate its significance and frequency (John Cole makes a similar point).

In sum, even if the perpetrators of Monday's attack in Boston turn out to be politically motivated and subscribers to an anti-US ideology, it will still be a very rare event, one that poses far less danger to Americans than literally countless other threats. The most important lesson of the excesses arising from the 9/11 attacks should be this one: that the dangers of overreacting and succumbing to irrational fear are far, far greater than any other dangers posed by these type of events.


Update [Wed.]

In the New Yorker, Amy Davidson has a superb and chilling analysis of how a 20-year-old Saudi victim of the bombing was instantly, and baselessly, converted by the US media and government into a "suspect".

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Well I guess all the theorizing and guessing is over . Everyone now knows who committed this act of cowardice . The motive ? I'm sure will be what most suspicions have indicated .

 Sadly the parents of these two are claiming that their sons have been framed . No surprise there either .

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