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article imageOp-Ed: Boston Marathon attacks — Who could be responsible?

By Sami Zaatari     Apr 15, 2013 in World
Boston - At least two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, leaving two dead, and dozens wounded. At this moment no suspects have been announced, nor has any group taken responsibility for the attack.
Obviously there will be a list of suspects behind the blast.
The first and most obvious suspect will likely centre around Al-Qaeda, who's main agenda is attacking the United States. The attack could've either been carried out by Al-Qaeda, or its affiliate, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), or it could've been a joint operation between the two.
AQAP have already had 2 foiled attacks against the US. Back in 2009, underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was unsuccessful in detonating his explosive device onboard an American passenger plane after passengers thwarted his attempt.
AQAP was then foiled a second time when explosive devices bound for the US were discovered and dismantled by intelligence agencies. The aim of the plot was for the explosives to have been detonated while onboard US passenger planes.
AQAP have shown in both attempted attacks that they possess the capability of producing deadly explosive devices similar to what we have seen in Boston today.
Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three  more than 100 injured
Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three, more than 100 injured
WBZ-TV / Screengrab
The target of the attack also make it likely that it was Al-Qaeda; it was a crowded area, with a high potential of casualties, as well as a symbolical attack. The Boston Marathon is a very special day for the city, and an attack on the marathon would gain a lot of attention, and this would fit in with the modus operandi of Al-Qaeda, who want their attacks to gain as much attention as possible, as well as having a high symbolical meaning behind it.
The fact that the attack was not carried out by a suicide bomber may cast some doubt on whether Al-Qaeda was behind it, as they often like to employ a suicide bomber for carrying out such an attack.
Another potential likelihood behind the attack could be that of a lone wolf, someone who acted on their own, and not necessarily linked or connected to Al-Qaeda, but someone who shares their ideology and beliefs.
Authorities in the US have often spoken about how one of their main concerns is that of a lone wolf, as they are much harder to detect and foil. A lone wolf with no connections or links to Al-Qaeda, or without any prior background criminal past, could easily plan and gain the materials needed to build an explosive device without arousing suspicions from the authorities.
The blasts in Boston could also potentially be an act of domestic terrorism, carried out by either a right wing group, or a right wing lone wolf. Today was tax day, and many right wing movements are opposed to income taxes, viewing them as unconstitutional and an infringement on their rights imposed by the Federal Government overusing its powers. Homeland Security has warned in the past of the growing threat of right-wing extremism, which has seen a surge with the election of President Barack Obama back in 2008.
Another potential likelihood behind the blasts was that it was carried out by someone who just wanted to inflict death and damage, someone who doesn't really have a political reason behind the attack, but more of a criminal intent to simply cause harm. An example of such an attack would be the Aurora theatre shooting that was carried out by James Holmes last summer.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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