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Bombs Halt Marathon
By Harold Hutchison

SOF Boots on the Ground Correspondent Ross Elder said, “I have been asked why I am so quiet publicly following the Boston Marathon bombings. To put it simply, it's because they're just isn't enough information available for anyone to make an educated analysis. As someone who has studied terrorism for more than 25 years, I know that it will be days before any usable information comes out. And I refuse to look foolish like the so-called analysts who have been on network television for the last 18 hours talking out of their ass.”

Running a marathon is a goal for many people, and the Boston Marathon is one of the most famous in the world. But the 2013 Boston Marathon became a tragic instance, instead of the moment of triumph for many individuals when they crossed the finish line.

Two bombs went off at about 2:50 PM on 15 April, 2013, set near the finish line of the marathon, killing three people, and wounding over a hundred and seventy people, with 17-20 said to be in critical condition. Hospitals were flooded with casualties, and a number of them had severed legs. One of the fatalities was an eight-year-old boy. The two blasts went off about 50-100 yards apart, separated by about 15 seconds.

The blasts triggered a great deal of speculation – as well as an immediate response from authorities ranging from the FBI, Massachusetts State Police, and the Boston Police Department. The Navy sent an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to Boston at the request of state authorities.

Many media reports compared the scene to a “war zone,” as video images showed blood covering the sidewalk. “Somebody's leg flew by my head,” John Ross, a spectator watching the race, told the Boston Herald. Among the wounded were two brothers who each long a leg in the attack while watching the race.

Runners who had finished the race were tearing off their shorts to help provide tourniquets for those who were badly injured. Ross, the spectator who saw the flying leg, offered his belt for a similar use. Many who had homes opened them up to participants of the Marathon or others who needed food or shelter.

Within hours, reports surfaced that a 20-year-old Saudi national who was in the United States on a student visa, had been held in custody and was a suspect. The unidentified Saudi’s apartment in Revere, Massachusetts was searched. Bystanders reportedly tackled the Saudi as he was fleeing the scene.

The report was initially denied by the Boston police, but on CBN’s The 700 Club the morning after the bombing, Erick Stakelbeck said that the signs pointed to an Islamic terror attack, and more reports began stating that the Saudi national was a “person of interest” or being talked to. Stakelbeck added that the multiple bombs and ball bearings were cited as hallmarks of attack by al-Qaeda and Hamas.

At Breitbart.com, AWR Hwkins also noted the similarities to bombs used by Islamists against American troops – and Israeli citizens. “These types of bombs are tools of warfare, and they are a variant of the kinds of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) used to target U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Palestinian terrorists have detonated similar bombs in busy shops in Israel with the aim of causing maximum casualties,” he wrote.

“When the first bomb goes off, everyone rushes to the scene,” Stakelbeck said, outlining that a second bomb would then go off to create casualties among the responders. Stakelbeck theorized that the attack may not be directly tied to al-Qaeda but could have been someone who was radicalized via the Internet.

The day of the bombing, many in the media began speculating the attack, which occurred on the deadline for Americans to file income tax returns, had something to do with the political right. On CNN, Peter Bergen was among the first to jump in, initially citing the 1995 bombing of the Alfred Murrah building in Oklahoma City.

“If it was more conventional explosives, which are much harder to get hold of now -- that might be some other kind of right-wing extremist. … We've also seen, for instance, right-wing groups trying to attack the Martin Luther King parade in Oregon in 2010,” Bergen said on CNN. NBC’s Luke Russert initially speculated via Twitter that there was a connection to the 1993 standoff in Waco, Texas.

In the wake of the attack, federal, state, and local officials across the country have been increasing security. The same is also going on in London, where the London Marathon is scheduled to take place this Sunday, while plans for the Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500 are also being reviewed.

The Department of Homeland Security has not issued a new terror alert, even the morning after the attack in Boston. In his official statement, Barack Hussein Obama also failed to call the bombing a terrorist act, leaving it to a White House official to make a clarification in a statement. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has described the location as a “crime scene.”

The investigation is ongoing as this article is being written.