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Seek's avatar

Boston Marathon bombing: Thoughts?

Asked by Seek (30171 points ) April 15th, 2013

About an hour ago, two explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Info here (Huff Po)

here (Fox News)

and here (BBC News)

(I think that covers all the news bias bases…)

Thoughts? Rants? Encouraging thoughts? Wishful thinking?

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135 Answers

syz's avatar

I’ve never understood the point of acts of terrorism.

janbb's avatar

Sometimes I feel I’ve become numb to news as a self-protective device.

rebbel's avatar

Until now, are they not Boston explosions?
Obviously I hope that they were not bombs, but it might be too early to call it that?

Seek's avatar

I admit to using the word “bombing” in the title for reactionary purposes. I said “explosions” in the details, hopefully to clear it up.

Seek's avatar

CNN now reports two deaths and at least 22 injured.

Sunny2's avatar

I am heartened by the fact that medical people were on the scene to cope with distressed runners. It could have been worse.
Speculations at this point are worth than useless. They could start a rumors that could get out of hand. I’ll wait for more evidence.

Seek's avatar

NBC reports that law enforcement says small homemade bombs are the cause.

NBC Nightly News
BREAKING: Small homemade bomb is preliminary cause of explosion at Boston Marathon, law enforcement officials tell NBC News

marinelife's avatar

My thoughts are with those injured and the families of those killed.

YARNLADY's avatar

Terrorist acts have never made the least bit of sense to me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Terrible. Someone needs to invent a nut job filter / killer.
I wonder what the knee jerk response will be. What will they outlaw next?
Will lawmakers trot out the Boston Marathon Massacre Survivors when they need to pass the next bill?
Sadly, I give it a week. The bombs were made with XYZ… Let’s outlaw it. Do it “for the children.”

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
DigitalBlue's avatar

Well, they are confirmed as bombs now, so the title fits. 5 have been detonated/disabled, reports are still coming in about more. I don’t know what to think, it’s disheartening. I have no doubt it was intentional, and I’m tired of the violence.

JLeslie's avatar

Horrible! So upsetting. I wonder what lunatic(s) did such a thing. 2 confirmed dead, many injured. Makes me sick.

SpatzieLover's avatar

My initial thought was to all of the individuals and to praying they all quickly find safety.

Watching the 1st explosion over & over again on CNN, my thought runs to how very intentional the placement was in relation to the flags of various countries and to the finish line.

SpatzieLover's avatar

The flags of various Nations right at the finish line….The bomb appeared to be on the other side of the scaffolding where the flags were located.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The pieces of s… who did this will be caught. Every square mm of that area has been under surveillance for days.

augustlan's avatar

I hope our Boston jellies and their families are okay. :(

livelaughlove21's avatar

Isn’t it a little early to call this an act of terrorism? We don’t know if there was any political or social connection, do we? We don’t know anything about the reason it happened.

glacial's avatar

@livelaughlove21 If it is an act of terrorism, I’m guessing it’s domestic. This should be interesting.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@glacial Considering we’re talking about small homemade bombs, yeah, I think it’s safe to assume it’s not a foreign attack.

tom_g's avatar

It’s school vacation here. I’m glad I chose the Franklin Park Zoo. I have watched the marathon in the past, and it did cross my mind.

glacial's avatar

@tom_g Glad to hear you’re safe.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Information is scarce as to perpetrator(s) and/or motive, but I wonder if it has to do with the Israeli 65th anniversary (See this question).

@tom_g glad you’re safe.

Brian1946's avatar

I’m sure that ETpro and cookieman crossed the finish line long before those bombs exploded. ;-)

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Yetanotheruser That had crossed my mind as well as the 15th being a popular date for lots of people off from work/school.

glacial's avatar

My thoughts go here.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@glacial That update at the bottom is horrific. How tragic.

glacial's avatar

@SpatzieLover Yes, I can’t imagine what this must be like for them.

Seek's avatar

I’ve seen that the 26th mile of the race was dedicated to the Newtown victims. Related?

glacial's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Possibly. There was a third explosion just now.

Seek's avatar

@glacial got there before me.

Bellatrix's avatar

@augustlan could you send a message to any Boston jellies to make sure they and their families are fine?

I’m so sorry this is happening US jellies.

Brian1946's avatar

I just heard that the 3rd explosion was at the JFK Presidential library, with no casualties reported.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Isn’t today the anniversary of Israeli independence? I suspect that is the reason for the attacks.

