Boston Marathon bombing: The initial theories
Early reports link twin blasts to right-wing extremists or al-Qa'ida
Early reports of the Boston Marathon bombing sought to link the blasts to domestic right-wing extremists.
The main thinking behind a link to the far-right was that the relative small size of the bomb and the fact it took place on Patriot’s Day – a hugely symbolic event.
Patriot’s Day is a civic holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The battles marked the beginning of military action American Revolution and have been seen as a symbol of American independence and freedom ever since.
The devastating Oklahoma City bombing of April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people, took place the day after Patriot’s Day. Perpetrator Timothy McVeigh reportedly considered the date significant to his anti-government terrorist attack.
Patriot’s Day also marks the anniversary of the end of the Waco siege on April 19, 1993. Right-wing groups have long linked Waco’s bloody conclusion – in which 86 people died after the FBI stormed the Branch Davidian cult’s compound following a 51-day siege – as an example of the US government abusing its power.
The right-wing extremist theory was strengthened by fact April 15 is tax day, an event that in recent years has been used as a rallying date for members of the Tea Party group.
The Tea Party movement is, of course, named after the famous Boston Tea Party political protest of 1773 and, with President Obama’s taxation policies widely criticised by many conservative groups – both moderate and extreme - the date is increasingly seen as a focal point for right-wing protest.
Other experts have sought to distance the attacks from right-wing extremism however; suggesting twin blasts are a hallmark of al-Qa'ida.
The Telegraph reported Peter Neumann, professor of security studies at King’s College, London, as saying: “Some groups used a particular kind of attack. With the IRA it was car bombs. With al-Qa'ida it has almost become a cliché but multiple explosions in the same place are regarded as hallmarks of Islamist terror.”
Although the Boston devices are generally smaller than those used by Islamic extremists, the reported use of ball-bearings in backpacks filled with explosives has fuelled speculation that al-Qa'ida operatives may have been involved. Such devices have often been used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Professor Neumann added: “A bomb with ball bearing seems homemade, the type of thing you would build if you don’t really know how to build a bomb, perhaps with some instructions or guide on the Internet.”
As well as Patriot’s Day, yesterday also marked the 65th anniversary of Israeli independence, leading commentators, including the Boston Globe's Lawrence Harmon, to speculate on links to Islamic extremism.
Professor Neumann reportedly called the attacks “amateurish right-wing, or amateurish al-Qa'ida”, adding that investigators will now be looking online for individuals or groups boasting of the attacks or claiming responsibility.
He said: “The point of terrorism is to communicate a message through acts of violence. The IRA used to call a newspaper, and now you often have claims on the Internet.”
Professor Neumann went on to say that, as there currently appear to have been no such claims, it would suggest the culprit was either acting alone or as part of a small group loosely connected to a larger network or ideology.
For more on this story see:
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
'This is what Islam tells us to do': A rare glimpse inside a Saudi Arabian prison – where Isis terrorists are showered with perks and privileges
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
this is an unpaid voluntary position: Circles South East Youth Service: LOOKIN...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading privately owned sp...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is require...
£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest supplier to the UK'...