It’s significant that no one has claimed responsibility. In the past, if al-Qaida or a similar group perpetrated such a crime, very quickly that group or its spokesman boasted about it. That seems to indicate the Boston bombing was done by either a domestic jihadist group or a lone perpetrator with a motive unknown as yet. The fact that the bombs were similar to ones used by terrorists in Afghanistan may indicate they were made by an Islamist jihadist group.
Even more significant, this was the first successful terrorist attack since September 11, 2001. The Boston bombing also was the first targeting of a road race, according to a report by the Heritage Foundation that chronicled 54 terrorist plots thwarted since 9/11/01 as of Jan. 3 this year. That’s quite a record deserving of plaudits to the counter-terrorism work of the FBI and other agencies charged with that mission — and to some alert citizens.
The previous targets have included the Brooklyn Bridge, President George W. Bush, a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio, the New York Stock Exchange, a New York subway station, a Pakistani diplomat in New York, National Guard facilities and synagogues in the Los Angeles area, a Wyoming natural gas refinery and pipeline from the Gulf Coast to New York and New Jersey, 10 U.S.-bound commercial airliners, a shopping mall outside Chicago, the U.S. Army post at Fort Dix, N.J., fuel tanks and pipelines at JFK International Airport in New York, the U.S. Marine base at Quantico, Va., a Dallas skyscraper, Times Square, the subway system in Washington, D.C., synagogues in the Chicago area, a Christmas-tree lighting in Portland, Ore., military recruiting centers in Maryland and Seattle, Wash., Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, police stations and post offices in New York City and the U.S. Capitol.
Now for the first time a different kind of target, a much easier target, was chosen. Trying to secure the 26-mile Boston Marathon course seems well nigh impossible. The Boston bombing means that from now events such as Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race on July 4th will face major new security restrictions. That point was made by Jeff Drobney, assistant city manager for Kennesaw and a marathon runner. He told the MDJ, “this is certainly going to make it more difficult not only on the runners but certainly the spectators as well.”
In the past, the biggest concern about the 6.2-mile Atlanta race has been the July heat. But this year’s runners have to cope with fear of a possible attack as well as new security measures that might diminish enjoyment of this popular event.
That’s the objective of terrorism. But Americans cannot let this latest act of terror keep them from enjoying road races and other outdoor events.