Pachy's avatar

Isn’t it a little early to call this an act of terrorism?

True, @ivelaughlove21, we don’t yet know all the facts, but it’s hard for me to think of this as anything but an act of terrorism when innocent people are killed and injured by several explosions that some evil or deranged or insanely musguided person caused. And how will this act not make runners and bystanders not afraid at future marathons, or for that matter, anywhere? Isn’t that terrorism?

I’m disgusted by what this country is becoming. It’s as if we’re now modelling the countries whose violence we deplore.

Bellatrix's avatar

I just read in one of my newspapers, other devices have been dismantled and the cellphone network shut down to stop any further remote detonations. The NYT has apparently reported a Saudi national being detained.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I was only referring to the actual definition of terrorism. It’s the aim that determines an act if terrorism, not the act itself.

glacial's avatar

It’s true that it’s too early to know what actually happened. We’re here to express our thoughts and ideas about what might have happened, and how we feel about what happened and the people who are or might be involved. No one will solve any police cases here today.

Blondesjon's avatar

I’m waiting for the White Loner Male Manifesto to appear.

Bellatrix's avatar

This would strike me as fitting the definition of terrorism. I don’t want to log into the Oxford dictionary right now but this is my desktop dictionary…

The calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.

Regardless, it’s horrible.

glacial's avatar

@Blondesjon Yeah, no wonder what ends up being the story, the conspiracists on both sides will have a field day. That’s annoying.

Pachy's avatar

@livelaughlove21, I take your point, but I doubt that any of those killed or maimed and their families, or for that matter, anyone living in Boston (including friends of mine), will much care about the “actual definition” of terrorism. Anyway, I’m many states away and am feeling terrified.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Bellatrix The cable news stations are just now picking up the Saudi Arabian national as a story. Apparently he is burned and “guarded” in the hospital.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I had no intention of starting an argument about the definition. I was simply saying it was too early to label it as an act of terrorism when we know nothing about what happened. The label isn’t particularly helpful at this point.

majorrich's avatar

I think we should Immediately enact legislation making setting off bombs at public events illegal. Think about the Children!!

DominicX's avatar

@Blondesjon Yeah, I too am awaiting the young white loner male responsible, provided that it’s entirely domestic terrorism, which is probably is. Although WLMs seem to go more for mass shootings…

Blondesjon's avatar

@DominicX . . . We have our share of Kaczynski’s and McVeigh’s as well.

majorrich's avatar

The making of illegal explosive devices must be made even more illegal!!

glacial's avatar

@majorrich You make a good point. It’s good thing that setting off explosives in public is against the law, so that we can arrest the perpetrator(s). That was some solid thinking on the government’s part.

ucme's avatar

I just saw this on sky news & the London marathon is on Sunday…security beefed up there then!

Brian1946's avatar

The Boston PD is advising local residents to stay at home and not travel in large groups.

I’d also try to avoid going to places where there are large groups of people. E.g., I usually go grocery shopping on Monday, but I“d definitely postpone it if I lived in or near Boston.

Bellatrix's avatar

Glad to see our favourite cookie monster is here.

Brian1946's avatar

^

ITA

v

cookieman's avatar

Spent the day at the park with my daughter. Glad we stayed away from the city. Sorry @Brian1946, most I can handle is a walk-a-thon. :^)

Local news is solid on the two dead, but number of injured has been reported from 36 to 80. Two additional pipe bombs were found and are being dismantled. The third incident at the JFK Museum is now said to be a fire.

Mayor Menino is having a press conference soon.

Brian1946's avatar

I sure hope ETpro is okay and is safely at home.

Blackberry's avatar

I just saw a picture of a guy who lost his legs in the blast. Very terrible.

diavolobella's avatar

They are now saying one of the two killed was an 8 year old child.

glacial's avatar

Another thing that is notable about today’s date – it’s Tax Day.

Bellatrix's avatar

It’s also my birthday! Not all evil.

@diavolobella, too sad.

ucme's avatar

Today was also my wife’s birthday.
I’d just like to say how impressed I was with the first responders, didn’t hesitate despite what must have been harrowing injuries, true heroes.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

It’s infuriating and terribly upsetting, especially since a child was killed because of it. Fucking asshats. Thanks, you damned murderous assholes, thanks so much for killing an innocent kid and making my wedding anniversary depressing. I hope you die painfully.

ucme's avatar

Fucking cowards, always target defenceless innocents.
Happy anniversary anyway Abby :-)

JLeslie's avatar

@SpatzieLover I meant what countries.

I was thinking about Israel also.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I hate that this has happened & if it was a terrorist plot – I think it will prove to be a domestic terrorist group (it definitely has all of the earmarks of being a terrorist plot, with the bombs being filled with shrapnel & set to explode in sequence). I have never understood how anyone’s mind could wrap around being willing to blow-up innocent people & children…. but they do not seem to care about the innocence, as long as they make their point or points.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it has to be considered terrorism. How can anything done in such a grand way not be? People all over the country take interest in the Boston Marathon. It’s the same as the olympics, Indy 500, it’s a nationally recognized event.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie It’s only terrorism if the intent is to modify behaviour through fear. For all we know, it could be a proud bomb-maker showing off his wares. That would not be an act of terrorism. Too soon to really know what the intent was.

I think the Boston Marathon is an odd venue to attack if this was about the Israel anniversary. Is there any particular connection between Boston and Israel?

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial I can’t see the connection to Israel either, but it does happen to be the same day.

A friend on my facebook just said today is Patriots Day. Shot heard around the world.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@JLeslie You can see the Israeli flag is close to where the first bomb detonated. All of the flags were in that one location. An American flag on a higher flag pole was just on the other side of the street.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’ve always said running is bad for you.

Horrified. I’m always horrified my violence.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, but… does anyone outside of the USA know what Patriot’s Day is? I’d never heard of it before.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I’m guessing that it was a homegrown right-wing nut job. Watch…

Brian1946's avatar

I don’t think Pat’s Day is very well-known outside of Wisconsin, Maine, or Mass. I didn’t know about it until it was posted here, and I live in LA, CA.

gailcalled's avatar

It is a holiday only in MA. and not well-known nationally. It used to be on April 19th, which was the day my son was born, in Boston.

We didn’t head to the hospital until 7:00 PM, by which point all the marathon traffic and hoop-la was over. During the day, while I timed my labor pains, we watched the runners on TV.

Since 1969 the holiday (and the marathon) has been celebrated on the third Monday in April.

Latest count is well over 80 people injured.

JLeslie's avatar

@glacial I would guess it is an American terrorist. Just a gut feeling. Obviously, I could be completely wrong. I don’t think anyone has claimed responsibilty. It is possible we may never know.

gailcalled's avatar

erratum: Patriot’s Day apparently celebrated in Maine. also.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie I agree. I think I misunderstood your comment, “Shot heard round the world”.

ETpro's avatar

For all my friends here, first, I am fine. I was nowhere near the explosion. I’m pissed off. I’m anxious to hear that they have figured out who did it and brought them to justice. One of the two dead so far was an innocent 8 year old boy.

cookieman's avatar

Local news (CBS 4) is now saying 3 confirmed dead and 130 injured.

gailcalled's avatar

“Fired the shot heard round the world” is an oft-quoted line from the poem, Concord Hymn,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Source

First verse:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

”... Emerson… wrote this poem, which was sung as a hymn at a July 4, 1837 ceremony to mark the completion of the Concord Monument, to immortalize the resistance of American Minutemen to British forces on April 19, 1775. The poem’s phrase “shot heard round the world” is now internationally famous for its description of the philosphical importance of the American revolution.”

This is what Patriot’s Day commemorates

DominicX's avatar

@serenade Wow, conspiracy theories on the same day—that’s pretty soon. I have to hand it to them :)

rooeytoo's avatar

Latest word here, 3 dead (all innocent regardless of age) and over 130 injured.

I don’t get playing semantics, it is terrorism regardless of who perpetrated the act.

And already assuming it is domestic terrorism could be construed as a conspiracy theory as well.

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I don’t think people are assuming domestic terrorist. I am not assuming anything that’s for sure. When Pres. Reagan was shot I learned people will do outlandish horrible things for attention that make zero sense.

DigitalBlue's avatar

Well, the conspiracy theorists will eat it up – but to the best of my understanding, it’s pretty standard protocol to check for threats (like bombs) before a massive event like that. I heard a security expert, hours ago, discussing how difficult it is with a spectator event like this, because once people start streaming in that aspect of security is diminished.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – did you read the thread?

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo Guessing and assuming are two different things to me. My guess is domestic terrorist. But, as I said previously, I know I could be wrong. On this thread I don’t feel like people are jumping to conclusions much, just guessing.

