Friday, April 19, 2013

"Lone Wolf" suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing?

From CBS Boston:

Nine years ago, Carlos Arredondo gained worldwide attention and sympathy, for being a grieving father who had a heartbreaking reaction to news that his son had been killed in the Iraq war.

Now he lives in Boston, and has found himself in the middle of the marathon bombing story. He is being both praised and questioned at the same time.


He says Boston Police and the FBI came to his Roslindale home and questioned him about the bombing. When they left, they took some items.

They took my clothes, my shoes my pants, my t-shirt, whatever they needed I provided to them,” Arredondo told WBZ-TV.

Arredondo said he went to the marathon to cheer on athletes and National Guard troops who were running in memory of both of his sons. He also said authorities also took some photos that he had taken at the event, and that he was happy investigators appear to be closing in on a suspect.

End Excerpts

Personally, if the Boston Police and the FBI showed up at my door and asked for the clothing I was wearing on the day of a bombing, I would call a lawyer.

The Wikipedia article on Mr. Arredondo is very interesting. First, his is a remarkable case study of ataque de nervios (with self-immolation) after being informed of his son's death in Iraq in 2004. Second, the death of his surviving son by suicide in 2007 draws attention to the secondary effects of war casualties on the home front (the suicide apparently occured in the context of enduring despondency over the death of his brother). This is potentially an enormous public health problem (see here, and here). It has yet to be established that losing a family member in war increases the suicide risk of surviving family members, but it is obviously a question that needs to be investigated.

The United States has a track record of searching for "Lone Wolves" after events like the Boston Marathon bombing. It is probably a good idea to refresh our memories of Richard Jewell, the security guard who spotted the unattended knapsack containing the Centennial Park bomb during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He was the prime suspect in the case for a few months and it nearly ruined his life. It's not difficult to see how Mr. Arredondo could be portrayed by the FBI as having a motive for the Boston attack. The fact that he is an anti-war activist probably heightens the FBI's interest in him. I'm not saying he did it; in fact, I doubt that he did. The attack seems to have been rather complex in its execution, and probably required the participation of several people. Why no group has yet claimed credit for the attack is one of the most puzzling aspects of this case.






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