On Friday night, the FBI called a press conference–with the Boston PD and told us:
(a) The Boston Marathon bombers are both accounted for;
(2) they are brothers, raised in Idaho;
(3) they were Tea Party activists, the older brother being a teacher at First Baptist Church;
(4) they were planning additional attacks on abortion clinics, and a large finale at a federal building, in order to make a statement on Tax Day.
Oh, wait, that narrative didn’t pan out, much to the chagrin of the left.
In actuality, it was more like this:
(a) they were brothers, born in Chechens born in Dagestan;
(b) the older brother–a Gold Gloves boxing champ in Massachusetts–was a recent convert to a radicalized Islam;
(c) the FBI–told by Russia that the older brother had been in bed with radical Islamists–investigated the lead and found nothing (or so they claim);
(d) the younger brother became a Naturalized Citizen last year, on September 11 of all dates.
When I saw the pictures last Thursday, I immediately had them pegged as Middle Eastern or Southern European. I had the latter part correct, and this angle makes it tougher for us: a lot of those Dagestanis, Khazaks, and Chechens can be just as radical as the Jihadist from Mecca, only they don’t “look the part”. Being Europeans, they can blend in with other Eastern and Southern Europeans: Greeks, Turks, Russians; Hungarians; Bulgarians.
At this point, I’m not of the opinion that these guys were part of some larger anti-American conspiracy. The more I read of it, the more I’m convinced that (a) the older brother–Tamerlan–went ballistic over having his Olympic aspirations dashed, and (b) Tamerlan influenced his younger brother to join him in his envy-fueled rage.
Their attack was not particularly well thought-out;. While the bombs were placed strategically, they apparently gave little thought to their exit strategy. Had they the brains, they would have been on a plane for Russia within two hours after the blasts. They would have been in the remote portions of Dagestan or Chechnya by the time the FBI released the photos. They’d be long gone, and–by the time the feds figured out who they were–they’d be way behind the curve.
Now what about the conspiracy theories?
(1) While the FBI may have dropped the ball, I would not be too hard on them here. It is likely that the Russian government provided enough information to let us know that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a problem, but not enough information to amount to actionable intelligence.
(2) A reputable source–University of Mobile coach Ali Stevenson–indicated that he was told it was just a drill. This, of course, has added fuel to the conspiracy fire. My take: the folks who told him it was a drill didn’t know what they were talking about; they could have been stunned by the surreal nature of what was transpiring. Coach Stevenson received bad information.
(3) Some photographs indicate that Navy SEALs–current or former–were working security. This means nothing. It is likely that some current or former SEALs were working for xE (formerly Blackwater) or a similar private outfit to provide security for what was a high-profile event. I doubt these guys would intentionally allow a terrorist attack to happen. Special Operators tend to be a very patriotic bunch, and would have a marginal interest in taking out bad guys. It is what they do.
(4) as for the Saudi guy, he could easily have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. While deporting him was probably not the wisest move, that does not make a compelling case that this was an inside job.
Hopefully, we’ll get to the bottom of things. What did the FBI know, and when did they know it? What did they do with what they knew?
And while law enforcement is getting good marks for tracking these guys down, some of us also have taken note of their warrantless searches of homes, their confiscation of property, and their imposing of martial law on an entire locality. Hard questions need to be asked, and appropriate folks need to be held to account. Apologies need to be made, and appropriate properties–including firearms and munitions–returned.
But the group with the most egg on their faces is the American Left: they were convinced that the bombers were white, Christian Tea Party activists, when in fact the bad guys were Islamist thugs from a region of the world known for Islamic thuggery.
That leads me to another question: why the hell are we taking in people from these parts of the world?