We must not wallow in fear or self-pity.
it is, obviously, understandable that people are shocked when something like the Boston bombing happens. Such an attack is a shocking thing—the images, the video, the beautiful faces of the three young people whose lives were taken; all shocking.
After 9/11, how can anyone be surprised? In fact, I would take it back further. After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and after Oklahoma City, how could anyone have been surprised? (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
But in today’s world, it isn’t really a surprising thing. After 9/11, how can anyone be surprised? In fact, I would take it back further. After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and after Oklahoma City, how could anyone have been surprised? I remember the 1993 bombing very well. I was in New York and, as it happens, at CBS that Friday afternoon to tape a public-affairs discussion show that was preempted. And maybe I’m strange, but one recurring thought I remember having that day was, I wonder what took them so long.
The hyperspeed media cycle has already made his death old news. Lauren Ashburn on why we must remember 8-year-old Martin Richard.
It was easy amid the dramatic video of flash bangs and gunshots to forget the sweet little face of 8-year-old Martin Richard.
A photo of Martin Richard, 8, hangs at a makeshift memorial April 18 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Matt Rourke/AP)
I'm embarrassed to say I did.
Folks in West, Texas, knew living so close to a fertilizer plant was a ‘bad idea.’ Christine Pelisek on the town’s stoic response to last week’s blast—and the debate over rebuilding.
WEST, TEXAS—Long before a seismic explosion at the local fertilizer plant leveled dozens of homes and killed 14 people, including nine first responders, many residents of this small traditional Czech community felt as if they were living next to a ticking time bomb.
Bill Warren, a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4819, lowers the U.S. flag to half staff April 18 in memory of victims of the West Fertilizer Co. explosion. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty)
“Everybody has thought about it for years,” says Gary Horton, who lost his home in last week’s blast. “It’s always been a possibility. We talked about people making bombs in Oklahoma City, but there was a big bomb right across the street. It don’t take nothin’ but a spark.”
The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was even worse than BP wanted us to know.
"It’s as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid.” That’s what Jamie Griffin says the BP man told her about the smelly, rainbow-streaked gunk coating the floor of the “floating hotel” where Griffin was feeding hundreds of cleanup workers during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently, the workers were tracking the gunk inside on their boots. Griffin, as chief cook and maid, was trying to clean it. But even boiling water didn’t work.
An agonizing 87 days passed before the BP oil spill was finally sealed off. According to US government estimates, 210 million gallons of Louisiana sweet crude had escaped into the Gulf, making this disaster the largest unintentional oil leak in world history. (Benjamin Lowy/Getty)
“The BP representative said, ‘Jamie, just mop it like you’d mop any other dirty floor,’” Griffin recalls in her Louisiana drawl.
At a radical mosque in Dagestan, alleged marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev is remembered by many worshippers—and the secret police. By Anna Nemtsova
The mosque on Kotrova Street in the capital of Dagestan is abuzz with passionate discussions. Here in the northern Caucasus, Muslim revolutionaries are fighting to break away from Russia and create a Salafi “emirate” akin to the caliphate yearned for by Al Qaeda. So people are used to talk about “terrorism.” But they are not used to hearing it linked to words like “Boston” and “marathon.” And they are trying to square what they’re hearing now with their memories of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the elder of the two brothers at the center of the atrocity in the United States, who was killed last Friday in a Boston suburb.
This Monday, April 15, 2013 photo, taken approximately 10-20 minutes before the blast, shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, center-right, who was dubbed Suspect No. 1 and Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, center-left, who was dubbed Suspect No. 2 in the Boston Marathon bombings by law enforcement. (Bob Leonard/AP)
The men at the mosque on Kotrova Street saw a lot of Tsarnaev last summer and so, it appears, did the local security forces. The FSB, the successor to the KGB, allegedly even had a case file on him, according to one well-placed security source. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was dossier 1713. He was allegedly in the constant company of another Salafist, later killed, whom the FSB believed to have ties to the rebels in Caucasus. The Russian and Dagestani cops were allegedly “watching him closely for five months and three weeks,” according to this source. (The Russians had asked the FBI to take a close look at Tsarnaev in 2011, but the FBI had found nothing on him that they thought worth pursuing.)
As more states move to legalize marijuana, weed’s unofficial day of worship is gaining momentum—bringing more ‘claimers’ who say they’re behind it to the forefront. Abby Haglage talks to The Waldos, 4/20’s self-declared ‘founding fathers.’
“Where does 4/20 actually come from?” I ask Washington state’s pot czar, Mark Kleiman, over dinner recently.
A person lights up a 28 ounce blunt at exactly 4:20 p.m. as thousands gathered to celebrate the state's medicinal marijuana laws and collectively light up at 4:20 p.m. in Civic Center Park on April 20, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Marc Piscotty/Getty)
“To be honest, I’m not sure,” he says, unashamed. “There’s some story from California, but I don’t know the specific details.” Bright, clever, and highly equipped for his new position as head of the state’s pot legalization program, I’m surprised to hear it. If the pot czar himself doesn’t know the story behind marijuana’s holy day, who does?
The Tsarnaev brothers are Muslim. They are homegrown jihadists. But careful, writes Charles King, are these terrorists really any different from Adam Lanza and other mass murderers?
The naming of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was captured alive last night, have made the nightmare scenario for many American Muslims come true. The Tsarnaev brothers will forever be the poster children for a particularly American fear, reflected in everything from blockbuster films to popular fiction: that the English-speaking, dark-haired young men with unpronounceable names, who wear baseball caps, win scholarships, and garner wrestling trophies, are also the ones who could blow you up.
Brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in an image taken before the explosion at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Handout/UPI, via Landov)
News media are already marking the Boston bombings as a turning point, the moment when homegrown jihadists truly came into the open and declared their desire to destroy America from within. And unlike the spectacular plans for bringing down an airliner over Detroit or leaving a car bomb in Times Square, the weapons of this jihadist war require only trips to a hardware store and a sporting goods shop. “We give him a green card and he comes to hate America,” said Fox News’s Megyn Kelly on Friday.
Social media blanketed the Boston police shoot-out, and who knew an alleged terrorist was tweeting? Lauren Ashburn on how the mainstream press was eclipsed.
While most of us were sound asleep, Andrew “You can call me Kitz” Kitzenberg took to Twitter to chronicle the most intensely watched news event in the world—all from his Massachusetts home.
Spectators clap and cheer while law-enforcement members leave the scene near Franklin Street on April 19, 2013, in Watertown, Massachusetts. (Photo Illustration: TDB. Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty)
12:55 a.m. Shoot out outside my room in Watertown. 62 Laurel st.
The two suspects—one dead, one still on the loose—in the Boston Marathon attack are Chechen. Journalist Andrew Meier explains what that means—and why they’re here.
First off—who are these young men?
From what I’ve been able to gather about the Tsarnaev brothers, only one direct link to Chechnya has emerged. Anzor Tsarnaev, their father—who claims to have spoken with one of his sons the day after the Marathon attacks—lives in Makhachkala, Dagestan, a small region of the Russian Federation that borders Chechnya on the Black Sea. The father has said that his elder son, Tamerlan, now dead, visited “relatives” in Chechnya last year. (U.S. officials report that Tamerlan flew to Moscow in January, 2012, and returned to the U.S. six months later.)
The young men’s father is said to be an ethnic Chechen, but born and raised in Kyrgyzstan—a former Soviet republic in Central Asia. (On Red Army Day in the winter of 1944, Stalin deported hundreds of thousands Chechens from their homeland—many died, but many who survived the journey resettled in Central Asia.) The Tsarnaevs' mother, who does not have a traditional Chechen first name, is said to be from Dagestan. Tamerlan, the older brother, was reportedly born in Dagestan, while his younger brother, Dzhokhar, was born in 1993—in Kyrgyzstan. So it would seem—at this early point—that their ties to Chechnya were tenuous. It remains to be seen, if in fact Tamerlan Tsarnaev visited Chechnya last year, what he did during his time there.
As the world’s attention levels on the Tsarnaev brothers, a question is bubbling up—was the older brother named after a vicious warlord? By Eliza Shapiro
As information trickles out about the two brothers named primary suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, some in the media are starting to observe that 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed Thursday night in a chaotic shootout with police, may be named after one of history’s most ferocious conquerors.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev arrives at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts center in April 2009 in Boston. (Barcroft Media, via Landov)
Amir Temur, also known as Tamerlane, was a Central Asian ruler and warlord who lived in the 14th and 15th centuries. Scholars estimate that his military campaigns throughout Central Asia, Africa, Europe, and the modern Middle East killed about 17 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s population at the time.
Just to clarify, the IRS didn't break any laws by targeting certain political groups. But just because something's legal doesn't mean it's acceptable. The Treasury Department Inspector General said the IRS actions were 'inappropriate' and 'contrary to Treasury regulations.'