The Boston bombings suddenly put terrorism back high on the national agenda, says the Los Angeles Times. Yesterday’s explosions appeared to be the first successful terrorist strike against a U.S. city since Sept. 11, striking at the nation’s sense of safety in public places. and sparked a search for answers. Juan Carlos Zarate, deputy national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration who is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, “Now we have that soft target hit that we have imagined but not seen before since 9/11,” adding, “It shatters the sense of security we’ve had, especially coming at an event like this.”
Government analysts leaned toward the theory that the attack was the work of home-grown radicals inspired by Al Qaeda, as opposed to anti-government extremists. They based that hunch in part on the use of multiple bombs in a public place, which has been a signature of Al Qaeda strikes, and on the fact that the target was not connected to a government building. “My educated guess would be self-radicalized Islamic extremists from the area,” said one official. The Boston attack was less sophisticated than Sept. 11 or the wave of bombings that killed hundreds on London’s subways and Madrid’s rail system over the past decade.