On my facebook there are plenty of people blaming Al Qaeda and saying Obama was in Kenya during the attack. I think maybe they really believe that crap.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Just now on CNN some it was scrolling that someone saw a male with a hoodie walk away from the scene just before the bomb went off. The speculations over the next days will be ridiculous.

YoKoolAid's avatar

I do not believe there is a conspiracy here, but in general you guys give conspiracy theorists a hard time. you should not discount an idea just because it is conspiracy.

Of course people who accept every conspiracy theory on flimsy evidence are crazy. But so is everyone who rejects every conspiracy out of hand.

Thoughts and prayers to those affected by this tragedy.

RandomGirl's avatar

My initial thoughts were, “How horrible. And so close to home.”

Now, I’m thinking I want more information. I’m wondering if it was a terrorist from the Middle East or a crazed American.

Not to politicize this, or anything… But I do hope the fact that this had more of an impact than any mass shooting ever would, and events like this would just increase with more gun control. Humans, in our crazed struggle for power, fame, and respect, will always search for ways to be immortalized in our minds. One of the best ways history has shown for people to do just that is mass killings. We’ve seen it in the past year or so with all the horrific crimes committed – those men’s names are mentioned every day! They will be remembered forever for what they did! Taking guns out of their hands won’t keep them from doing what they’ve decided to do; they will simply resort to crude IEDs and watch from a distance as their handiwork wreaks havoc.

It is horrible. I hope it shows people that the problem is human nature, not any one tool used by humans.

rooeytoo's avatar

For some time on the news here, it was said that cct footage showed a specific guy with a backpack who for some reason was being sought for questioning.

@JLeslie – I didn’t realize there was such a huge distinction between guessing and assuming.
thank you for teaching me the error of my ways. again.

ETpro's avatar

@RandomGirl Actually, it seems to me that IEDs blowing up in crowded venues are far more common in areas where nearly everybody has an AK-47 than they are in places like Japan and Australia that have strict gun laws.

jerv's avatar

Sometimes something happens where the only possible reaction is, “Dafuq?!”.

@ETpro Most places with strict gun laws have vastly different cultures anyways. It isn’t the laws so much as the people. Japan is very different from America, Africa, or Israel in many ways
I’m pretty sure that most places have laws against detonating IEDs regardless of their stance on firearms, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to think that anybody who would set off a bomb in public probably doesn’t care what the laws are. Also, most people who kill innocent people are likewise generally apathetic about statutes.

RandomGirl's avatar

@ETpro: Really? I’d love to see some statistics on that. I admit, I never did any actual research, just went off logic in my head. Now I’m really interested. If you have some resources for me to look at, I’d be fascinated.

I think @jerv probably has a good point that different countries come with widely varying cultures, along with their different policies.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@ETpro Please do not turn this tragedy into a gun debate.

RandomGirl's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Very sorry, I was trying to keep that from happening. This should definitely be first and foremost about the people affected and the lives lost. Eventually, though, it would be nice if we could talk about this and many other incidents in an effort to protect innocent people in the best way possible. The only way we’ll ever be able to do that is if we learn from our past.

serenade's avatar

@DominicX, I don’t know that it cries conspiracy. I just think it’s interesting that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men and all the king’s budget didn’t get this one.

DominicX's avatar

@serenade I thought that too, but when you consider that the bombs were probably in bags and backpacks, it’s not easy to catch that unless all bags are searched, which I’m sure they were not.

ETpro's avatar

@RandomGirl I think @WillWorkForChocolate is right that this isn’t the right question for it, but that you are right this would be a worthwhile discussion to have separately. You initiated the thought, so I will leave it to you to pose the question.

Brian1946's avatar

There could be some similarities between this bombing and the one that happened in Atlanta, GA in July, 1996.

Apparently the bomb used today was left in a pack, as was the one used in Atlanta.
Even though the BM doesn’t seem like an obvious target of right-wing terrorism, neither did the 1996 Summer Olympics.

As has been mentioned above, this is Patriot Day and Income Tax day, so I think there is a good possibility (but not a probability), that this might be the act of some anti-government or anti-tax extremist(s).

