To think the police in Boston are taking a lot of credit...

(102 Posts)
PuffPants Sat 20-Apr-13 18:27:11

...for catching that bomber, when actually a bloke poking around in his garden found him. Tanks, helicopters, every police officer in the Western Hemisphere cruising the streets (a small suburb) and they don't think to look in a boat?

YoniLovesChachi Sat 20-Apr-13 18:39:49

Yeah, they're rubbish those police hmm

I'm not sure the bloke who spotted his boat had been disturbed would have been able to apprehend the armed fugitive without a little bit of help from the police. So perhaps they do deserve the credit for his capture.

ouryve Sat 20-Apr-13 18:45:23

It did occur to me that there would have been an outcry if an entire city had been shut down in the search for one person, in this country. The whole scenario seems quite alien.

comfysofas Sat 20-Apr-13 18:47:32

I agree the first thing I thought was the police did'nt find him, a bloke did.

cocolepew Sat 20-Apr-13 18:47:59

The police were out looking for 2 armed, possibly with bombs, suspects, the public are grateful to them. I think we could learn something from them myself.

spottyparrot Sat 20-Apr-13 18:49:23

I thinks the police operation was effective. They made it a city wide priority and all citizens were alerted to this. That's why the terrorist was found. The person who found the terrorist might have thought the guy was a burglar or something rather than a hiding terrorist.

finickypinickity Sat 20-Apr-13 18:51:32

I found it very uncomfortable watching the news and seeing all of those people chanting USAconfused

Why didnt they have a heat seeking helicopter out when he first ran off or did they?

sweetestcup Sat 20-Apr-13 18:51:53

Well a lot of success in the Police finding people relies on the public and their information for goodness sake. Yeh they were rubbish identifying in a few days who had bombed a city and killed people and knew who to look for then eh? hmm

Tee2072 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:53:25

Really? REALLY?!?!?

Woofers Sat 20-Apr-13 18:54:55

Can I just mention that at this stage he is a suspect. And that I think the celebrations in relation to the arrests are premature, especially as we don't know if it was him, or why they did it, or if they have others with a similar intention planned ........ Iykwim

MissAnnersley Sat 20-Apr-13 18:56:27

YABU. Couldn't disagree with you more.

Someone saw the suspect in his boat but it was the police who risked their lives to arrest him.

RawCoconutMacaroon Sat 20-Apr-13 18:56:48

At this stage, that is "alleged terrorist"

Shelly32 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:58:42

YABU. Without their surveillance and door to door searching, progress would not have been made. A police officer died in the process. I'd say they deserve credit!

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Sat 20-Apr-13 18:58:49

What I can't understand is why the man who saw a blood trail leading to his boat didn't immediately run off and call the police in the circumstances. No way would I have looked to see if someone was there!

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:59:19

I think it was like something off Die Hard, was just waiting for Bruce Willis to helicopter in to save the day.

MissAnnersley Sat 20-Apr-13 19:03:04

It must have been terrifying for everyone involved. I can't imagine what it must have been like living in Boston over the last few days. They must be reeling with it all.

PeachActiviaMinge Sat 20-Apr-13 19:04:02

Oh yes damn the police for putting their lives on the line to protect the public, How very dare they celebrate the lack of casualties because of their immense bravery.

Tell you what OP go tell the family of the officer who died how they shouldn't be proud of him.

Sparklingbrook Sat 20-Apr-13 19:07:58

Mmmmm. But once the boat bloke had found him he kinda needed a hand didn't he? hmm

MissAnnersley Sat 20-Apr-13 19:10:26

Plus it was the police and other law enforcement agencies who identified the suspects in the first place.

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 20-Apr-13 19:17:55

What the fuck is wrong with you? An armed, possibly suicidal loon who has already killed and bombed people and you're cavilling about the polices actions. They locked down and probably avoided further carnage.
And you sit on the other side of the world and dare to criticise?
shock and angry

Sparklingbrook Sat 20-Apr-13 19:19:32

And hmm Wish.

MissAnnersley Sat 20-Apr-13 19:20:35

Totally agree wish.

KitchenandJumble Sat 20-Apr-13 19:23:21

Actually, I think the police did a good job in this case. They managed to capture the suspect alive without any members of the public being injured in the process. Yes, the guy with the boat found him, but without the police the suspect could have escaped again, possibly injuring or killing someone else as he fled.

PuffPants Sat 20-Apr-13 19:33:20

Good points, I'm in the wrong, still think the boat owner is a bit of a hero.

Wish, I'm not on the other side of the world actually. I'm there.

