On April 15, 2013, two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and seriously injuring 264 including 14 persons losing limbs. It’s likely the casualty list would have been longer if not for the many medically trained people at the race finish who provided excellent first aid to the injured in the early minutes.
Another casualty was young MIT police officer Sean Collier, who was murdered later by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when the brothers were trying to escape.
The elder brother and ringleader Tamerlan should have been deported in 2009 for a domestic violence conviction, but wasn’t. As a result, the Muslim refugee remained in America and was able to pursue his jihad plans, while he mooched state welfare benefits until 2012.
That wasn’t the only failure of government to protect public safety.
On April 9, the House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing titled “The Boston Marathon Bombings, One Year On: A Look Back to Look Forward.” (You can watch on C-SPAN and read the committee’s report “Boston One Year Later: DHS’s Lessons Learned”.)
As part of his opening statement, Chairman Mike McCaul remarked:
We found that several red flags and warnings were missed. We found that Tamerlan was on the radar of the FBI and somehow dropped off. We found that Tamerlan travelled to Dagestan, known for its Chechen terrorists. This is precisely what the Russian letter warned our Intelligence Community and FBI about. He came back even more radicalized. We also found that unfortunately Customs, FBI, and the IC somehow missed it. Arrogantly, some US officials said “It would not have made a difference” if they had known about his overseas travel. We now know that a check of his public social media would have shown indicators such as Jihadists video postings. His Mosque had seen escalating behavior as well. It likely would have been clear that he was becoming more and more of a threat to the community.
Which takes me to me to my last point: State and Local police have a strong role in Counter Terrorism. They know the streets better than anybody and they know the local threats. The Boston Police Department should have been given more information throughout the entire process. They must know the terror threats in their own backyards. This process in my judgment has to change.
During the hearing, Chairman McCaul call the Tsarnaevs “the biggest terrorists since 9/11.”
Meanwhile, the administration does not like the “T” word applied to its watch. Monday’s Statement by the President referred to the attack as a “tragedy” and emphasized the heroic response of Bostonians.
Robert Spencer reviewed the event and focused on FBI dereliction — even though the government allowing Muslim immigration to continue is the worst failure:
One Year Anniversary of Boston Bombing: A Lesson in FBI Failure, FrontPage.com, April 15, 2014
With the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon jihad bombings now here (April 15), the New York Times made yet another attempt to exonerate the Obama Administration of responsibility for one of its manifest failures, claiming that an inspector general’s report on the bombings was an “exoneration of the F.B.I.,” as it showed that “the Russian government declined to provide the F.B.I. with information about one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects that would most likely have led to more extensive scrutiny of him at least two years before the attack.”
See? The bombing was all the fault of that scoundrel Putin. It had nothing to do with the FBI, because of fecklessness and political correctness, failing to act properly on information the Russians gave them.
Full disclosure: I used to give FBI agents and other law enforcement and military personnel training on the teachings of Islam about jihad warfare against and subjugation of non-Muslims, so that they would understand the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy the United States as a free society, and be better equipped to counter them. I provided this training free of charge, out of a sense of patriotic duty, and it was well received: I received certificates of appreciation from the United States Central Command and the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group.
But as I explain in detail in my book Arab Winter Comes to America, all that ended on October 19, 2011, when Islamic supremacist advocacy groups, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, demanded that FBI counter-terror trainers (including me) and training materials that referred to Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism be discarded, and agents educated by them be retrained. John Brennan, then the U.S. Homeland Security Advisor and now the director of the CIA, readily agreed in a response that was written on White House stationery – thereby emphasizing how seriously the Obama Administration took this demand.
Subsequently, as I detail in the book, politically correct willful ignorance then took hold in our intelligence and law enforcement agencies – to the extent that after the Boston Marathon bombing, then-FBI director Robert Mueller admitted that the bureau had not investigated the Islamic Society of Boston, where the Tsarnaev brothers attended mosque, and had not even visited it except as part of an “outreach” program – despite the fact that it was founded by Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who is currently in prison for financing al Qaeda, and was attended by convicted jihad terrorists such as Tarek Mehanna and Aafia Siddiqui.
Accordingly, the FBI was harshly criticized for not doing all it could to prevent the Boston bombing, and that criticism was bipartisan, coming not only from Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert, but from Massachusetts Democrat Representative William Keating and South Carolina RINO Senator Lindsey Graham. And the inspector general’s new report shows how justified that criticism was. According to the Times, the Russians told the feds that Tamerlan Tsarnaev “was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer” and that he “had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”
Those “underground groups” could in this context only have been a reference to jihad groups. And so that means that the Russians essentially told the FBI that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a jihadi. Why wasn’t that enough for the FBI to keep him under close surveillance? It has now become clear that Tsarnaev murdered three Jews – his former friends – on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the day that jihad came most bloodily to the United States. The victims’ friendship with Tsarnaev was known to many – why didn’t those murders, even if law enforcement officials couldn’t charge him with them at the time, lead the FBI to think it might be worth watching him?
The Times says that the FBI didn’t pursue watching him and his brother because they hadn’t “found anything substantive that ties them to a terrorist group.” The possibility that they could have pulled off a lone wolf jihad attack apparently didn’t occur to these intel experts. And because of the Obama/Brennan scrubbing of counter-terror training materials of information about Islam and jihad, agents probably had no idea of the deep roots or virulence of Islamic anti-Semitism, so they had no idea of the implications of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s close acquaintance with the 9/11/11 murder victims, despite the fact that the Russians had told them he was a “radical.”
The FBI clearly failed in this case and bears some responsibility for the Boston bombing, but ultimately the responsibility lies with Barack Obama and John Brennan, who made sure that agents would be abysmally ignorant of Islam and jihad when they scrubbed all mention of both from counterterror training — so how could the FBI properly evaluate what the Russians told them?
The FBI’s failure wasn’t the Russians’ fault. It was the fault of the Obama Administration’s politically correct unwillingness to face the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat. Meanwhile, the media stigmatizing of all resistance to jihad terror and Islamic supremacism as “Islamophobia” only abets this willful ignorance, and leaves us all less safe. The one lesson that is clear one year after the Boston Marathon jihad bombing is that, unless there is a massive change of thinking at the highest levels of government and media, there will be many more such bombings.