IEDs at Boston Marathon
Was it a terrorist attack?
The event was terroristic, but it may or may not have been a political act by organized terrorists. I suspect, with no evidence for my suspicion, that there is no political agenda behind the bombs and the killer is one more crazy who planned and acted out an urge to kill on a large, public scale. The indicators so far are of a relatively low level of sophistication in the bombs. (The pressure cooker shrapnel bomb apparently is a common IED design that's proven effective and uses cheap common materials.) People jumped to the assumption that the event is the imported product of an organized network or at least a conspiracy. Not necessarily. The plan seems simple enough for one crazy to carry out. Two crude portable sized bombs left in crowded, busy locations, mixed in with the random clutter. It could have been a lone wolf, a crazy, with no coherent agenda who just wanted to blow up people in a way that would gain maximum attention and stir things up. Hacker mindset, but bloodier. Too many random lone 'black swan' mass-murdering killers have popped up without warning in recent years. Several of them who used guns also made explosives they didn't use or used but failed to detonate. Maybe this time, the crazy led with explosives instead of guns and enough of the explosives worked. The crazy may not even be someone with especial technical ability, who just followed a basic easily obtained IED recipe and got lucky with it.
Even if the culprit states an agenda, that may not indicate a network affiliation. There are self-actualized terrorists without organizational ties: crazies who have latched onto an excuse to kill.
What am I going to do about it?
18APR13 update: Schematic. The FBI released photos and video of 2 suspects. A partnership increases the likelihood of a conspiracy and reduces the likelihood of a 'lone wolf' crazy, although crazies sometimes join forces, too, like the Columbine HS killers. They're brothers, Chechen immigrants. Chechen Islamic terrorists have been among the most vicious. Did the brothers act alone or is there a wider conspiracy?
19APR13 update: The older brother is dead. The younger brother has been captured alive. From earlier in the week, Professor Nacos's post about the possible identity of the bomber(s) and my response.
23APR13 update: Professor Nacos posts about the death and capture of the brothers and my response.