Friday, 19 April 2013

Boston terror attacks show the need for relentless vigilence

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Again a democracy faces a terrible attack on innocent people with the police and security services racing around Boston's streets confronting terror suspects and engaging in a furious exchange of fire to try and stop them. It is a confusing, frustrating, shocking spectacle of individuals setting out to kill, maim and wound ordinary civilians who were watching a fun marathon and cheering on loved ones and friends wishing to acknowledge the strength and bravery of ordinary folks conquering 26.2 miles.
What inspired, transfixed and converted young men, so filled with hate that they carefully built professional bombs and casually walked through the streets of Boston knowing they had backpacks filled with deadly materials?

They then watched the race and gently placed the bags on the ground filled with explosives designed to shoot out ball bearings and nails into people. The brothers did not appreciate what it takes to train and complete a grueling race of over 26 miles where muscles are pounded, joints are hammered and the mental anguish can destroy you. They had no respect for those ordinary men and women competing. They must have been fully aware that a young boy, Martin Richard aged just 8 years was standing on the railings lifted up to see over them, as the runners went by towards the finish line. 
Martin Richard, aged 8 years killed by a bomb
Nearby, Krystle Campbell, aged 29, a restaurant manager from Medford, Massachusett was watching excitedly as was Lu Lingzi, a Chinese national who was a student from Boston University. 
Krystle Campbell, aged 29 years
Lu Lingzi, 23 years
The bombers knew what would happen when their plans succeeded; they would kill and horribly maim decent people. Perhaps a small clue to the inhumanity is found in a quote by the older bomber brother, Tamerlan: "I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them." 

Tonight - The search goes on to find the other suspect
Therein lies the clue to how we solve this type of terror. We need a greater understanding and compassion across ethnicities, cultures and religions. We cannot allow the warped mentalities of violence to succeed. We must make those who feel disillusioned, despairing and isolated to engage and communicate.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Tamerlan Tsarnaev - American Life of Boston bombing suspect
Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Tonight the search goes on for one suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev aged just 19 years old who is a fugitive from justice, probably still hiding in Boston. Another suspect, his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev aged 26 years old had been killed earlier today, in a shoot out with the police. Yet they are real people. They were born in Chechnya and supported their country's independence. They lived and breathed like everyone else but something dark inside of them convinced them that to 'right a wrong' in their minds required the deaths of the innocents. The questions remain:-
  1. Who trained the brothers in 'terror' tactics of bomb making?
  2. Where dd they buy the ingredients for their bombs?
  3. Did the brothers receive help from other individuals in the US?
  4. Why did they choose the marathon?
  5. Given they left the bombs and were not suicide bombers, did they have plans to attack other targets or did they want to escape?
  6. Are the brothers part of a sleeper cell?
  7. Are other cells waiting to strike targets in the US or were they working alone?
As police tried to intervene to stop the brothers, MIT police officer, Sean Collier was killed in the line of duty. Another man sacrifices his life as a public servant.
Handout picture of the MIT police Sean Collier officer who was shot and killed.
Sean Collier, aged 26 years
Our prayers are with the families of the dead and the 180 injured and we stand in total solidarity with them and the good people of Boston. We cannot ever allow terror to win. Ever. Those thinking of such atrocities must be found and stopped. 
Map of Boston

Then we need to relentlessly counter such thinking by finding and communicating with those round the world that think differently and convince them to engage and debate. Tolerance and understanding is the way to end this madness but it will take time and patience whilst never surrendering or compromising our values of democracy, justice and freedom.

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