One reason I’m considering this perspective is that it makes me less fearful when I go shopping. I was looking at the possibility that if this was an act committed by “Islamic” terrorists, they could just as well hit a crowded store, such as Whole Foods, and darn if I didn’t forget to check for discarded or abandoned backpacks when I was there today. ;-o

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I am not trying to teach you the error of your ways, I am only telling you how I interpreted the answers, because you asked me if I read the thread.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – I asked you if you read the thread because you told me people were not assuming it was domestic in origin, I asked you if you read the thread because a couple had already mentioned that. You then informed me of the difference between assume and guess. So I acknowledged your lesson and thanked you for same.

Now I am bored with this so I have nothing more to say to you.

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I thought the tone in error of my ways when you wrote it had some sarcasm and a bit of annoyance in it. Like I was being condescending or some other negativity, which was never my intent. Maybe I misinterpreted.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Wait until we really know who did what and why they did it. It probably involves more than one person and they probably are motivated to scare many people. When we know why, maybe then we will know how we feel about them.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Are people truly considering that this was a foreign terrorist attack, from the Middle East or something? Did we miss 9/11? A lot more people would be dead, and not with small homemade bombs either.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 It absolutely could be. We should not rule out anything yet, unless the authorities already do know what happened. I haven’t watched the news this morning. If it is true there were other bombs that did not go off, then this could have been much worse. I don’t think it matters how sophisticated the bombs are if they work. The original World Trade center attack in 1993 only killed 6 people, the terrorist plan got a little botched up and they did not acheive their goal to do more damage. There have been smallish bombs set off around the world near or on our embassies our ships, and Al Qaeda does not always target military or government. And, it is not just us, they have done damage to other western countries.

majorrich's avatar

Even though this incident was horrible, and more spectacular (if it is appropriate to use that word) I betcha it wont be utilized nor covered by the media nor the government as much as the last tragedy. Less political hay to be made and less opportunity to oppress the rights of the people. This will be forgotten long before they are through beating the drum on Sandy hook.

JLeslie's avatar

@majorrich I was already shocked how little coverage my local news and TV stations did for the Boston event. To me that is a national event/trajedy.

Pachy's avatar

President Obama said today: “Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.”

My sentiment precisely.

RandomGirl's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I think that sums it up quite nicely.

glacial's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room Yeah, he’s using it wrong. Sorry.

YARNLADY's avatar

@JLeslie All our network stations had continuous coverage until 6 pm.
Quote from Fred (Mr.)Rogers “When I was a boy and I would see scary things on TV, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’:

I’ve taken that advice over the years. The good stories/people always outnumber the bad.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY Ours went for a few hours also.

ragingloli's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room
I am sure he exempts every case in which america does it.

Pachy's avatar

Thanks, @RandomGirl. I too think he summed it up nicely, regardless of how anyone else wishes to define terrorism.

Blondesjon's avatar

@ragingloli . . . Yes it does seeing as we are the leaders of the free world.

please refer to both world war i & ii. we’re the ones in the win column.

rooeytoo's avatar

At least it gives our resident haters one more opportunity to spit on America.

ragingloli's avatar

@Blondesjon
Yeah, joining in after the games were already decided and then taking credit for the victory.
Be proud of that.

Blondesjon's avatar

@ragingloli . . . I hear the same thing from Chicago Bears fans.

yeah, an american football reference, you know, ‘cuz it’s better too.

ucme's avatar

I just heard about the family of the 8yr old boy killed in the blast, his little sister lost a leg & his mother underwent brain surgery. They were watching their dad/husband cross the finish line when all their worlds were literally torn apart in an instant, that shit made me tear up for real.
Fucking evil coward bastards!!

SpatzieLover's avatar

Here’s an article on the soldiers that helped save lives after they completed the marathon wearing their ruck packs.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

^^ Truly amazing heroes.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Me too. So does the story of that poor 8 yr old boy and his family. :(

rooeytoo's avatar

The soldiers are true reps of the good ole USA. And the media here is giving them much air play.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Seems like a zoo in Boston at the moment. The US District courthouse & a hospital have been evacuated due to some type of threat. Homeland Security is at the courthouse now.

DigitalBlue's avatar

The courthouse is being swept now, after a bomb threat, confirmed by US Marshall. The issue at the hospital had to do with a suspicious vehicle, valet alerted security, but has been cleared of any threat.
Official word is that there is no suspect currently being held.

glacial's avatar

Not just Boston. A suspicious package was found downtown in my city today, and traffic was diverted for several blocks around it until it could be dealt with. Everyone is more wary than usual.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Bomb sniffing dogs at a school in Michigan, too.

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