Is this a jihad attack? As of this moment it is not clear. There are other possibilities; right-wing Christian radicals, Neo-Nazis, anti-tax protesters, radical environmentalists, anarchists, the list is long. We do not know enough yet to do more than speculate as to the who and why, but certain things are clear. The bombs were placed with maximum damage in mind, under the watchful eye of massive law enforcement and the general public. Shrapnel caused much damage, and the explosives were most likely homemade with common chemicals and probably detonated by cellphone or a crude internal timer. There are credible reports of a suspect in custody; a Saudi national, age 20 who was tackled by a bystander after exhibiting what was described as suspicious behavior.
Now lets not jump to any conclusions, the man in question is reported to be cooperating with authorities and has denied any involvement in the bombing. Innocent until proven guilty, remember? There are some things about this attack which do point to it being jihad, the most telling at the moment is that there were two explosions within 30 seconds of each other. Twin blasts are a hallmark of both Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the purpose is that the first bomb brings the emergency workers and bystanders out to help, then the second goes off, killing and maiming many more than the first bomb did. This still could be a copycat IED, the details are still coming in but as of now it appears that it could be a jihad attack.
The suspect in custody reportedly has suffered burns, which begs the question; was he an innocent bystander caught close to the blast, or was he one of the jihadists who was too close when his bomb went off? Again, time will give us the answers so we can only use what information is at hand and draw incomplete conclusions from them. One thing is certain, there are those in the Islamic world who rejoice at our suffering, and with this attack, and subsequent deaths the jihadists are starting to come out of the woodwork and shout their glee at our suffering. Expect more dancing in the Islamic streets in the next few days.
How do we react to this? What can be said to comfort the victims and assuage their fear? What we don't do is rampage with pitchforks and torches, looking under every rock for the boogyman. Some will take this as a call to action, I implore those people to not be rash and step back to assess the situation critically. Until we know all the details the only responsibility we have is to pray for comfort for the victims and their families.
I knew this day would come, but I prayed it never would. I hope against hope that this attack is something other than jihad, I fear it is just that, and with this barrage the battle with Islamic hegemony is again on the boil.
May God bless us all in this time of crisis.
See many more pictures here.