"The images captured in Boston are validation of a three-year project in St. Louis to link 150 surveillance cameras into a single security system throughout the city’s central corridor, from the riverfront to Forest Park," reports Doug Moore at stltoday.com
. This despite a statement by Boston's police chief that facial recognition technology system did not help find the suspects
. How much you wanna bet the "surveillance imaging solved this crime" argument will lead to more forceful pushes for expanded surveillance imaging in any number of other American cities? (HT: @kgosztola) — Xeni
"The digital era allows no asylum from extremism, let alone from the toxic combination of high-minded zealotry and the curdled disappointments of young men."—David Remnick in The New Yorker
on the Boston bombing suspects. — Xeni
Modified version of image from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's account on Russian social network vk.com.
Below, an array of perspectives on what legal rights the 19-year-old American citizen suspected of co-executing the Boston Marathon bombings has, and whether law enforcement is obliged to honor those rights under the circumstances:
• "If captured, I hope [the] Administration will at least consider holding the Boston suspect as [an] enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes. If the Boston suspect has ties to overseas terror organizations he could be treasure trove of information. The last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to 'remain silent.'"—Republican senator Lindsay Graham, on Twitter.
• "There's no way an American citizen committing a domestic crime in the city of Boston could be tried as an enemy combatant. It could never happen. And that shows absolute ignorance of the law."—Alan Dershowitz, prominent defense attorney and Harvard law professor, speaking on CNN.
Read the rest
In infographic form, Hilary "Chartgirl" Sargent breaks down the highs and lows of the media coverage of this week's attacks in Boston.
Laura Griffin collected some tweets
from apparent real-world friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev. The post-bombing tweets "from four people who know him, and old conversations they had with him" suggest that @J_tsar
was a real Twitter account belonging to the 19-year-old suspect. — Xeni
A memorial for victims of armed conflict in Grozny, the Chechen capital. Photo: C.J. Chivers, 2008.
C.J. Chivers, New York Times reporter and author of THE GUN, a social history of the AK-47, co-wrote this "primer on the land from which the Tsarnaev family hailed."
As the NYT piece notes, current Chechen leader Ramzan A. Kadyrov wrote on Instagram (!) that any ties between the Boston bombing suspects and Chechnya were mistaken: “The roots of this evil are to be found in America.”
If you read one article on the role science and technology played in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, make it this one in today's edition of The Washington Post
Quickly, the authorities secured a warehouse in Boston’s Seaport district and filled the sprawling space: On half of the vast floor, hundreds of pieces of bloody clothes were laid out to dry so they could be examined for forensic clues or flown to FBI labs at Quantico in Prince William County for testing. In the other half of the room, more than a dozen investigators sifted through hundreds of hours of video, looking for people “doing things that are different from what everybody else is doing,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said in an interview Saturday.
The work was painstaking and mind-numbing: One agent watched the same segment of video 400 times. The goal was to construct a timeline of images, following possible suspects as they moved along the sidewalks, building a narrative out of a random jumble of pictures from thousands of different phones and cameras.
According to his friends, University of Massachusetts sophomore Dzhokhar Tsarnaev worked out, slept in his dowm room, and hung out with fellow students on the same day of the attack on the Boston Marathon, after the bombs went off. One student quoted in the Boston Globe
who did not want to be identified said she saw Tsarnaev at a party on Wednesday night attended by some of his soccer team friends.
“He was just relaxed,” she said.
Depending on which acquaintance's quote you read, the 19-year-old either sounds normal or creepy:
Emily DeInnocentis, 23, said Tsarnaev stood out to her because of some odd behavior, like spreading messy string cheese all over her couch, and picking up her cat and carrying it upstairs for no reason.
“We just didn’t invite him over after that. How many people just pick up your cat and go upstairs?” she said.
