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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.

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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,”

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