News / USA

Americans Resilient Despite Terror Attacks

Americans Resilient Despite Terror Attacksi
April 18, 2013 2:21 PM
Before the attacks on September 11, 2001, Americans mostly thought of terrorism as something that happened overseas. But the response to the Boston marathon attack - and to recent mass shootings - suggests the feeling of safety has been punctured. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports from Boston.
Americans Resilient Despite Terror Attacks
Before the September 11, 2001 attacks, Americans mostly thought of terrorism as something that happened overseas. But the response to the Boston marathon attack - and to recent mass shootings - suggests the feeling of safety has been punctured.

Boston from some vantage points can appear idyllic, and that's usually the feeling when the marathon is run. Tracy Shea was there and was loving it.  

“The day was so joyful," she recalled. "It was such a joyful day, and I was so in the moment of the elation of seeing people finish."

Shea got close enough to the finish line to take a picture, when the bombs went off.

“All I saw was just this smoke, it reminded me of 9/11, just seeing that white smoke and the stuff in the smoke coming at you," she said, thinking back to the moment of the explosion. "Then you realized instantly that it was a bomb. And I looked at my daughter who had terror in her eyes and we just started running."

But reality had not sunk in.

“It was really, like, I cannot believe this is happening. I think it was just utter shock," Shea admitted. " 'Are we really running away from bombs on Boylston street?' It was just sheer disbelief."

It's a disbelief that's rooted in a time when Americans felt their country was immune to political violence - especially to the kind of carnage that happened here this week.

“Prior to 9/11, most Americans thought we lived in a security bubble, almost like we were on some other planet and we watched terrible things happen on TV, so they happen in Pakistan, or in Iraq or in Afghanistan or in Africa,” explained Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

That's changing, he said,  not only because of terror attacks, but also mass shootings like the one that killed 26 children and educators in Newtown, Connecticut, last December.

“So I think it's kind of dawning on Americans that we live in a fragile and dangerous world and that even our fellow citizens may come to our schoolhouse and shoot up our children.”

That realization can work against terrorist groups, according to international affairs professor Stephen Walt.

“The good news is that, provided none of these groups get access to really destructive weapons, these are not going to pose a threat to most Americans," noted Walt, "to the American way of life, to our ability to have a free and open society particularly if we don't overreact to them.”

Tracy Shea says she'll go back to the marathon next year, so as not to surrender to fear.

“If you do that, I think they won in some way and I think that's not how we live our lives here,” she said.

It's a sentiment heard a lot in Boston these days, a city already known for its resilience and grit.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: NVO from: Oh! Theres more!
April 18, 2013 12:50 PM
Images that show employees of a private security firm involved in what appears to be a bombing drill confirm eyewitness reports that such an exercise was underway in the hours preceding the attack on the Boston Marathon, although authorities continue to deny that any drill took place.

When Infowars reporter Dan Bidondi questioned the Massachusetts Governor, the Mayor of Boston, and the FBI Special Agent in charge of Boston on whether there was a bomb drill taking place on the morning of the attack, he was told that there was “no specific intelligence” regarding an attack and that no drills took place besides the usual precautions taken for a big event.

This contradicts eyewitness testimony from University of Mobile Cross Country Coach Ali Stevenson, who stated, “At the starting line this morning, they had bomb sniffing dogs and the bomb squad out there. They kept announcing to runners not to be alarmed, that they were running a training exercise.”

The subsequent release of photos that placed the official narrative in disarray, images which showed both middle eastern and Caucasian men with large black backpacks behaving suspiciously immediately before and after the blast go to great lengths to confirm Stevenson’s story and suggest that official denials that drills took place are part of a larger cover-up.

by: NVO from: USA
April 18, 2013 11:42 AM
Unlike Oklahoma City, the FBI cannot confiscate all of the surveillance, cell phone, and thousands of cameras that were at the finish line of Boston Marathon. 4Chan posted dozens of photos showing Navy Seal or Private Security personnel carrying the same black back packs which are the same style backpacks showed in FBI photos. It’s becoming crystal clear. Get these articles and this video out to everyone you know.

by: George Orwell from: UK
April 18, 2013 11:13 AM
In a time of Universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

by: Kay from: Boston
April 18, 2013 11:00 AM
The media seemed primed to blame the the attacks on white right-wing extremists, but as soon as the photos of the middle eastern looking individuals emerged, reports that an arrest had been made were retracted and the FBI cancelled a planned press conference.

The whole official narrative behind the Boston bombings is now in complete disarray as a result of these photos being released yesterday on the Internet.

There seems to be no rational explanation for why two employees of a private security firm would be on the scene of the blasts carrying large black backpacks similar to those used in the actual attack unless they were involved in some kind of drill that paralleled the real bombing.

The FBI should be attempting to uncover the identity of these individuals as an urgent priority and the mainstream media should be all over the story, but instead we have heard nothing but silence.

In addition, following an unscheduled meeting between President Barack Obama and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal yesterday, it was subsequently revealed that one of the early suspects in the bombing, Saudi national Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, was being deported from the United States on “national security” grounds.

by: fooey from: USA
April 18, 2013 9:43 AM
The attempt to cover up a possible Saudi connection to the Boston attack could explain why authorities are scrambling to get their official narrative straight after photos emerged yesterday on the Internet showing numerous suspects carrying large backpacks, some of them middle eastern in appearance and two of the individuals having been almost certainly identified as employees of private military/security firm Craft International. The FBI had set a press conference for 5pm EST yesterday afternoon but the event was cancelled hours after the photos were seen by millions of people online. The federal agency blamed the media for erroneous reporting, stating, “these stories often have unintended consequences.”

CNN also had to backtrack after they announced that a suspect had been arrested, a report that was subsequently denied by authorities. Reports of a “dark skinned man” being arrested were later mothballed. According to terrorism expert Steve Emerson, 20-year-old Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national first suspected of being involved in Monday’s twin bomb attack, is being hastily deported. Alharbi was put under armed guard in hospital after the bombing, was visited by Saudi diplomat Azzam bin Abdel Karim, and later had his apartment raided by federal and state law enforcement agents.

“I just learned from my own sources that he is now going to be deported on national security grounds next Tuesday, which is very unusual,” Emerson told Fox News last night. The news follows an unscheduled meeting between President Obama and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal at the White House yesterday afternoon. “The meeting was not on Obama’s public schedule,” reports Reuters.

“That’s very interesting because this is the way things are done with Saudi Arabia. You don’t arrest their citizens. You deport them, because they don’t want them to be embarrassed and that’s the way we appease them,”

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs