Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 19, 2013

One suspect dead, other on the run

Filed under: Investigation & Enforcement,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on April 19, 2013

Overnight — beginning about 2230 Boston time — the search for the Boston bombers unfolded into a fire-fight and active manhunt.  The individual with a black hat shown in the photos released yesterday afternoon is evidently dead.  As of 0530 Eastern on Friday the individual in the white hat is the object of an extensive search by a range of law enforcement agencies.

One of the best bets for authoritative reports is the Boston Globe website. According to the Globe:

The Associated Press reported this morning that the suspects came from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency. A law enforcement intelligence bulletin obtained by the AP identified the surviving bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old who had been living in Cambridge. The Globe has learned that the dead suspect is Tsarnaev’s brother.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

April 19, 2013 @ 8:13 am

Neither the US government nor MSM ever analyzed the situation over the last several decades in Chechnya as terrorism. Both the Soviets and the Russians always did. Chechnya was largely deported by Stalin to Siberia but returned over time after Stalin’s death. Obvious to some but not others Chechnya’s population largely followers of Islam.

Thus the struggle of the Chechnyan people against various kinds of authority not new but just perhaps new to the US and a US government that does not realize somehow that perhaps as many as 55 nation-states are majority followers of Islam, including Indonesia which is the largest but perhaps confusingly to those without demographic and religious knowledge, the largest Indonesia Island-Bali is majority Hindu!

Sorting out the Boston event may take some time.

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 19, 2013 @ 8:25 am

I commented on a post on another blog–Pat Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis–the question “Can or should the religion of Islam be reformed?” which prompted an interesting thread.

Pat is an author of several Civil War novels, and a one time the senior most fully fluent Arabic speaker and writer in the US Army and taught at West Point.

Another blog I follow on the MENA [middle east and north africa) is Juan Cole’s Informed Comment.

Prior to 9/11/01 I had read almost nothing about the MENA except for some discussion of its history but since have read over 100 books on that region. Still largely ignorant of that area and its peoples.

Comment by HGRATTAN

April 19, 2013 @ 9:20 am


The USG many not have publicly identified certain Chechnyan organizations as terrorists per se, the Intelligence Community did (does) consider some to be terrorist/other threat to US (unconventional threat.

No intelligence officer is an expert on every region. The IC does divide itself regionally and functionally. While their numbers may be dwindling, the IC still stocks Russian experts.

Like all, waiting to see the final outcomes.

Prayers and best wishes to the victims and those that stand in harms way to capture/kill those involved.

I pray too for those that have considered and are considering terrorism/violence as a remedy for their ills.

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 19, 2013 @ 10:37 am

HGRATTAN! Sorry no pass on your comment. The IC gets just under $100B annually perhaps more. The US out of support for being PC never was willing to identify Chechny as source of terrorism even though they are somne of the best Islamic Fundamentalist fighters.

Oddly to some degree we the USA did look the other way on Soviet and Russian efforts to suppress Chechnyans [sic] even while human rights violations occurred in that wartorn area almost continuously right up to the present.

And as to Russian expertise practically every time I visit the DC area I am confronted by young male and female Russian nations seeking work or involved in some scam off the books. Real estate largely unregulated is a Russian emigree specialty.

So perhaps the IC should just walk around the DC area.

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 19, 2013 @ 10:39 am

What would be of interest is whether the US ever provided arms or money to the Chechans?

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 19, 2013 @ 10:42 am

And on Sic Semper Tyrannis blog I provided a list of IC misses since WWII and invited correction. Only missed the Soviet invasion of Checkoslovia in 1968 according to readers. Added that to my list.

Oddly perhaps I never have considered 9/11/01 a miss by the IC. Perhaps am wrong.

Comment by HGRATTAN

April 19, 2013 @ 3:49 pm


IC and I are not looking for a pass. Never did and never should.

IC is (should be?) policy neutral. IC doctrine writ large is to exclude themselves from policy regime.

Certainly this is and can be a grey area: where do you draw the line?

IC mandate: if the policy maker asks for/directs information collection/analysis than that is the IC mandate.

Ultimately, intelligence requirements are set by policy maker (POTUS/Congress.

IC has been and will a convenient scapegoat.

Notwithstanding, certain elements of the IC have nefariously made IC policy. No innocents in the real world.

IC had some misses and some big hits. Major league baseball players bat 300 and are heroes.

IC does not have crystal ball. IC needs to manage policy maker and public expectations of intelligence.

Intelligence can provide decision advantage if used properly. Intelligence does not dictate the outcome.

Semper Paratus

Comment by Christopher Tingus

April 19, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

We here in metro Boston tonight are grateful! We thank the First responders at a time when this wonderful city was attacked in a brutal manner which demanded prompt and organized professional First Response! Tonight, we applaud you!

Thank you to every police officer, firefighter, EMT, National Guardsman, medical personnel and so many more for all your efforts in your professional commitment to public safety!


Christopher Tingus
PO Box 1612
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645

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