Boston Marathon bombing: Feds raid apartment, police seek rental van (+video)

Boston Marathon bombing: Feds raid apartment, police seek rental van (+video)

Federal authorities late Monday removed several bags from an apartment in a nearby suburb. Police investigating the Boston Marathon bombing have also issued an alert for a rental van and for a hooded man who left the area before the blasts.

By Peter Grier, Staff writer / April 16, 2013

Police, ambulances, and federal officers shut down Huntington Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay due to another bomb scare at a hotel near the finish of the Boston Marathon where two bombs exploded Monday afternoon.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor

In Pictures: Tragedy at the Boston Marathon

 Boston was battered but vigilant on Tuesday as an army of federal agents raced to find out who attacked the city’s historic marathon, leaving three dead and more than 100 injured amid a war zone of shattered glass and bomb debris on Patriots Day.
WBZ’s Jonathan Elias was at the Boston Marathon finish line when the bombs went off. Norah O’Donnell talks to him about what he saw.

As of Tuesday morning, no persons or group had claimed credit for twin explosions at the finish line near Boston’s Copley Square. The Pakistani Taliban, a group that has threatened the United States in the past, denied participation, according to the Associated Press.

Law enforcement officials questioned an injured Saudi national at a local hospital, but news stories indicated that the individual appears to have no connection to the case. The Boston Globe reported that he was simply a frightened spectator who had tried to flee but was tackled and restrained by bystanders.

On Monday night agents from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and other law enforcement agencies raided a unit in a high-rise apartment on Ocean Drive in the seaside Boston suburb of Revere, according to information posted online by a participating local fire department. Several bags, including what appeared to be a large duffel bag, were removed from the scene. Authorities were mum as to the specifics of their suspicions but confirmed that the Revere search was related to the case.

Rep. William Keating (D) of Massachusetts, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told a local CBS reporter that the two bombs at the finish line, which exploded seconds apart, had been stashed in trash receptacles and were clearly a “coordinated attack.” Authorities have discovered two other unexploded devices, he told Boston’s WBZ News.

Other reports said no unexploded devices had been found. A reported fire at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library turned out to be the result of an electrical problem and was unrelated to the marathon bombs, according to Boston police.

NBC News reported that the explosive devices near the finish line had been packed with ball bearings to enhance their lethality. Doctors treating some of the 126 wounded at local hospitals said many had been hurt by metal shrapnel, though they added it was unclear whether the metal in question had simply been part of the environment or was the result of a shredded trash receptacle.

Police have issued an alert for a rental van that may have tried to gain access to the finish line area and for a man in dark clothing and a hood seen leaving the scene shortly before the blast,reported NBC. Surveillance video shows a hooded figure carrying two backpacks at about that time.

Among the dead is 8-year-old Martin Richard, whose father was running in the race. The boy’s mother and sister were also gravely injured, according to a Boston Globe report. The family had gathered at the finish line for cheers and celebrations.

Although President Obama did not use the word “terrorism” in remarks to the nation Monday evening, other US officials made it clear that the bombing is being treated as a terrorist attack. That would make it the first such strike on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001, and a deadly reminder that it is impossible to armor all national activities against a terrorist threat.

One thing is clear: The bomber or bombers were not highly skilled. The explosive devices were relatively crude compared with those produced overseas by Al Qaeda or other radical Islamist terrorist groups, RAND Corp. terror expert Brian Jenkins told Los Angeles television. They were much smaller than the powerful truck bomb that Timothy McVeigh used to devastate the federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995.

In that sense they were analogous to the pipe bombs that killed two and injured 100 in 1996 atAtlanta’s Centennial Park during the Olympics.

The fact that the target was an event of great significance to Boston but not particularly significant to the wider world could indicate that the bomber was a local or at least a native of the United States. The explosions occurred on April 15, tax day, which could be a further indication of a domestic connection.

But the bombs were not directed against a government building or institution, which is often a hallmark of disaffected, lone-wolf domestic terrorists, noted some terrorism analysts. And the style of the attack, in which one explosion was closely followed by another, mimics that used by numerous groups in the Middle East.

One government official told the Los Angeles Times that his guess would be “self-radicalized Islamic extremists from the area.”

Meanwhile, a large area of Back Bay Boston remained sealed off as an enormous outdoor crime scene. Police were working their way through a mountain of bags and other debris left by the fleeing crowd in an effort to ensure that no further explosives will detonate. Cities across the US tightened security, just in case – New York City dispatched police critical response teams to guard sensitive sights, while in Washington the Secret Service expanded the security perimeter around the White House.

In London, authorities were reviewing security plans for Sunday’s London Marathon, the next such major international race.

hands out

Mario’s Note:   How should we react to terrorism?

How should we react and pray over this horrific attack?  We have headline fatigue.  We have unrelenting waves of violent, bloody images, we have the sense that no public event is safe, and all of this can bring emotional and even physical paralysis.  Terrorism by definition wins by creating an out-sized reaction.  The purest goal of terrorism is to make you feel that an attack in one place means that it is going to happen everywhere. It lives and breathes on its ability to terrorize, to create a frightened populace that ceases its normal life to sit in dread of the next attack.

Today we mourn the unthinkable suffering of our fellow citizens in Boston.  Today we drop political differences in favor of being a healing force. Here is the truest tendency of the soldier of Christ, to comfort and encourage. How do we do this?

It is my opinion that our reaction to this and all terrorism begins with one verse:  2 Timothy 1: 6 therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Paul may not have known how much he was writing to us about terrorism when he wrote that but it is a tutorial on terrorism.

1. Stir up the gift of God not the fear of man.   Let’s face it; the same spirit of entitlement that “stoned” America has seeped into our teachings and inebriated many saints.   We lost sight of the fact that bringing heaven to earth did not mean heaven on earth but heaven behind enemy lines.  As Arthur Matthews said, “The history of the saints in every age is one of conflict.”

Our paradox is that we gain peace and confidence by remembering we are in a war.  The gifts of power, the peace of God, the joy of the Lord are the exclusive properties of those believers who have chosen take a stand.

As all of Israel stood frozen in fear of Goliath, David saw through the lie.  This giant had blasphemed God.  David said, “Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God” -1 Samuel 17:36.  Likewise, because of its hatred of Christianity and Israel, Radical Islam has sealed its doom.

2. Fight God’s battles and He will fight yours.  As much as possible continue with your regular life.  Here is my opinion on this matter: we are to use common sense in our daily life while we trust God to use uncommon power to protect us and guide us out of danger.

If you shut down your life right now you are not only giving Satan a victory you are taking matters into your own hands and out of the hands of God.

My blog on election day: lets end the madness today!

Let’s end the madness today!

This blog is not about him it is about you.

1. Obama is bitter and his campaign rhetoric proves it.  He rants and raves like someone running for city councilman in Podunk and not a world leader.  He is no president and he never will be.

2. He is amoral and cold blooded.  The proof is in his handling of the Benghazi Attack.  He could not wait to give the details of the mission to kill Bin Laden.  However, two months later he continues to claim that there is an ongoing investigation into the deaths of 4 Americans and he refuses to account for the eight hours of his actions during the attack.

3. He seethes with resentment.  He resents, Israel, America, Capitalism and those who live in Pennsylvania who “cling to their guns and religion.”  His heart for our nation was revealed in the comment of his wife when she said, “For the first time in my adult life, I am truly proud of my Country.”

4. He prefers Islam and makes war on Christianity.   He said, “Should the winds of change turn ugly, I shall stand with Islam.”  He refuses to believe that radical Islam even exists.  He always avoids calling even the most heinous attacks an act of terrorism.  The fact that he has taken two months to call it terrorism in Benghazi is bad enough but he has still not called the attack on Fort Hood terrorism years later.  He has had no fear to declare war on the church and to freely intimidate believers with his policies.

He has threatened the Catholic Church over contraceptives.  He has threatened the freedom of religion of Christians.  If we allow him to threaten this basic freedom what freedoms will he erode by 2016?

5. He has never had a plan.  He ran for president until he won and then simply started running for reelection.  In this entire campaign you have heard nothing from him about what he will do to protect us from our enemies, save our economy or fix the gridlock in Washington.  He has been a Campaigner in Chief and nothing else.

5. The media has repeatedly lied for him, covered for him, and threatened those who oppose him.  Not since Stalin, Mao, or Hitler or currently North Korea have we seen such a frightening, suffocating premeditated and concerted effort to manipulate information.  This Obama/Media dictatorship must end today for the sake

6.  His most visible and outspoken supporters speak spew and hatred.  You know a man by his associations.   He has never asked any of these foul mouths to tone it down or called them out for their inflaming rhetoric.  This has been so aptly demonstrated again and again by Bill Maher, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Eva Longoria, Jay Z, Michael Moore, MSNBC and the list can go on and on.  His camp is the camp of vile language, race baiting and hatred.

7. He is the 6 Trillion dollar man.  He has gone out of his way to not only get us in debt but to make sure that the money was spent in the most useless manner possible.   He lowered our credit rating.  Every American under the age of 18 now owes $219,000.  According to his own estimate in less than 3 years he will raise the national debt $20 Trillion dollars.

This is a very short list of his catastrophes as president.  An adequate job of covering the breathtaking damage this man has done to America would fill libraries.

However, as I said earlier, I have written this blog about you and not Obama.  The above list was meant to show any reasonable person why a vote for Obama borders on insanity.   You simply cannot do it in your right mind.  IMO.

There is more.  You should try to take someone with you tomorrow to vote.  You should do what I am doing.  I am recruiting people to come with me and vote.

There will never be another election this urgent in your lifetime.  Your mind must be clear on this day of days.  You will have to live with what you do today for the rest of your life.  And the Catholic Ad said it best…it will be recorded in eternity.

In tonight’s debate, Romney is once again walking into a trap. It will hinge on one word.

It surprised me to learn that many experts that I trust believe that the winner of tonight’s debate will win the election.   It has been a long time since debates have had that kind of clout.   They tell me that it is because of the trouncing that Romney gave Obama in Denver that tonight has become so critical to the election.

Once again I tossed and turned last night and in my time of prayer I became painfully aware that another trap is being set.  Since this is Obama’s last chance, HE WILL APPROACH IT LIKE A WOUNDED ANIMAL.

Tonight watch closely.  It will happen fast but it will be obvious. Once again there will be a trick.  Unless we pray fervently, you will see the debate become a staged gotcha moment for Mitt Romney.  I can even tell you that I believe there will be a single word that will be the weapon.    The word will be, “WAR.”   

Both the moderator and the President will frame Romney as a President that will take us to war.  Obama thinks that he can win by appealing to a nation that is sick of war. He thinks that all he has to do is get the word in as many questions as possible.   Obama will return to the “W” word again and again.  Just watch and see.

If Romney takes the bait by saying that he would arm Syrian freedom fighters and cannot then defend his position effectively it will spring the trap.  He must demonstrate that he understands the world is a complex, unpredictable, subtle and rapidly changing place. He must show that he can lead with strength and restraint.

For Obama’s part, look to see him suddenly appear as a voice of reason to a war weary nation.   His theme will be that we “simply cannot allow a new voice to come into the White House in this explosive atmosphere in the Middle East.”

To the untrained eye tonight may look like a fair and balanced debate.   Only a naïve child would think that the Obama machine that stretches from Hollywood to the Muslim brotherhood will go down easily.   They will employ every last shred of influence that they have from the media and everywhere else to save this presidency.

However, prayer worked in the first debate and prayer will make the difference tonight.  Join me and let me know you are joining me for God’s will to be done tonight! 

Why Obama has still not labeled the attack on Benghazi a terrorist attack.

Obama has yet to formally declare the Benghazi Attack a terrorist act.  You heard right.  After all of the brouhaha and the double talk he is still avoiding putting the label of Terrorist Attack on the night that four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens were murdered by Al Qaeda.

Not only this, but he has yet to label the attack in 2009 at Fort Hood a Terrorist Attack.  Today, the families and victims took action:

“Survivors of the Fort Hood massacre released a new video this week calling on the government to classify the November 2009 shooting as a terrorist attack rather than “workplace violence,” a change that would make them eligible for specific combat-related benefits.

In the video, uploaded on YouTube Wednesday, witnesses to the shooting, some of whom were wounded in the attack, voiced their frustration with the government’s labeling of the attack in which 13 people died and 32 others were wounded in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by a fellow soldier, Maj. Nidal Hasan. The FBI said Hasan had corresponded with a high-profile al Qaeda recruiter and discussed the merits of jihad months before the massacre.

“Looking at the red tape you’ve got to get through, we put the video together to try to raise awareness,” one of the victims, Army Staff Sgt. Alonza Lunsford, told ABC News.

In the video, police officer Kimberly Munley, who was shot multiple times, says, “It was discovered, has been discovered, re-discovered that this was part of a terrorist activity.”

“[The Fort Hood victims] were killed and wounded by a domestic enemy — somebody who was there that day to kill soldiers, to prevent them from deploying,” another victim, Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning says in the video. Manning was shot in the chest. “If that’s not an act of war or an act of terrorism, I don’t know what is.”

The Coalition of Fort Hood Heroes, the organization that released the video, said in a statement that unless the government labels the attack terrorism, victims and their families will be “denied the recognition and benefits they are rightfully due,” in particular eligibility for the Purple Heart Medal, along with which comes veterans’ medical benefits and higher priority for veterans’ disability compensation.”

I am convinced that it is at the behest of President Obama that the Fort Hood Massacre remains a case of “Workplace violence”

 

Even though Nidal Hasan screamed “Allahu Akbar!” before he began shooting, Obama still could not admit it was radical Islam.  At the time of the shooting he said, “we should not rush to judgment.”   Yet that same week a black college professor was mistakenly arrested because it appeared to neighbors he was breaking into the house.  Obama’s reaction to that before he had any facts was, “the police behaved stupidly.”In the psychology of Obama there is no radical Islam.  He simply cannot bring himself to confess the existence of a worldwide force of hatred and evil against the United States.

Whenever terror comes Obama must deny it. He must first blame America, a video, or anything that buys him time to deflect criticism of Islam.   Even after he had proof that Al Qaeda had killed Americans in Benghazi, he stood in the well of the United Nations and said that “those that denigrate the prophet of Islam should have no future.”  Yet, he has no such outrage when the National Endowment of the Arts pays for an art exhibit of a Crucifix in a jar of urine.

Why are we surprised? He wrote “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” This quote comes from age 261 of the paperback edition of The Audacity of Hope.

To Obama there is no war on terror because there is no radical Islam.  Again and again, he has shown his true loyalties and priorities.  One of the tenets of Islam teaches, “lie when it advances the cause of Islam.”  Indeed, he is following this to the letter.

Even now, he cannot admit that he lied to us all about Benghazi.  To this day, he will pivot, deflect and obfuscate whenever it pertains to radical Islam.   This is how he justifies the avalanche of misery he has allowed on the American public.  This is how he can cast aside the failure upon failure of his administration.  He lives in his own dangerous world.  Think of the damage he has done so far and think of what America will look like in four more years if he is still in office tearing us apart?