America is under attack: Our worst fears


The Boston Marathon strike on Sunday April 15th is still troubling both the investigators and the experts on counter-terrorism issues adding more confusion and disarray to a country, which has not yet seen the end of what appears to be a chain reaction of random events, apparently not connected to each other, still though suspicious enough in terms of the timing.

But let’s take things from the beginning. On Sunday two bombs went off at the finishing lane of the Boston marathon, one of the biggest events in the world. The bombs or rather those Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) contained dispersion media such as nails and ballbearings inside pressure cookers. From the orchestration of the strike it is rather safe to deduct that the perpetrators wanted many victims, while the selection of this particular event (the Marathon) depicts that they also wanted many people watching. So far so “good”, in terms of understanding that this particular pattern is a form of the so called “New terror doctrine”, whereby terrorists want many casualties and many spectators at the same time, in contrast to older forms of terrorism (IRA, PLO hijackings, Red Brigades etc.). This is as far as it goes, though, in terms of everyone’s understanding of the attack. The purpose of a terrorist strike, any terrorist strike, is first and foremost political. That means that the perpetrators act out of ideology, disregarding the punishment that they are going to receive. In fact, they look forward to receiving this sort of punishment, which might be either in the form of losing their own lives (suicide bombers) or spend the rest of their years in a facility such as Guantanamo. That is the reason why they come forth and claim responsibility almost immediately after their “accomplishment”-according to them. The Global Salafists for example, what was known as Al-Qaeda, were proud to couple their act with an appropriate message to those who according to them are considered responsible for their plights. This has been exhibited numerous times from the strikes of 9/11, London 7/7, The Beslan attack in Russia in 2004 to more recent ones like the Benghazi attack, which cost the life to the ill-fated late Ambassador Stephens.

And since not all forms of terrorism are religious this pattern of political motivation has been exhibited both by Far right nationalists, Anders Breivik for example (he wrote a whole manifesto before he committed the hideous murders), who was actually proud of his ideology and was pursuing to spread his political message which was no other than his resentment for illegal immigrants, which had been flowing to Norway under the blessings of the ruling party. In the case of far-lefts like the Red Army Faction in Germany or the Red Brigades in Italy or even the 17th November organization in Greece, they all had a political message and most of the times their targets were specific people associated with the “degradation of modern capitalism”. When they put bombs, most of the times they would call the media announcing that a bomb was placed somewhere, the police then would go and diffuse it and a political manifesto would follow. In terms of ethnic terrorism, again Hezbollah, PKK, IRA, they all had their political message addressed to the states, which according to them were considered as occupiers, not to mention that those ethnic groups did not and do not have broader targets like the Global Salafi Jihad Network (Al-Qaeda) for example which can target anything from Saudi Arabia to the United States, as they wish to establish a panislamic caliphate. Thus, the aforementioned ethnic groups are confined only within their borders.

So, what do we have so far. Which group’s Modus Operandi fits in best in the Boston strike? Were they far right domestic activists like Eric Rudolph for example? Remember he had called the police before the bomb went off. The nearest “match” is the Oklahoma City Bombing, but then again it cannot even remotely be compared. The job was sloppy and was not difficult to apprehend the subject, in an age without cameras on every corner or drones buzzing above the sky. Most importantly, the bombing was not followed by poisonous letters along with independent events such as “mysterious packages” or “accidents” in US’s infrastructure spreading poisonous gas, like the one occurred today in Texas when a Fertilizer Plant blew up.

Terrorism poses firstly as a political act. Terrorists without manifestos, without any sort of political orientation to justify their hideous events, are just murderers in their eyes first and foremost and in the eyes of the people. Not that they pose as something different in general, however what they pursue is to combine fear with a political message. In this case, what is the political message? Letters of ricin sent to congressmen and to President Obama, as if ever those people were going to read any letters before passing from the National Security’s labs first. Our point of view, which we do not expect to be taken for granted and poses actually more as a fear from deep within, is that first all of the incidents are connected and second the perpetrators are NOT TERRORISTS despite their best efforts to imitate terrorist methods.

At this point we just wish to wonder, nothing more! Last week we were expecting a nuclear standoff in the Pacific. John Kerry visited the Chinese, trying to play Kissinger, urging them to cut off the financing from the DPRK, freeze their assets or whatever. The Chinese played everybody by stating that: “We seek to denuclearize the Korea Peninsula and that is a common goal with the Americans” and on Monday, just one day after the Boston bombing, their ships were violating the Senkakus all over again and the DPRK swore to retaliate without any warning, because the South Koreans demonstrated against North Korea’s regime and they burned images of the Kim “Dynasty”. We do not wish to connect the events, but let’s wonder whether those acts of aggression during times like these are “ethical”. The Chinese definitely gave the impression that they are willing to capitalize on US’s grief and pursue their Geostrategic goals in the Asian Pacific. Does that sound moral, noble or in any way right? Russia has many differences with the US, yet Putin immediately offered his aid to the ongoing investigations, did the Chinese do something similar? No! They were too busy provoking the Japanese and instructing their allies to provoke in turn the South Koreans.

One last element, which troubles us even more is the recent “Chinese honeytrap”, who managed to get a hold on a US military official. Let’s have a look on an excerpt from the Huffington Post:

“A 59-year-old former Army officer working as a defense contractor in Hawaii made his first court appearance Monday on charges of communicating classified information to a 27-year-old Chinese student he had been romancing, federal authorities said.Bishop, who has held a top secret security clearance since July 2002, met the China resident, visiting the United States on a student visa, at a conference in Hawaii involving international military defense issues, according to the Justice Department.

An FBI agent wrote in an affidavit that the unnamed student “may have been at the conference in order to target individuals such as Bishop who work with and have access to U.S. classified information.” Bishop provided the woman with information relating to nuclear weapons, including intelligence on how the U.S. detects low- and medium-range ballistic missiles and information on early-warning radar systems, according to the government. He faces a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted.”

Would it be possible that Bishop provided some “soft targets” in the US as well to his Chinese “loved one”? It’s just a question and it needs to be answered. Because what it seems to be happening starting from Sunday to today Thursday, when the Texas plant exploded out of the blue, looks a lot like “someone” putting his best efforts to destabilize the US and spread fear from the West to East coast. In espionage, the agents are instructed to cause industrial sabotage along with psychological operations in order to distract the enemy’s attention prior to a conflict or an upcoming conflict, in plain terms, keeping the enemy pinned down in its own domestic problems.

We are not suggesting anything, but if someone asked us to draw the bow and speak the truth with regard to our deepest fears, yes that would be one of them. A fear, most of the times is a state of mind, not necessarily reflecting an existing or potential threat, yet until we are assured by viewing further evidence derived from the ongoing investigations, our fears will remain where they are for now. The writer has recently graduated from St Andrews University and is a holder of a degree in Counter-Terrorism. In this case, the Modus Operandi is a “cocktail one” from various organizations and the political motive is nowhere to be found. So, technically, albeit there is terror everywhere, there are no signs of the political clues which will back an allegation of a terrorist attack! No cause, hence no causative. That really doesn’t help a lot in terms of the fears we were talking about!

Alexandros Boufesis

Director of Focus Dynamics Research Center

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