I can't imagine what it must have been like living in Boston over the last few days. I'm sure it was terrifying. Maybe you are too young to remember the IRA trying to bomb us every ten minutes. Or July 7th? Maybe you don't live in London, or Belfast or Warrington or any of the other places in this country that have been bombed.

Not saying the Police were BU but it seemed like a HUGE thing to close down an entire city.

Sparklingbrook Sat 20-Apr-13 19:42:03

Not disputing boat man played a big part. By chance chose to go out after the lockdown ended. What if he had just stayed in and watched the TV? Apparently that boat was his pride and joy.

tinyshinyanddon Sat 20-Apr-13 19:48:38

I'm there too puffpants and have been for 12 years. Couldn't disagree with you more. I am very proud of what the citizens and police in my adopted city achieved. We are BostonStrong (although I could do without the "USA USA USA......" chanting.

MissAnnersley Sat 20-Apr-13 19:49:07

No I am not too young, very far from it.

However I have never lived in a city where everyone has been confined to their home by the police.

cocolepew Sat 20-Apr-13 20:09:27

If I had noticed the tarp on my boat had been moved, I would have phoned the police. Not get a ladder, climb up, see blood and then lift the tarp up and have a look inside tbh.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 20-Apr-13 20:10:13

Were they forced to stay inside, or strongly urged to?

MissAnnersley Sat 20-Apr-13 20:14:55

I don't know if they could be forced? Am not sure though.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 20-Apr-13 20:20:00

I did wonder why the guy followed the bloodstains and looked in the boat.
It wouldn't have been my first reaction with an armed terrorist on the loose.

MrsDeVere Sat 20-Apr-13 20:22:56

Whats with all the 'how dare you!' outrage?

Agree or not agree but people are allowed to have an opinion that involves public servants. Its quite a mild opinion as opinions go. Not worthy of all the angry hmm shock. Thank God we are not on NM or MN would be going into emoticon overdrive.

No-one said the police were rubbish did they?

The whole thing does look odd from all these thousands of miles away. A whole city in lockdown because of two men. We have never seen anything like it.

I am not saying its wrong or right but its not something that has ever happened in London after any of the many, many bombings that have happened in my lifetime.

And the bloke DID find him didn't he?

He didn't catch him though, the police did that and one lost his life.

flippinada Sat 20-Apr-13 20:34:20

When I saw this news story I must admit one of my first thoughts was to wonder why on earth he went and looked in the boat!

Then again unless you are faced with that situation, who can say?

There have been quite a few bombings in mainland UK, we've never shut down a city or part of a city because of it.

That said, we're in a different age now..24 hour rolling news, the internet...

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 20-Apr-13 20:39:20

They had an active fugitive who was considered armed and dangerous. I don't think they had the city locked down until after that was established (the firefight at MIT). Locking the city down was something I'm sure they knew they could get public support on (everyone mourning/ in shock from the bombings) and it meant they wouldn't have civilians out and about for the fugitive to be able to blend in with on the streets. I think we have no way of knowing what the outcome would have been had they not had the public support to lock the city down (I suspect it wasn't required by law for people to stay home, though I could be mistaken).

As with most if not all ends to criminal chases, a member of the public alerted the police. We just happen to know the exact details of this particular situation.

I'm not going anywhere with this. I don't feel critical of the police in this situation. It might have seemed OTT from the outside, but in reality, they had two men who knew they were identified for a high profile crime and unafraid of killing people. If I were in Boston I'd have been glad it was taken as seriously as it was.

finickypinickity Sat 20-Apr-13 20:39:40

I dont understand why there was all of that gun fire when the bloke in the boat was arrested if the old bloke had already approached the boat and peaked in with no response from the alleged terroristconfused

The boat doesnt look very damaged so what were the police firing at. hmm

Sparklingbrook Sat 20-Apr-13 20:41:49

The DM are reporting that the suspect is clinging to life now. Apparently a lot of blood was lost inside the boat.

flippinada Sat 20-Apr-13 20:43:48

Yes, all of that makes sense GreenEggs.

KitchenandJumble Sat 20-Apr-13 20:44:34

BTW, this sort of thing has never happened in the US before either (an entire huge metropolitan area essentially shut down while the police search for one man). It was very much uncharted territory. I'm relieved it ended as well as it did.

flippinada Sat 20-Apr-13 20:46:40

finicky contradictary report here from the Guardian

Locking down the city was extreme. He isn't the first armed and dangerous suspect to be loose in a US city and he won't be the last. Are they now going to subject an entire city to extreme terror every time there's a dangerous suspect out and about? And the whole jubilation thing and the mob baying for blood...... sometimes the way we are going really scares me.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 20-Apr-13 20:49:25

re the bloke going out to look in the boat.
It just screams B movie to me, you know, when your'e shouting at the screen, 'Don't be so bloody stupid the in... the... boat!
Luckily Bruce Willis the police came in the nick of time, just like in the movies.
Seriously though, I wonder how a 19 year old boy got into such a situation. He's only just over year younger than my ds. sad

kim147 Sat 20-Apr-13 20:49:46

I hope he gets a new boat. I don't think it would be in good nick now.
There was a serious amount of firepower on the streets. Not quite the same when we do a manhunt.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 20-Apr-13 20:49:59

younger older

Snazzynewyear Sat 20-Apr-13 20:55:17

There isn't a finite supply of credit we can award here. So I'm happy to give the boat owner credit for looking and reporting, but I'm bloody glad I didn't have to do the job the Boston PD have been doing these past few days and I think they deserve all the credit they can get.

flippinada Sat 20-Apr-13 20:57:01


I'm actually amazed they caught him alive.

I expect though he'll soon wish he killed himself while he had the chance.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 20-Apr-13 21:04:32

Snazzy 'finite supply of credit' perfect way of putting it. smile

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 20-Apr-13 21:11:24

And the whole jubilation thing and the mob baying for blood...... sometimes the way we are going really scares me.

I watched the whole thing unfold in real time on TV. (I am in the US, a long way from Boston, but in the same time zone). I saw no "baying for blood." There was jubilation because the community's ordeal was over. Then it became about showing appreciation to law enforcement, who were all loudly applauded as they left the area. As to the "USA, USA" that may seem a bit odd, but I think it was partly due to the fact that the law enforcement men and women were from many jurisdictions, federal, state and local.

As to the lockdown, that was essentially the populace complying with requests from officials. I see it as a manifestation of Boston's real sense of community.

CaffeDoppio Sat 20-Apr-13 21:22:57

What would this OP have read if they hadn't locked down and the "alleged" terrorist had been able to take, say, a whole family hostage? I expect it would have read 'AIBU to think the Boston Police should have locked the entire city down and then this fugitive wouldn't have been able to take that whole family with him when he detonated his suicide vest'.
Ah well.

MrsDeVere Sat 20-Apr-13 21:32:44

I doubt it caffe
Why would it enter the OP's head?

Its not like its something that happens even when we do have people on the loose.

Harrods bomb - 6 dead. Warrington -2. 7/7 - 52 dead. Brighton bomb - 5. Belfast - I shudder to think.

We don't close whole areas down but we have our share of bombs. I do think the Police reaction was huge. Possibly because they have so little terrorism compared to us. Possibly because 9/11 was such a shock. Possibly because their attitude to terrorism is different.

I talked to DH about this last might and commented that the whole point of terrorism is to scare, disrupt and inconvenience as many people as possible with the least initial act. Costing Boston $1 billion, closing down whole areas, stopping public transport and flights. That's a massive effect for 3 tragically dead people.

It's not that I don't feel for the victims and their families, I do. It's just that I think one of the points of this kind of act (both the terrorists and the government) is to try to make us lose our critical faculties.

MrsDeVere Sat 20-Apr-13 22:05:54

That is a very good point.
Its a bit like paying out ransoms. It means the act has achieved exactly what it set out to and proved that it works.

Look at the terrible events we have had in London. Even bombing the tube didn't shut it down.

I am discussing this, not making any real judgement. Its so far out of my experience I wouldn't do that. It just seems so extreme.

I don't know much about Boston but it must be a very large place. How the hell do you lock down a city? What about all the people who are not living conventional lives? Homeless people etc. What happens to them?

Surely they become suspect if they are wandering about without a bloody clue what is going on.

What happens if some good citizen decides that some poor bloke with MH issues and a drug problem looks like a suspect because he is roaming the streets instead of staying in like everyone else?

I am just trying to get my head round how you lock down a city.

Portofino Sat 20-Apr-13 22:07:00

Locking down the whole city was an extreme measure I can never recall being put in to place anytime ever. And yet the police searched all the houses in Watertown and never found him, what with the blood and all. Some poor policeman is going to be canned over this,

Earlybird Sat 20-Apr-13 22:11:01

I think the police did the right thing - and that they should take/be given a lot of credit for it.

They tracked down the culprits quickly, and apprehended them. No members of the public were hurt in the apprehension. The immediate crisis is over now.

I think they locked the city down to keep the public safe, but also so the perpetrators could not easily escape. The strategy worked, so what's the problem? Why the criticism?

Oh, and MrsTerryPratchett - the carnage wreaked was much deeper than 3 dead. It is actually 4 dead (including the policeman), and as I'm sure you read, many suffered severe and life-changing injuries. Please do not minimise what transpired.

Portofino Sat 20-Apr-13 22:13:16

My only criticism is why they did not find him earlier. Watertown was the initial search area. Someone fucked up.

MrsDeVere Sat 20-Apr-13 22:13:18

I don't think MrsTerry was doing anything of the sort.

Earlybird Sat 20-Apr-13 22:14:18

And before you all jump in - yes, it was a member of the public (not the police) who actually found the man in the boat.

chartreuse Sat 20-Apr-13 22:15:53

I read that the house with the boat was just outside the zone where they had done house to house searches

I'm not minimising. I didn't include the Police Officer that was killed in the chase. You could also count the older brother as dead. I meant the initial act. It was meant to maim a lot of people. Nail bombs do, they are horrible. Believe me, I don't lack empathy. The doctors talking about how many amputations they were having to do. It's horrifying.

However, the outpourings do worry me. Them and us, the USA chanting. These acts are supposed to divide us. One of the things that made me feel more secure after the London bombs was lots of Londoners saying the same thing, "they won't affect us". There was a young woman in a headscarf on the news, I remember. Presumably Muslim. She was talking about how her, and her fellow Londoners, wouldn't act any differently.

I can, at the same time, be shocked, saddened and appalled by the violence but also understand how terrorism works. On a basic level, if disruption and fear was what they were aiming for, they achieved it.

TheChimpParadox Sat 20-Apr-13 22:21:01

CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.

The above a tweet from Boston Police Dept earlier today.

I did rather snort when I saw it , can't imagine one of our police forces tweeting something like that.

I know that the events at Boston Marathan were horrific but I suppose for many of us in the UK over the number of bombings we have had by terrorist organisations and the lone nutter we see our police act in perhaps a more restrained manner but still get the job done - one way or another.

I think lock down was OTT.

KeatsiePie Sat 20-Apr-13 22:22:20

The point of the lockdown was to keep the 3 tragically dead people from becoming 30 or 300. It was done b/c the police were not going after two people who had just killed a police officer: from the first moment the MIT officer was shot, it was strongly suspected, with reason, that they were the Marathon bombers. There were reports, though unconfirmed, that the MIT officer found them planting explosives, and the firefight in Watertown confirmed that they had explosives, so the assumption had to be that they posed an active and much larger risk than the usual armed and dangerous suspect. That's why the lockdown.

It was very unusual. It may not have been necessary. But at the time, it looked necessary: the guy couldn't have gone far, no one knew what weapons/explosives he had on him, and Watertown is dense and busy. To keep everyone inside so that movement would be noticed and then look for him house by house made sense. I would have been enraged if I still lived in Boston and the police failed to do what was necessary to find a man who was running around my neighborhood right then with a bunch of bombs.

And the thing is, it worked. If there'd been no lockdown, the suspect probably wouldn't have still been in that boat by the time the homeowner happened to look at it; he probably would have been able to move out of Watertown concealed by normal traffic. It would not have made sense to me for the police to do differently. But I'm American and a former Bostonian and I do think we look at bombings/threats differently.

xkittyx Sat 20-Apr-13 22:22:40

Completely agree with MrsTerryPratchett.

KeatsiePie Sat 20-Apr-13 22:32:29

I think that there is a lot of fear here (America) that we will become a country vulnerable to bombings. We had long thought of ourselves as invulnerable to terrorist acts at home. And that fear is backed by an old, long-valued cultural defiance that could be phrased as "we will not be touched" -- Americans have always had a very very strong reaction to anything that happens "on our soil." E.g., Pearl Harbor. Of course a nation should have a strong reaction to something like Pearl Harbor, but my point about where this reaction comes from is, we're a geographically large country and we're across an ocean from the countries that, when this cultural attitude was developed, posed a threat. So we have long thought of ourselves as safe from this kind of thing, and from the first moment when that was not true (Pearl Harbor) that safety began to be seen as something that must be defended at all costs. It's a great big thing for us, so a giant no-tolerance reaction comes up out of everyone, I think -- I am by no means comfortable with how police operate here and I was very, very moved by the Police Commissioner's speech and by the cheering of the departing officers and agents.

KitchenandJumble Sat 20-Apr-13 22:33:47

I'm not sure that this sort of action would be advisable or even possible in future terrorist incidents. But I do think it worked rather remarkably well in this case.

I don't think that any nation has really figured out the best way to cope with terrorism, TBH. The UK, the US, Israel, Russia, etc. have all struggled to find the most effective methods to respond. The sobering truth of the matter is that when people are ready to sacrifice their lives in terrorist attacks, there is very little the authorities can do except try to contain them and minimise the damage as much as possible.

Earlybird Sat 20-Apr-13 22:34:57

It has now come to light that the younger bomber worked out, and went to a party (among other things) in the few days after the event. He posted on Twitter and visited his Facebook account. He appeared to be resuming his 'normal' student life. It was only after their photos were made public and an appeal issued that they robbed a store, shot one policeman dead and seriously injured another - and everything else unfolded.

Question for those of you who think the Boston police/FBI over-reacted and that a lockdown was OTT: what do you think should have been done instead?

I think you are probably right, Keatsie. The problem is that the reaction is expected to be shared by everyone. All the countries all over the world are expected to be more shocked by the bombs in Boston than, for example, the drones in Pakistan. Anything done with US money or my US personnel is OK. Anything done on US soil is dreadful and a military act (hence why the suspect is being denied Miranda Rights currently). It makes me worried and uncomfortable.

I remember when George Bush said that an attack on one was an attack on all. It wasn't when the IRA/Sinn Fein were collecting on the streets of New York and, dare I say it, Boston.

Now, the victims are in no way culpable for that and I feel that any person murdered like this is a terrible thing. However, the reaction of the US to domestic terrorism plays right into the hands of extremists.

Also, this is still a suspect, not a murderer or terrorist... yet. He has the right to a fair trial which I suspect is impossible.

Well said MrsTerryPratchet, exactly what I was thinking but couldn't put into words.

KeatsiePie Sat 20-Apr-13 22:55:23

MrsTP I completely agree with you that America has always seemed to expect to be seen and treated differently. This again comes I think from the idea that America was different -- defiantly untouchable, as I said before, but also better. I think there was a feeling that we weren't going to have your problems; we had formed a country with superior methods of governance and so on. And so I think there is a feeling that America should be seen by everyone as the purest place, as representative of all that should be held dear, and so an attack on it should be seen by the world as an attack on democracy and fairness and so on. I don't mean this is what people go around consciously thinking, but I think it's a long-ingrained cultural attitude that many people now feel but are not entirely aware of feeling.

This I remember when George Bush said that an attack on one was an attack on all. It wasn't when the IRA/Sinn Fein were collecting on the streets of New York and, dare I say it, Boston. is an excellent point and is frankly shaming.

I also feel very worried and sad about the trial. I was thinking, when the hunt was still going, that I hoped he would die while they were trying to capture him. I knew that would not be best for finding things out but I feared that incarceration and a trial would lead to human rights violations and allow for a lot of manipulation of the public sentiment wrt. our policies on terrorism at home, which already frighten me.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 20-Apr-13 22:56:33

YY MrsTerry.
I thing home grown terrorism in the US seems to be more important globally than anywhere else in their view.
And yes, Irish Americans were the biggest fundraisers when the UK had so many terrorist bombings, but that was fine, it wasn't on their soil.
I do keep remembering that 8 year old boy at the finishing line, and then look at that 19 year old boy who laid the bomb and just think WTF, I'll never ever understand.sad
And the shouts of USA, USA, stuck in my craw.
This was not a sporting competition.
Have some fucking dignity.

KitchenandJumble Sat 20-Apr-13 23:05:43

I also dislike the raucous chants of "USA, USA." But please do not think that the people chanting this represent all Americans. And please, for the love of all things holy, I beg of you, don't take George Bush as a representative American voice. Many Americans thank our lucky stars every day that he is out of office, clearing brush on his ranch. smile

Too true Kitchen and Keatsie. I know a few Americans as friends and family so I know not everyone is a Bible-bashing, Republican, gay-hating, racist. Actually, I often say that I have yet to meet an American I didn't like or one that was less than polite, friendly, helpful and considerate. Which may be why I am so shocked that as a collective, the USA can suck so badly.

Why do people who are so nice, elect such knob-heads and allow their hard-working, brave, young soldiers to commit atrocities? It's a mystery to me.

KeatsiePie Sat 20-Apr-13 23:29:27

Re this allow their hard-working, brave, young soldiers to commit atrocities -- it's an oversimplification but one area I blame for it is our (pre-university) education system, which is a disgrace. This may seem to go a bit far afield but critical reasoning abilities, the value of integrity over conformity, the development of personal ethics, the responsibility of the social contract, etc., should be part of the backbone of how our students are taught, but are not.

KeatsiePie Sat 20-Apr-13 23:42:46

Ps. MrsTP not to worry, I did not at all get the impression you thought all Americans were Republican Bible-bashers etc. smile

SpanishFly Sat 20-Apr-13 23:48:47

Op I totally agree. Yes the police/FBI were great BUT why didnt a heat seeking helicopter find him? God, the police helicopter on Police Camera Action find people hiding in gardens all the time, and they're just neds who stole cars, not bombers

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 21-Apr-13 01:34:43

I am British but live in the US. I think that there are many cultural differences between the UK and here, which are often forgotten as people assume speaking the same language means holding the same values.

