On April 15, 2013 many of us were putting the finishing touches on our tax returns. In another part of the world thousands of spectators were lining Boylston Street in Boston to witness the winner of the yearly Boston Marathon.

Around two o’clock in the afternoon, Tamerlan Tsarnaev 26, and his younger brother Dzhokhar 19, placed two homemade pressure cooker bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line.

The Bombs

The first bomb was placed in front of Marathon Sports located at 671-673 Boylston Street. It exploded at 2:49:43. The second bomb detonated 13 seconds later, one block west, at 755 Boylston Street.

Three people died in the bombings. The first bomb, planted by Tamerlan, killed a 29-year old restaurant manager, Krystle Marie Campbell, and a 23-year old Chinese national and Boston U grad student, Lu Lingzi. The second bomb, planted by Dzhokhar, killed Martin William Richard, age 8.

Two hundred and sixty four spectators were injured and at least sixteen people lost one or more limbs from the blast.

Unanswered Questions

How do two brothers brought to America as children develop such a hatred for their adopted country? When events like this occur there are always “red flags” that surface in the ensuing investigation that were somehow overlooked or ignored by investigators. Many unanswered questions remain.

  • Did the bothers plan this attack alone or did they have help?
  • How much influence did Tamerlan have over his younger brother Dzhokhar?
  • Where did they acquire the knowledge to make pressure cooker bombs?
  • Tamrlan traveled to the Dagestan region of Russia in July of 2012, yet US Intelligence failed to detain him upon his return. Why? Did he learn bomb making in Dagestan or was he radicalized there? Russian authorities warned the FBI of his radicalism but they put little weight on the report.
  • If the brothers had not been caught would they have launched a second attack in Times Square in New York City?

The Capture of Dzhokhar

Tamerlan was shot and killed in a police shootout at a Waterford, MA gas station. Dzhokhar escaped on foot and was found hiding in a boat in the back yard of a nearby residence.

He scrawled a penned message on the inside of the boat explaining the actions of he and his brother.  “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians.” “Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”

Some Final Thoughts

If I was in a foreign country and that country was bombing my homeland I might be a little ticked too. But killing and maiming innocent people and children is probably not the best way to convince them to stop that activity. But that’s why it’s called “radical” behavior.

On April 21st the 117th Boston Marathon will take place. Thousands of runners will sign up and thousands will line the streets. Backpacks will not be permitted and it will be interesting to see how many people will think the finish line is a good vantage point.

My advice — if a pressure cooker is on your shopping list you might want to wait till April 22 to make that purchase, especially if you live in the greater Boston area. History can be great and it can be tragic but it’s history nonetheless and a winner will be named on April 21 and history will be made.

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