President Obama, responding to the Boston Marathon attack, says, “We will find whoever harmed our citizens, and we will bring them to justice.” The Boston survivors have good grounds to doubt that claim, but at least the president is describing the attack as an “act of terrorism.”
The weapon terrorists deployed in Boston is a pressure cooker, packed with nails, ball bearings and other shrapnel. The cooker gives the timed explosion incredible force to kill and maim at random, the hallmark of terrorism. The pressure cooker bomb is a favorite of al-Qaida, which described how to make them in an online magazine article titled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.” Islamic militants also produced a chapter on pressure cooker bombs in The Lone Mujahed Pocketbook.
According to the Associated Press, in February, a pressure cooker bomb killed five in Afghanistan. Terrorists deployed a pressure cooker in a May 2010 attempted bombing of Times Square. Six Pakistani employees of a Christian aid group fell victim to a pressure cooker bomb, detonated remotely. Similar attacks took place in France, India and Nepal. Solo jihadists are encouraged to target “crowded sports arenas” and “annual social events.” So the Boston Marathon was an ideal target, and the pressure cooker bomb an ideal weapon.
Dennis Pluchinsky, former terrorism analyst for the State Department, told reporters “there is no way that people who run in marathons or people who go to baseball stadiums can be assured that they will be protected from IEDs 100 percent of the time.”
One report notes that the last attack in the United States linked to al-Qaida was on November 6, 2009, when Major Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, killed 13 and wounded more than 30 others while yelling “Allah is great!” Hasan was high-profile jihadist and claimed more victims than the first attack on the World Trade Center. But the U.S. Department of Defense casts Hasan’s actions not as terrorism but “workplace violence,” as though he was a fired postal worker seeking payback. This is all part of the president’s policy of fighting negative stereotypes of Islamic militants.
President Obama’s first response to Hasan’s mass murder was brief, low key, and failed to include Islamic terrorism as bearing any responsibility for the deaths. “We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing,” the president said. That is now official policy. The Department of Defense issued Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood, which contains not a single reference to jihad or jihadists, and its only mention of “Islamic” is an endnote reference to “Countering Violent Islamic Extremism,” a 2007 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. The word “hate” occurs only once, a truly breathtaking omission. Consider also the issue of justice.
In Hasan’s case the government has the perpetrator in custody, abundant witnesses, and the weapons he used to kill 13 and wound more than 30. One could hardly ask for a more rock-solid case. Yet after nearly four years, Nidal Hasan has yet to reach trial. That casts doubt on president Obama’s claim that the United States will bring the Boston attackers “to justice,” if they are ever found at all. At this writing, police and FBI have no solid leads.
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