While no one has claimed responsibility for the Boston Marathon explosions, former GOP Congressman Pete Hoekstra said the bombings feel like a terrorist attack. Hoekstra, who represented Michigan’s 2nd district, was the former chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee. Speaking just hours after the horrific explosions that killed three and wounded more than 140, Congressman Hoekstra said, “The gut feeling is your heart just goes out to all the folks in Boston — and here we go again as a country with a very, very tragic event.”
As the nation mourns and tries to come to terms with the possibility of another terrorist attack, the Federal government and the city of Boston have mobilized every possible asset to discover the cause of the explosions. Police and intelligence experts are sifting through the rubble and interviewing hundreds of witnesses as they try to solve this terrible crime and bring the guilty to justice.
Congressman Hoekstra stressed that the investigation has just begun and identifying those responsible is a difficult and time consuming process:
“It’s way too early to identify the circumstances behind this and who the people responsible might be. We’ll have experts going over the bomb-making material very quickly and again, you’ll be able to determine the sophistication of that explosive device and begin estimating the kind of background and knowledge that was going to be necessary to pull off the kind of explosives and the coordination that you saw today.”
Although there are no clear suspects at this point, Mr. Hoekstra did indicate that he believes the explosions have all the earmarks of a foreign terrorist attack:
“I think the short list would be probably al-Qaida out of the Maghreb region [of Northwest Africa] or it would be al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula out of Yemen, where al Awlaki came from and gave us the Detroit [underwear] bomber. We’ve always said — and we’ve known, we’ve stopped countless of these attacks and planned attacks in the United States — and we’ve always said some day someone might be able to get through and be successful.”
Before anyone gives in to temptation and starts pointing fingers, it might be wise to remember what happened when Anders Brevik began his murderous rampage in Norway. The Sun, a popular British tabloid, jumped the gun and ran headlines blaming al-Qaeda. A few hours later, a right wing extremist was arrested and The Sun was forced to print an embarrassing retraction.
Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and no one will spread false information about the terrible tragedy in Boston. The last thing our nation needs right now is an explosion of rumor mongering. This is a time for healing and we should direct our thoughts to the victims and their families.