More: "Bombing suspect attended UMass Dartmouth, prompting school closure; college friend shocked by charge he is Boston Marathon bomber." [The Boston Globe]
A subreddit titled "Find Boston Bombers" figured out that Sunil Tripathi, 22, was responsible for the deadly attack. Only he wasn't. This time, Reddit got it very wrong
. — Xeni
: "Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was alive and struggling with Watertown police early Friday morning, when his younger brother and alleged coconspirator drove over him in a stolen SUV, dragging him on the pavement and apparently inflicting the fatal injuries that killed him." — Xeni
Massachusetts State Police (MSP) released this video shot from their airwing helicopter hovering over "The Slipaway II," the boat where 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect, was captured and arrested last Friday night. Below, photos taken from the State Police Air Wing during the Watertown manhunt, released through the MSP Twitter account.
The photos were captured with FLIR, "a forward-looking infrared device used to pick up a person's heat signature, combined with night vision technology."
Read the rest
"A large percent of the reaction in Boston has been security theater," writes Popehat
. "'Four victims brutally killed' goes by other names in other cities. In Detroit, for example, they call it 'Tuesday.'...and Detroit does not shut down every time there are a few murders. 'But Clark,' I hear you say, 'this is different. This was a terrorist attack.' — Xeni
The Boston Globe is among many media outlets to report this weekend that Russia was surveilling suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011, and "warned the FBI of the alleged bomber’s radical shift
" towards "suspicious activities." The FBI acknowledged Friday
that it has investigated him in 2011, after that prompt, but "did not find any terrorism activity" in the behavior they observed online and in person, when they interrogated him at his home. The 26 year old was killed early Friday morning during a firefight with police in Watertown, MA. Bonus
: The name of the boat his brother Dzhokhar was found hiding in, on Friday? "The Slipaway II."
On Monday, the Boston Marathon was bombed. On Monday night I was feeling blessed and thankful to not know anyone directly affected by the bombs. But on Tuesday morning I woke up to an email from my colleague Chris Peterson at the MIT Center for Civic Media. Chris's family are friends with the family who lost their son Martin in the attack. He sent us photos of he and his brothers playing with their children and the reality was all too close. It is devastating. This family will have a long road of healing in front of them that most of us cannot even begin to imagine.
My friends at MIT and I have spent the past couple of days helping Chris build a site to raise money for the Richard family. We are coordinating with St Marks Area Main Street, a non-profit community organization based in Dorchester, MA, where the family lives. The site is made with the support of the family and their spokesperson. 100% of funds raised goes to the family.
Please give what you can. It's the very least we can do to come together in solidarity with these innocent people and help them to rebuild their lives in the wake of senseless violence. In the photo on the site Martin is holding a sign he made in school that says "Peace". Let us spread that peace.
The Richard Family Fund
Bruce Schneier's terrific Atlantic essay on the Boston Marathon bombings is a must-read. As he points out, the terrorists win only if we let this sort of thing scare us. By being empathic toward the victims and indomitable and fearless toward the criminals, we can create a climate where politicians can get away with telling us the truth -- there's no such thing as perfect security -- instead of politically expedient lies that lead to an out-of-control security state that takes away our freedoms, diverts our education, unemployment and health money to security theater, and leaves us no safer.
How well this attack succeeds depends much less on what happened in Boston than by our reactions in the coming weeks and months. Terrorism isn't primarily a crime against people or property. It's a crime against our minds, using the deaths of innocents and destruction of property as accomplices. When we react from fear, when we change our laws and policies to make our country less open, the terrorists succeed, even if their attacks fail. But when we refuse to be terrorized, when we're indomitable in the face of terror, the terrorists fail, even if their attacks succeed.
Don't glorify the terrorists and their actions by calling this part of a "war on terror." Wars involve two legitimate sides. There's only one legitimate side here; those on the other are criminals. They should be found, arrested, and punished. But we need to be vigilant not to weaken the very freedoms and liberties that make this country great, meanwhile, just because we're scared.
Empathize, but refuse to be terrorized. Instead, be indomitable -- and support leaders who are as well. That's how to defeat terrorists.
The Boston Marathon Bombing: Keep Calm and Carry On