The Boston bombings terror is finally over. Now it’s time to address some vexing questions about how and why this national tragedy occurred in the post-9/11 era of the Patriot Act and Big Brother. To wit:
- Why was the national intelligence community completely unaware of this terrorist plot?
- Is it possible this insidious act could have been prevented?
- What did the intelligence community know about these brothers, and when did they know it?
- What about the Saudi national who was initially deemed a "person of interest" and considered for deportation?
Multiple news reports have surfaced that a "foreign government" (ie. Russia) had actually informed U.S. intelligence officials about one of the Boston terrorist suspects a couple of years back. The FBI allegedly followed up on the tip and checked out the now dead terrorist, known as “Suspect #1” (the older brother).
But what happened after that? Well, just check out the FBI press release issued Friday, 4/19. Nevertheless, more questions remain:
- Was there another communications breakdown between intelligence and law enforcement agencies with overlapping missions?
- Did the FBI or CIA know about the 2012 trip to Russia by "Suspect #1"?
- If so, did the two agencies collaborate on intel and information sharing?
- Didn’t we already address and fix this very problem after 9/11?
- In essence, how was this malicious and cowardly plot hatched under the nose of federal, state and local law enforcement and intelligence officials?
It’s a scary thought, but imagine what would have transpired if the terrorists had access to higher-grade explosives, a “dirty bomb” or a deadly chemical agent. Surely, hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent lives would have been lost. Thus:
- What are the lessons learned here?
- Where is the so-called “teachable moment”?
- Going forward, what could or should the U.S. Government do differently, if anything?
- What could or should the American public do differently, if anything?
For now, we offer our collective sympathies and prayers to all of the victims and their families. We hope and pray there will be no “next time” this time.
Yet many perplexing questions must first be answered for Boston and the nation to heal, recover and move forward.
And the sooner, the better.
* All views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only.