"It is unclear who carried out the attack – and whether they were from America or elsewhere. The attack fell on Patriots' Day, a Massachusetts state holiday to mark the first battles of the revolutionary war against Britain, as well as "Tax Day" in the US, the deadline for individuals to file their tax returns. It is also close to the 19 April anniversary of the 1995 Oklahoma bombing and the end of the Waco siege in 1993"
"The 26-mile marker at Monday’s Boston Marathon was dedicated to the 26 victims of the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and several runners from Newtown participated in the race."
We live in frightening times.
"Before the first wave of the Patriot movement died down at the end of the 1990s, law enforcement officials had broken up scores of terrorist plots aimed at the government and others. Now, after four years of a major Patriot resurgence, it seems likely that the movement and its violence will spurt ahead yet again, driven, as it was in the 1990s, in large part by hatred of gun control. The other powerful drivers of the movement have been the re-election of President Obama — who, like Bill Clinton in the early 1990s, is seen as a liberal traitor — and the sorry economy…
Once again, the threat of violence seems to be looming. Already, to the surprise of some analysts, a major new study of domestic political violence from the radical right — “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right,” by the director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point — found that right-wing violence is up dramatically from the 1990s. Specifically, the report found that there were an average of 70 “attacks or violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics” in the 1990s, but that the comparable number for the 2000-2011 period was 308, with especially high numbers from 2007 on.
Remarkably, the report also found that the far right was most likely to engage in violence “in a contentious political climate.” More precisely, it said that “the single most important factor is the number of Republicans in the House.” It’s unclear why that is, although it may be related to the encouraging rhetoric of some of those Republicans or perhaps frustration that they are not adequately representing extremists. What’s notable is that having right-wing representatives in Congress does not have the “safety valve” effect that many expected.
Eighteen years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote then-Attorney General Janet Reno to warn about extremists in the militia movement, saying that the “mixture of armed groups and those who hate” was “a recipe for disaster.” Just six months later, the Oklahoma City federal building was bombed. Today, with our country’s political polarization at historic levels and government officials being furiously demonized by Patriots, we may be approaching a comparable moment.
In the 1990s, warnings that might have averted some of the violence from the radical right failed to stick. Now, as we face another large and growing threat from the extremists of the Patriot movement, the country needs to do better. One important start would be to demand that the Department of Homeland Security, which gutted its non-Islamic domestic terrorism unit after unjustified criticism from the political right, rebuild its important intelligence capabilities."