So Who Did Bomb The Boston Marathon?

As previously argued in posts by lauraw and me and in the threads thereto, with help from other websites, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did not bomb the Boston marathon as the government charges. For example, it has been demonstrated that an explosion at the location where the government’s indictment says he left his backpack would not have produced the pattern of injuries that occurred.

It is true that Tsarnaev’s legal defense team has done nothing to assist our effort by declining to oppose the presumption of his guilt within current court motions that focus on whether or not the prosecution requests the death penalty or on the Special Administrative Procedures applied to his current incarceration. This is somewhat troubling in an atmosphere where the media are quick to seize on any apparent assumption of his guilt.

For example, on Monday the defense challenged one justification for the SAMs, that the confession that Tsarnaev supposedly wrote on the side of a boat in the dark, while gravely wounded, and in the impossible knowledge that his brother was dead, inspires others to commit violent jihad. The defense’s motion simply re-interprets the alleged message as offering no such inspiration; it does not make the point that his writing of this instrument is unproven in the first place (pg. 6 of Document 138, Filed 11/04/13, available at This elision allowed the media to report the story in a manner which assumed that the infamous “boat note” was authentic.

However, none of this refutes the cited previous analyses. For example, if an explosion at the site of the backpack could not produce what happened, than the backpack did not contain the explosive.

Of course, just because Tsarnaev did not commit this crime does not mean he cannot be convicted of it (recall Sacco and Vanzetti, or the Scottsboro Boys), or more likely, be pressured into a plea agreement that would send him to a Supermax prison for the rest of his “life.” But if the frame-up happens we can at least ensure that the truth of the matter will not be buried.

As part of the search for this truth, here I want to begin discussion of who actually caused the twin explosions in Boston on April 15, 2013, and why.

(One possibility can be quickly dismissed. Early in the case there appeared on certain fringe websites a theory that there was no bombing at all, and that the deaths and injuries were faked. Proponents pointed to photographs taken at the scene which they said showed actors with prosthetic limbs that were later removed to present the appearance that they had been blown off. However, these erstwhile theorists seem not to realize that there has been an intricate web of funerals, hospital records, etc., saying that the bombing happened, not all of which can have been faked. The theory is ridiculous.)

I offer three possibilities that seem worthy of discussion, followed by some more or less random thoughts to begin it:

1. The bombing was a true terrorist act perpetrated by someone hostile to the US other than the Tsarnaevs.

2. The bombing was a false flag operation perpetrated by a US agency such as the CIA or an agency of a friendly country such as Israel’s Mossad.

3. The bombing was an accident that occurred when real explosives were mistakenly substituted for dummy ones.

With respect to the first possibility and perhaps the second, on Aoril 17, two days after the bombing and a day before the Tsarnaevs were put forth as suspects, the AP reported that a suspect had been observed in surveillance video dropping off “a dark, heavy bag” near the location of the second explosion. It was first asserted and then denied that the person was in custody.

Separately, it has been reported, and acknowledged by the FBI, that it was interviewing MIT students on some unstated matter at the time. (The FBI says this investigation was “unrelated to the Tsarnaev brothers,” but who know what that means? It also says it identified Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body as that of an image on surveillance video by means of fingerprinting it, a pretty good trick.)

As far as I know there has been no follow-up on these reports; some investigative journalist should conduct one.

If this was a terrorist attack it was presumably the deed of a lone wolf or group of such persons, since no recognized entity such as al Qaeda has claimed credit for it. This of course means that whether its motivation was Islamism, rightist anti-government ideology, or some other tendency, is unknown at this point.

One might object to the false flag hypothesis that there was no particular government action against “terrorism” in the immediate aftermath that used it as an excuse. It is true that an entire metropolitan area was absurdly locked down for a day merely to search for a frightened 19-year old, and some have wondered why. We certainly need a detailed account of how and by whom this decision came about, However, it seems to me more likely that the DHS and associates saw the opportunity of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev being at large as an excuse to test such an operation, than that a bombing operation was implemented just to have that excuse.

On the other hand, an October 18 article on the website thebostonmarathonbombings (formerly allthingsforum1) observes that the annual drill that goes along with the marathon was quite different this year. It was much more noticed by people watching or participating in the marathon compared with previous years, and there seems to have been an unusually large number of personnel involved either as drill participants or just to provide security for the race, among other points. (In this connection, near the beginning of this case certain anti-“conspiracy theory” writers tried to deny that there was a drill in the first place. Good luck with that.)

Why would you greatly increase the amount of people involved in such an operation unless you expected something to happen? And more importantly, why did they not prevent it when it did? One possibility is certainly that you wanted it to happen.

I include the accident hypothesis just because it is possible in principle, not because I can think of any precedent for mistakenly using real explosives in, say, a drill. It does perhaps suit the possibility I have previously suggested, that the FBI did honestly, if mistakenly, believe that the people on surveillance video that were later identified as the Tsarnaevs were the culprits, at least at the beginning of the process.

That is all I can think of at the moment that might be relevant.

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