Could the Boston Bombing Been Prevented?

April 26, 2013

April 26, 2013                       Michael Kanner

With news that the CIA and FBI had one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing on their terror watch lists has raised the question as to whether the bombing could have been prevented. But, according to CU-Boulder political science instructor Michael Kanner, a retired U.S. Army officer and counterterrorism expert, unless you can connect someone like Tamerlan Tsarnaev to a terrorist group or terrorist activities, it’s very difficult to uncover such a plot.

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Could the Boston Bombing Been Prevented?

April 26, 2013                       Michael Kanner

With news that the CIA and FBI had one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing on their terror watch lists has raised the question as to whether the bombing could have been prevented. But, according to CU-Boulder political science instructor Michael Kanner, a retired U.S. Army officer and counterterrorism expert, unless you can connect someone like Tamerlan Tsarnaev to a terrorist group or terrorist activities, it’s very difficult to uncover such a plot.

CUT 1 “You can’t. That’s the problem. If you don’t have a network, you don’t have co-conspirators then there is no way to ferret it out. The type of scenarios like Boston are impossible to protect. (:15) It’s one of those things - you cannot be 100 percent. That’s the biggest thing I learned in the years both studying, in government and then working as a counter terrorism foreign protection officer.” (:28)

Another problem, says Kanner, is that public events in large public settings such as the Boston Marathon are even harder to make safe.

CUT 2 “How do you protect 26.2 miles? You can’t. If you have a public setting like that where you want people participating, particularly at the end, you have to accept the possibility that someone who single-mindedly wants to pursue this course of action has the capacity to do so.” (:20)

And in this particular scenario where the suspects appear to have acted alone Kanner says it’s even more difficult to prevent acts of violence. He points to recent mass shooting and the Oklahoma City bombing as prime examples.

 

-CU-

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