The police here operate differently from the police in the UK. Americans (in general) are a lot more vocal about supporting their country - and so the chants of 'USA, USA' can't be seen in the same way as they would be in a British context. Media style tends to describe most things as the worst/biggest/best - sensationalism is rife. When read by a Brit, this can often appear over the top, sometimes ridiculously so.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's very hard to judge another country and its systems without a good deal of knowledge about the cultural context in which events take place - what people in the UK would see as 'baying for blood', for example, isn't necessarily what all US citizens were doing.

Keatsiepie - you said all this way better than I could.

CadleCrap Sun 21-Apr-13 01:47:31

Being very cynical here, but I wonder if he will live to stand trial.

KeatsiePie Sun 21-Apr-13 01:54:00

Wibbly not at all. As you've said I was thinking earlier that the US does portray everything in stronger terms! E.g., one of the things I like about coming to this forum is that I think (insert huge generalization caveat) there is a little more restraint in UK culture: AIBU is the most sensationalist area on this site, the most reactive, and yet just the fact that it's called "Am I Being Unreasonable?" has an indicative charm for me. Sure, many many Americans do not want to act in unreasonable ways, but we are less likely to have the largest discussion site in the country's most inflammatory section titled with such restraint smile

KitchenandJumble Sun 21-Apr-13 02:59:25

Why do people who are so nice, elect such knob-heads and allow their hard-working, brave, young soldiers to commit atrocities?

Well, as to the first question, many would say that the knob-head wasn't actually elected but appointed by the Supreme Court initially. And there were certain shenanigans regarding the 2004 election as well. But even if one believes GWB was elected legitimately, he held the slimmest of majorities and there was tremendous opposition to him.

My friends in the UK are wonderful people, and yet the UK has also had its share of appalling Prime Ministers over the years (e.g., the late Margaret Thatcher, horrible Tony Blair, et al).

As for the second part of the question, the sad truth about human nature is that placed in the wrong circumstances, many people can behave very badly, up to and including committing atrocities. For a more benign example, see the Stanford prison experiment. For a glimpse into some of the worst of human nature, there's a brilliant book called "Ordinary Men."

If the institutional culture allows for and even approves of violations of the most basic rules of human decency, people will follow suit. After 9/11, the US government made some very dangerous and truly appalling decisions, and we still haven't really come to terms with them as a country. But I don't think that those decisions had anything to do with nationality. Americans are no better and no worse than the citizens of any other country.

wreckitralph Sun 21-Apr-13 03:07:10

I think they should take some flack for letting him escape. He escaped in a car. Where was the police helicopter following him? All seems a bit incompetent and as if they caught him by sheer luck.

Squarepebbles Sun 21-Apr-13 07:42:08

Really interesting thread.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s Britain with a forces father who often checked under his car just in case before driving.Due to the abundance of bombings in the news as a child I'm still not keen on large crowd situations even now and get twitchy in London.

I remember my dad's fury at the IRA fundraising in the USA and lack of thought towards the many victims, he has never visited the US as a result.I guess the Thatcher funeral in the same week highlighted this for me and how far we've come as a nation.

It is ironic that today British runners quite rightly will raise money and think about innocent citizens of a wealthy country who contributed towards funding terrorism and bombing ours in a very similar way.

It is so sad and also slightly ironic that innocent people could be bankrupted over medical bills even when they have insurance and British citizens who many Americans view as mad in having an NHS will make a positive contribution towards US medical bills.

Not a US bashing post,my dp has US family and I really like the country and it's people.I just hope US kids today don't now grow up with the same fear British kids did decades ago.

< slight hijack>

Re the op I think the Boston police did a good job,the city must be huge and if they had escaped so would a lot of info.It was a terrifying week with a city in shock,can't have been easy for the police who won't have been used to this kind of thing.

Isityouorme Sun 21-Apr-13 07:54:17

The bombers have links to extreme Islamic groups and who knows why else they had planned. However, it is probable that the police/CIA/FBI know lots more than what as been released.

Chants of USA USA are them being patriotic -good for them.

Well done to the police and Boston.

Altinkum Sun 21-Apr-13 08:58:14

Yes a man found him, what did you expect OP that the said man went and made a citizens arrest, with open gun fire?

One if the thickest things I've ever read tbh.

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Apr-13 09:32:37

I have read this morning that the man had gone outside to have a cigarette, not specifically to check his boat.

SpanishFly Sun 21-Apr-13 09:43:56

He was caught by sheer luck. I have no clue why helicopters weren't following him when he escaped or why heat seeking equipment wasn't used in their search area. Virtually nobody was outside so a body in a boat would've been obvious. Afer the man saw him, the heat seeking equipment was THEN used to confirm there was someone inside.

