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Boston Strong?

April 15th marked the first commemoration of the Boston Marathon Bombing that occurred at the Boylston Street finish line on April 15, 2013 in two devastating explosions at 2:49 PM triggered by homemade pressure cookers bombs packed with lethal shrapnel. The nation was riveted for five days by the pursuant of refugee Jihadists of Chechen origin, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarneav who planned and perpetrated the bombing. The elder Tamerlan dies in a hail of bullets, while his younger sibling Dzhokhar was captured cowering in a boat in the backyard of a Watertown neighborhood. Dzhokhar’s trial is scheduled in a Boston Federal Court in November 2014.  The Federal prosecutors are seeking a death penalty for his actions.

President Obama observed the Bombing in a private moment of silence. Vice President Biden journeyed to Boston to join in a memorial with Mayor Marty Walsh, former Mayor Thomas Menino, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick first responders and four survivors at a series of scheduled events at the Hynes Convention Center.

Biden commended these survivors for their “pure courage”.  Further he said, “You have become the face of America’s resolve.” He completed his speech saying, “We are Boston. We are America. We respond, we endure, we overcome, and we own the finish line.”

Governor Patrick reflecting the Hub City’s community spirit said, “We are no strangers here.”

These remarks at today’s commemoration and memorial bolstered the imagery of Boston Strong defiant, yet grieving over the losses in both human and spiritual terms.  There is an exhibit at the Boston Public Library at the head of the Copley Square with a selection drawn from the City of Boston Archives of the global outpouring of sympathies.  There were blessings for runners who have signed up for the 2014 Marathon, re- scheduled for April 21st, who will run in  the name of those killed and injured, many maimed for life with missing limbs. There will be panel discussions of the resilience of the Boston community and books to be published on the occasion of this commemoration.

Governor Patrick has contended that  security planning for this year’s Boston Marathon is has been “very thorough”,   preparing  for the legendary race’s 26 mile plus route from suburban Hopkington, Massachusetts to the finish line in Copley Square.

The devastation is reflected in the opening stanzas of our article on this tragic event in the May 2013 edition of the New English Review, Refugee Jihad Terror in Boston:

Those Boston Marathon blasts occurred less than 13 seconds apart at approximately 2:49 PM on Monday, April 15, 2013. They left a trail of deaths and destruction in what is now called the Boston Marathon Massacre involving three dead and more that 282 treated for injuries. Fourteen were severely maimed for life with missing limbs. The deaths caused by the Tsarnaev brothers include 8 year old Martin Richard, 29 year old Krystle Campbell and 23 year old Lu Lingzi, a Chinese national and Boston University graduate student. 26 year old MIT police officer Sean Collier was killed by the Tsarnaevs while in his patrol car in Cambridge. Richard Donahue, a 33 year old Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority police officer was also shot and critically wounded.

Notwithstanding, perhaps because of today’s commemorations in Boston there are lingering questions even before the trial of younger brother Dzhokhar begins later this year in Boston.

Questions remain regarding whether the Jihad attack could have been prevented given emerging evidence.

There is  evidence of Russian intercepts of telephone conversations between Tamerlan and his mother in Dagestan expressing jihadist ideology passed on to the FBI in 2011.  A recent Intelligence Inspector General report exonerated the FBI pointing a finger at the alleged failure of the Russian intelligence service to respond to follow up questions.  There are allegations by Dzhokhar’s lawyers that the FBI tried to enlist elder brother Tamerlan as an informant.

Then there is a question raised in a recent Boston Magazine investigative article “Murders before the Marathon” about the Middlesex County prosecutor and FBI investigations of the grisly 2011 murders of three men, two of them Jews,  in an alleged  bust drug deal in Waltham, Massachusetts on 9/11/2011.  The three murdered men Brendan Mess, 25; Raphael Teken, 37; and Eric Weissman, 31, were found with their throats cut in September of 2011, and their bodies were covered with marijuana.” The author of the Boston Magazine article had met one of the victims Eric Weissman, a purveyor of designer marijuana in a casual deal as a college student and was able to interview the victim’s wife and the girl friend of one of the accomplices killed in an Orlando, Florida shooting by an FBI agent.

 According to the Boston Magazine article the information available to Middlesex County police and prosecutors might have led to indictment of the Tsarneavs thereby preventing implementation of their jihad at the Marathon finish line in 2013. Those investigations into the Waltham triple murders went cold for over 570 days, only reignited by the Tsarneav perpetration of the Marathon Bombing.  There was  both DNA evidence and corroboration of  the perpetrators by the wife of the one of those murdered linking the participation of Tsarneavs along with an accomplice,  fellow Chechen Refugee, Ibragim Todashev.

Todashev, according to Ann Corcoran at Refugee Resettlement Watch, was granted asylum by the US DOJ Executive Office of Immigration Review under false pretenses pointing to a threat to his life in Chechnya, despite the fact that his father was a Chechen official.  Todashev was killed in an alleged assault in his Orlando apartment nine months ago in a shooting by an FBI agent allegedly justified by a knife attack by Todaschev. That killing is still being investigated by independent Florida prosecutors. However, recently the FBI Agent’s actions were deemed “justified”.

There is also the matter of  whether the Mosque in Cambridge, affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood-backed Islamic Cultural Center of Boston (ISBCC) should have been subject to community policing akin to that of the NYPD.  We raise this because another Muslim Brotherhood front, MPAC with entree to the Obama White House, FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s advisory council, has been promoting an initiative, “Safe Spaces”.  According to a Wall Street Journal article,  “Mosques get a New Message”, Safe Spaces , is about  a voluntary program  by boards of  American  Mosques engaging in identifying and ‘converting’ extremists in their midst thereby co-opting local and national law enforcement profiling of their communities.  The trigger for the MPAC initiative is an incident that occurred at the Cambridge Mosque involved Tamerlan in January 2013. The WSJ article noted the event and reactions of the ISBCC spokesperson to the MPAC Safe Spaces initiative:

In January 2013, months before the bombing, [Tamerlan] shouted at a speaker who compared Martin Luther King Jr. to Muhammad, calling him a “hypocrite.”

Afterward, mosque leaders gave him an ultimatum, saying that if he ever interrupted Friday service again he would be expelled, said Yusufi Vali, a spokesman for the mosque.

The MPAC report said Mr. Tamerlan’s outbursts “were more than enough cause for concern to warrant intervention from community leaders to help provide counseling” which “might have revealed other red flags that would generate greater concern” and eventually have alerted law enforcement.

Mr. Vali said he hadn’t yet read the MPAC report, and declined to comment on it, “so I can’t respond to adopting the initiative or whether that would have been a better approach.”

This first commemoration is focused on the resilience of Boston honoring the memories of those who lost their lives at the hands of the Jihadists, the Tsarneav brothers.

Tuesday evening, Boston Police detained a man for questioning about two unattended backpacks left at the Boylston Street Marathon finish line.  ABC news reported the bomb squad blew u p the backpacks. Police have cleared the area. Trains are bypassing the nearby Copley Square station. The police department has tweeted asking people to avoid the area.

Given the continuing investigations into the Bombing and these latest developments, are Boston and our nation prepared to prevent another jihadist attack in a public space?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.