Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Boston Marathon Murders were Probably Domestic Terrorism

I'm pretty sure that American authorities are trying to hunt down whoever detonated Claymore mines at the finish-line of the Boston Marathon yesterday.

One Indian paper had an account yesterday from an Indo-American special forces vet who ran the race and was at the scene shortly after the bombs/mines went off/detonated.  He described multiple amputations, severed legs everywhere, and how he had personally placed tourniquets on six or seven wounded runners.

Another account described small ball-bearings littering the blast site.

These are the hallmarks of the U.S. military's Claymore mine.  Small, compact, easily brought onto a site like this, easy to deploy, easy to conceal, directional (safe for the user standing behind it) and offering the capability for remote, command detonation.   Placed close enough to a group of runners, each Claymore would blast about 700 small (1/8"), steel balls into the victims' legs.  This is the same size Boston doctors report finding in the victims.

Boston Marathon, Boston Tea Party, American tax filing day and an explosive device with the hallmarks of an American military weapon.

How many Claymores have gone unaccounted for since VietNam?


GAB said...

reports are now saying bearing filled pressure cookers on timers, Sounds like something you'd find in the Anarchists cookbook, pros could have sourced better materials, that said tracking pressure cookers.

The Mound of Sound said...

I've read that, GAB. What doesn't add up is how one can make a pressure cooker into a directional weapon? That's virtually impossible. There would be no way to ensure you targeted the actual runners and not just the crowd or the wall behind the pressure cooker. It would also be difficult to bring onto the site, difficult to deploy, difficult to conceal and would draw plenty of attention to the person deploying it.

By all accounts these were directional weapons filled with the standard Claymore small ball bearings or possibly flechettes. I just don't see those projectiles working with something as clumsy as a pressure cooker.

GAB said...

(oops, pressed send too soon.)
Tracking pressure cookers doesn't sound like a great lead especially if they had the sense to buy them from thrift shops, garage sales etc rather than have 5 delivered from amazon.

Still cobbled together rather than a manufactured explosive still says domestic.

GAB said...

They were claiming last night that white smoke and what seemed to be a relatively slow explosion looked like gun powder, What's in the guts of a Claymore?

gab said...

Unless someone blowing smoke up the medias ass it should be easy to tell the difference, modern pressure cookers usually aluminum, claymores probably steel (no?)

The Mound of Sound said...

A Claymore uses standard C-4 plastic explosive. The key to me at least is that the devices were directional and positioned in close proximity to the targeted victims.

The area was full of spectators but, unless the reports are misleading, the victims seem to have been runners.

The doctors' reports I've read haven't mentioned shrapnel.

I can't understand how one could get a pressure cooker to reliably explode in a horizontal rather than a vertical plane. Surely for that effect there would be much more suitable cannisters.

We'll know what happened soon enough. The forensics in this sort of thing are quite sophisticated.

I'm left wondering if the U.S. authorities aren't deliberately releasing misleading information to facilitate their investigation.

The American media are comparing these devices to the IEDs so common on Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet they're nothing of the sort. Most IEDs over there are planted in unpopulated roadside locations long before they're detonated. That wouldn't have been possible here.

There's just too much to this that doesn't add up.

The Mound of Sound said...

The latest information indicates that there were actually very few fatalities given there were two explosions in the midst of crowds. The great majority of the wounds were lower-body, mainly legs.

Reviewing video released by the Boston Globe it's interesting to note that store windows remained intact. I've looked at various video clips but there seems to be no upward blast damage. It's hard to imagine how that can be achieved with explosive capable of blowing up a thick, aluminum pressure cooker.

Leg wounds, store fronts and windows seemingly undamaged - that takes a carefully designed, very directional weapon.

Elliott Taylor said...

Beyond my upset for the victims I feel a great unease that this event is just the sort of thing a doctrinaire right-wing prime minister with marked fascist tendencies might seize upon to justify further legislation curtailing civil freedoms.

Anonymous said...

Five minutes on line and I found this,
Which is kind of concerning given what happened yesterday.
No need for pressure cookers, just perspex, ball bearings and some explosives.

Anonymous said...

One Canadian standing nearby said he smelled gun powder...reported by CBC.

The Mound of Sound said...

Harebell I was floored when I opened the link you provided. It's all there in perfect "how to" format. With a mild explosive charge that could explain the directional factor, the lower percentage of fatalities to woundings and the absence of the usual evidence of blast damage from buildings in the immediate vicinity.

And you found everything in five minutes. Wow.

@ Elliott - yes, an authoritarian rightwinger could exploit this incident. The ironic part is that these atrocities tend to be the work of rightwing groups or movements.

The Mound of Sound said...

And it turns out, Elliott, that you're right.


Al Hunter said...

America's enemies have become their own citizens. Our govt seems determined to follow in that path.

The Mound of Sound said...

Al, with such a deeply divided society, it's not surprising that the state should have so many enemies among its own. Look at Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing.

We seem to have become inured to violence. People today seem as comfortable levelling threats as strangers from an earlier time exchanged greetings.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's been confirmed that pressure cookers were used in at least one of the devices. They apparently found a lid on the roof. UK's Daily Telegraph and Guardian agree on something for once.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's been confirmed that pressure cookers were used in at least one of the devices. They apparently found a lid on the roof. UK's Daily Telegraph and Guardian agree on something for once.

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks, Harebell. What I can't understand is how a device such as that can result in so many lower body wounds and so few, more lethal, upper body wounds. The video of the bomb blast sites published by the Boston Globe show very modest blast effects. Windows at the immediate site are blown out but those in adjacent buildings were not. Even the globes on the ornate street lights were intact.

I've been to a couple of explosion sites where windows in buildings on both sides of the street were blown out for a block in either direction.

Maybe it was a black powder IED. Anybody in our country with a POL licence can buy as much of that stuff as they like.

Still, with a device that crude, I'm amazed there weren't more upper body wounds.

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