Sparklingbrook Sun 21-Apr-13 09:54:41

He was caught because Boat man wanted a fag. confused

sashh Sun 21-Apr-13 10:30:12

They had an active fugitive who was considered armed and dangerous. I don't think they had the city locked down until after that was established (the firefight at MIT). Locking the city down was something I'm sure they knew they could get public support on

Exactly, it was an appropriate response to that situation.

It was like 9/11, get every legitimate flight to land and what's left is your target.

On 7/7 it was suicide bombers, not much use locking down once the bombers are dead.

Different cities and different countries and people react differently.

After 9/11 there were attacks on Sikh men wearing turbans because many Americans associate them with Islam.

Also I have no idea of gun ownership or laws in Boston. If you keep people at home you don't have anyone wanting to be a hero either shooting or being shot. Very few people have guns here.

stopgap Sun 21-Apr-13 12:17:51

On a much smaller scale, I recall that Cumbrian police urged local residents to stay indoors when Derrick Bird went on his shooting spree. I don't see the big deal about the orders issued by the Boston PD.

Snazzynewyear Sun 21-Apr-13 16:37:04

It seems like common sense to me that if an armed person is out and about who will be pretty desperate and who is suspected of already doing harm to the general public, that you'd advise people to stay indoors too.

The big deal is that it cost $1 billion or thereabouts to close down Boston. On 9/11 airplanes were crashing into buildings killing thousands of people. It looked like the start of a war. Sad and horrifying as the Boston bombs were, they were nail bombs not planes and they killed three people not thousands. It is still horrible but we are talking about a proportional response.

Were I a terrorist, I would be pretty pleased that my homemade nail bombs managed to close down a whole city and cost that much money.

Earlybird Sun 21-Apr-13 17:53:08

It was the most sensible thing to tell people to remain indoors:
- the two suspects robbed a convenience store at gunpoint
- carjacked a vehicle, with a citizen inside and forced him to drive to 3 separate bank ATM machines to withdraw cash (they released him unharmed - and told him they were the bombers)
- shot a policeman dead
- gravely wounded another policeman
- shot at, and threw bombs and grenades at the police pursuing them
- when finally apprehended, the younger suspect drove a car directly at police who were trying to handcuff his wounded brother and ran over and dragged his brother some distance as he made his escape
- the older brother had explosives and a triggering device strapped to his body, so reasonable to assume the younger brother could also have the same devices.

Seems to me it was completely appropriate to advise people to stay inside their homes and not go out - especially when they found the car abandoned and knew the wounded suspect had escaped on foot.

It is astonishing that people want to nitpick and criticise a successful outcome. It wasn't a perfect operation, but perfect only happens in the movies.

I'm not nitpicking. I'm trying to say, obviously poorly, that the point of terrorism is to disrupt, scare, terrify, cost money, inconvenience and affect as many people as possible. The Boston bombings did exactly that, partially because of how the city, government and Police handled it.

How many armed robberies and carjackings are there normally? Actually Boston is relatively safe for a US city. However, the US has an astonishingly high number of violent, many gun related deaths every year. This article is saying what I am trying to. They won't pass a law to background check people who want a gun but they will lock down a whole city after a terrorist attack.

WishIdbeenatigermum Sun 21-Apr-13 19:06:22

Incredibly distasteful thread.

I don't think it is distasteful to critically assess terrorist responses. I think that we all have a duty to examine what governments and their agents do in our names. I think we need to assess what we think about the effect terrorism has on all of us. We are all supposed to be affected by these acts, that is their nature.

I can do that at the same time as being very sad for the victims and their families.

TheChimpParadox Sun 21-Apr-13 20:20:05

I think this has been a very interesting thread with view points form both sides of the 'big pond' as to how each country is perceived to deal with these incidents .

Snazzynewyear Sun 21-Apr-13 21:18:14

No problem with critically assessing responses to terrorist incidents. I am not at all impressed with the denial of Miranda rights to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, for one thing. Nor do I like the continuing denial of the danger within the US of its (lack of) gun controls.

However, I really don't have an issue with the lockdown of Boston for the time period it lasted - which was what, 24 hours? Certainly less than 48 hours? So I can't agree, MrsTerryPratchett, that the terrorists 'win'. After the 7/7 attacks all the talk was about how it wasn't going to change the way people lived; it wasn't going to change things for Londoners long-term. Undeniably it did in the immediate aftermath, and I don't see how it couldn't; but very quickly it was clear that the suspects were no longer out there, and then things returned to normal, people went back to travelling on the tube and so on. I think Boston is actually in a pretty similar situation. The city was paralysed for a day or so - as London was after 7/7 - and how the suspects have been apprehended (and of course killed in one case) the city can return to normal.

