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Wednesday 17 April 2013

Boston Bombing Rush To Judgment

Recent terrorist atrocities have taught us one thing, and that is not to rush to judgment. There were some caught up in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks that had nothing to do with them. The Aznar Government infamously tried to pin the Madrid train bombings on ETA and by doing so lost an election. Now there has been another rush to judgment following the Boston Marathon attacks.
This has been spearheaded by two Murdoch-owned media outlets, the New York Post newspaper, and Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). The Post knew who to look for: “FBI grills Saudi man in Boston bombings” shrieked the headline, following up with “smells of gunpowder”. He was acting suspiciously – running away from the site of one blast after being injured by it.

Er, hello? That sounds rather like what anyone would do in such a situation. What the heck, Fox News was off and running too, with yesterday morning’s edition of Fox And Friends all but pronouncing this man guilty. In the meantime, a welter of abusive Twitter traffic was generated, some directed at North Korea, just in case. But now it turns out this man was just a witness.

That was not enough for Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas, who asserted “We know Al Qaeda has camps on the Mexican border ... We have people that are trained to act Hispanic when they are radical Islamists”. What actually was known was that there was no certainty as to who did it. The most recent analysis points to a “Lone Wolf” attacker, someone operating independently.

Look at the devices: apparently packed into pressure cookers and augmented with either nails or ball bearings. The effect would have been a brief build-up of pressure in the container before the thing let go and sprayed its contents and some significant pieces of shrapnel across the immediate area, and with great force. That would explain not just blast injuries, but many amputations and a lot of blood spilt.

But no other recent attack has used devices like that. And we are now getting reports of packages sent to addresses in Washington DC – including the President – containing a substance that has tested positive for ricin. This, too, is not part of the al-Qaeda modus operandi. Whether or not there is any connection between the two events, it is looking more and more that this is a home-grown campaign.

As Moronwatch has pointed out, between 1980 and 2005, just 6% of terror attacks in the USA were carried out by Islamic extremists. So it’s most likely that these bombs were nothing to do with Islamists, North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, or any Middle Eastern country. I’ll go further: the perpetrators might just get apprehended not by speculation, but plain old-fashioned Police investigation.

But I won’t go any further. Because we shouldn’t rush to judgment.

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