On the subject of the loss of $1 billion, what is that: businesses losing money through being closed for a day? Not ideal, no, but better than them losing money longer-term because no-one was ever caught for these attacks and people fear coming to Boston. Also, I don't think there were any great options for the Boston authorities: they were going to be criticised whatever they did. Had they not ordered the lockdown for reasons of cost, and then more people had died, they would be being slammed right now for putting businesses' profit before people's safety.

I'm perfectly happy to differ on this, of course, but I just wanted to state my view and to also state that it doesn't go hand-in-hand with being uncritical of the authorities and their handling of terrorism.

MrsDeVere Sun 21-Apr-13 22:39:09

Why is this an incredibly distasteful thread?

I am one of the first to make myself unpopular on those awful speculative threads discussing the death of some poor soul. I despise them.

THEY are distasteful because they speak of the victim as if they are a mere player in some delicious tv murder drama.

This thread is discussing the reaction to a major incident by a government. Not the individuals involved.

How is that distasteful? It is interesting to hear how people perceive the actions of the US agencies involved. Comparing the differences and wondering why the exist.

A darn sight less distasteful than the knee jerk, sad faced, candle picture facebook memes doing the rounds.

Earlybird Sun 21-Apr-13 23:11:29

Yes, life in Boston was disrupted for a short period so for that brief time the terrorists 'won'. But I imagine it would have been far more frightening and disruptive if the perpetrators had never been apprehended - and certainly every day life would have been abnormal for a much longer time.

Once the incident was over, I imagine there was a surge of activity (economic and otherwise) as a result of relief/celebration and pent up demand because people needed/wanted to go out for essentials and non-essentials.

Was it MrsDV who likened it to ransom payment. They apprehended and killed the suspects. However, if I want to work out how to paralyse a US city, I know how. These two are not the only terrorists in the world. If they were, fab, that would have dealt with the situation.

LinusVanPelt Mon 22-Apr-13 01:55:47

They won't pass a law to background check people who want a gun but they will lock down a whole city after a terrorist attack.

I understand that you're referring the pathetic, shameful failure of the Senate to pass gun control legislation earlier last week, MrsTerry, but given the fact that your focus seems to be on the practical response of the FBI and Boston PD during this particular incident, it's not really a relevant point.

The agencies involved in the decisions you're criticising ("locking down" the city) have no say in gun control (or any other kind of) legislation, and the Republicans (and four Democrats) in the Senate who voted down the measures had no say in the response in Boston.

It's not as if one cohesive group of people made the lockdown decision in one instance, and rejected gun control in the other confused.

Even in terms of public reaction, poll after reputable opinion poll has shown that between 85 - 90% of the American public supported the measure that the Senate shot down. Certainly a majority of people in liberal-leaning Massachusetts would have supported it. It's a disgrace that their elected representatives ignored their wishes in favour of the gun lobby's.

FWIW I think the "lockdown" was not disproportionate, for the reasons that others have already outlined. I think that great credit is due to the people of Boston and surrounding towns, for complying with it calmly and voluntarily, ensuring that the city was not thrown into chaos and the death and injury toll (from vigilantism, panic and confusion, mistaken identity etc.) did not rise during the search for suspect #2.

Snazzynewyear Mon 22-Apr-13 01:59:44

So are the Boston police also supposed to have solved the problem of all terrorism worldwide, MrsTP? I don't see how you can expect that of them.

It is very hard if not impossible to entirely prevent terrorism. What was the IRA's statement after the Brighton bomb? 'We only have to be lucky once; you will have to be lucky always'. You seem to be expecting fairly superhuman things of the authorities concerned if that's the standard you are holding them to.

And after any terrorist attack there will always be the notion put in the mind of other groups that they can copy those tactics. Maybe looking to London is an idea as someone on here has said the security required to participate running water stalls etc was very thorough.

Seems like it's the FBI specifically here who have questions to answer about why they interviewed the elder Tsarnaev brother previously but didn't seem to consider him a problem. That's where I would be directing criticism, not the Boston police or the lockdown.

So are the Boston police also supposed to have solved the problem of all terrorism worldwide, MrsTP? I don't see how you can expect that of them.


No, they are supposed to assume that these are not the only terrorists and act accordingly.

KeatsiePie Mon 22-Apr-13 02:54:49

I also don't find the thread distasteful; I think the discussion has been for the most part very respectful.

And have never before thought, really, about what a terrorist's goal(s) might be, so I find it interesting to consider that there might be this much satisfaction for a terrorist simply in paralyzing a city; I have always thought that a high death toll was what a terrorist was after.

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